Is Comprehensive Auto Insurance Worth It?

Is Comprehensive Auto Insurance Worth It?

Adding comprehensive auto insurance to your policy will provide the financial protection you need in the event of a non-collision accident. It can save you thousands of dollars in repairs and even cover the remaining balance of your auto loan if deemed totaled. 

This means that any loss or repair costs caused by an incident that did not involve a collision—i.e. severe weather damage, fire, or theft—are covered minus your auto policy deductible.

Comprehensive auto insurance coverage

Comprehensive auto insurance protects you from minor and major damages caused by elements beyond your control. Hit a deer? Covered. Fallen tree-crushing your vehicle? Claim approved. Create a safety net from financial hardship by accounting for the possibility of non-collision accidents.


Comprehensive auto insurance covers damages related to:

  • Animal contact such as a dented panel caused by hitting a deer.
  • Natural disasters that result in flood damage or other weather-related issues.
  • Fire resulting from natural causes and/or riots.
  • Theft of vehicle or parts of vehicle.
  • Damage to exterior including broken windshields and vandalism.


Comprehensive auto insurance safeguards your vehicle from damages sustained outside of auto collisions.

comprehensive auto insurance with Downey Insurance Group

This additional layer of coverage is subject to a deductible—a predetermined amount subjected from a claim check which typically ranges anywhere from $500 to $1,500. As the policyholder, you are financially responsible for the deductible in full should a comprehensive claim be filed. Your insurer would then cover the remainder of your repair costs. For example, let’s say your car was struck by a deer, and the cost of damages totals $1,500. A comprehensive claim is then filed and approved by your insurer. Upon approval, you pay a deductible of $500. Your insurer will then issue an insurance claim payout of $1,000 to repair the damages (the total repair costs minus your deductible).


Damages and injuries caused to others, your injuries, or damages resulting from an auto collision are not covered. You do, however, have the option to add on collision or additional liability coverage.

Comprehensive auto insurance vs collision insurance

Though frequently lumped together, comprehensive auto insurance differs from collision insurance by how damages are sustained to the vehicle. Are the cracks in your windshield from a hail storm or head-on highway collision? Is the dent in your hood from a fallen tree or contact with someone’s bumper?

Comprehensive auto insurance will cover non-collision damages whereas collision insurance covers those caused by a collision. Outside of liability auto insurance—which is a requirement in most states excluding New Hampshire—both forms of coverage can protect you from unexpected financial strain. If the cost of repairs happens to exceed the actual cash value (ACV) of your vehicle, your insurance company will total the vehicle and issue you an insurance payout equal to the ACV minus your deductible.

In most states, a vehicle is deemed totaled if and when the damages exceed 75% of its value.

Take away

There are both pros and cons to adding additional coverage to your auto insurance policy. If you are in a position where reinforcing your auto safety net is optional, it’s good to weigh each beforehand. 

Adding comprehensive or collision coverage to your policy could save you money on repairs or replacement costs due to unexpected events on- and off-road. Such auto insurance coverage add-ons complement your liability insurance policy by preparing for the future and covering all possible bases. 

Contact us today and let us help you create your perfect auto insurance policy.

Auto Care and Road Safety in Extreme Heat

Auto Care and Road Safety in Extreme Heat

Do you ever wonder if extreme weather conditions affect auto performance? 

The short answer is yes. Both cold and hot temperatures are harsh on the vehicle as well as the driver. Taking extra precautions can mean the difference between a smooth trip or one rattled with bumps.

There’s not much we can do to eliminate hot days or heat waves during the summer, but we can take steps to prepare ourselves and our vehicles for road safety. Scheduled auto maintenance is suggested to keep any car performing in tip-top auto shape. Want more confidence in tackling the summer heat?

Prepare you and your vehicle for extreme heat by:

1. Check the vehicle’s tire pressure.

Hotter days combined with cooler nights cause a constant fluctuation in a tire’s air pressure. When temperatures rise, it affects the temperatures of the roads which ultimately impacts a vehicle’s tires. The air pressure increases and the tire soon become overinflated. This is now a road hazard as an overinflated tire can lead to a blowout or other auto roadside emergency.

2. Keep under the hood and the vehicle’s interior cool.

The normal operating temperature of an auto engine is 195 to 200℉. Extreme temperatures put additional strain on the vehicle, increasing the odds it could overheat or break down.

Pay close mind to the temperature gauge and ensure that maintenance is always current. Check the levels of all fluids, namely the coolant to prevent the engine from overheating, and address any auto issues immediately. Is your air-conditioning (A/C) working correctly? Do you need a new cabin filter? A quick recharge or replacement could help to improve the quality of airflow. 

To keep the vehicle’s interior cool while not in use, try parking in shaded areas or invest in an auto shade to reduce the absorption of the sun’s rays. The interior can increase by 30℉ in the course of 1-hour with partially cracked windows doing little to offset the dramatic increase in temperature. No animal or living being should be left in a parked vehicle during the hotter months.

3. Prepare an emergency auto kit.

In addition to your spare tire and standard roadside kit, it’s wise to take extra precautions when the seasons change from cool to hot. This is because the risks of driving in the summer slightly differ from those prone in the winter months. Blowouts and heat exhaustion are just two.

Make sure there’s always a tire gauge on hand. Checking your tire pressure periodically will help prevent the possibility of a blowout on the road. Remember, a tire’s air pressure increases during the hotter months so the PSI should be on the low end when parked—36 PSI for most tires. Another key item to carry is a set of jumper cables. Hotter temperatures put a strain on a vehicle’s battery as well and being stranded in extreme heat is dangerous. Protect your vehicle and yourself.

Pack a cooler filled with cold drinking water. Hydration in extreme heat. If you begin to feel too hot or the interior becomes unbearable, pull over and allow time for a cool down. If you notice your engine starts to steam or smoke, you should call for roadside assistance. 

Looking for a DIY fix? Once the engine has cooled down, add a little coolant or water.

Maintaining the auto care of your vehicle is just as important as being aware of your immediate surroundings on the road. Pay attention to how you’re feeling physically. Take note of how consistent the auto performance of your vehicle is. Driving in extreme heat isn’t a no-go zone. Hotter weather just calls for additional measures. This is especially true when it comes to operating an electric vehicle.

Both hot and cold temperatures can reduce the charge of an e-battery by as much as 40%. Whether your vehicle is manual, automatic, or electric you can avoid delays in transportation by planning ahead to account for any possible heat-related auto mishaps. Increased temperatures present increased road risks for drivers. Try adding an additional layer of safety with comprehensive and/or collision insurance.


Contact us today and learn how we can help you beat the heat.

signs of heat exhaustion
What You Need to Know About Massachusetts Auto Insurance

What You Need to Know About Massachusetts Auto Insurance

If you own a vehicle or occasionally drive one, chances are your state has minimum auto insurance requirements you need to meet before hitting the open road. These requirements are set in place to protect motorists from being solely responsible financially in the case of an accident. 

Nearly every state, excluding New Hampshire, has laws in place that dictate the minimum auto insurance each driver must carry to operate a motor vehicle. Failure to do so can lead to fines, suspension of your driver’s license or registration, and possible federal prosecution. This often makes the process of obtaining the appropriate amount of coverage an overwhelming task for many drivers. With so much on the line, it’s best to first take a look at your state’s requirements.

Auto insurance coverage in Massachusetts and New England

The lowest level of auto insurance required by most states is liability insurance which covers only the damages caused to the other party in an at-fault accident. In the state of Massachusetts, this includes four types of coverage, each with a required minimum coverage limit.


The four types of MA auto insurance required include:

  1. Bodily Injury to Others — $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident
  2. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) — $8,000 per person/accident
  3. Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto — $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident
  4. Damage to Someone Else’s Property — $5,000 per accident


Drivers are required to purchase the minimum coverage, specified above, in order to register and operate a vehicle in MA and New England. If there is more than one licensed driver in a household, motorists should include them as customary operators within their auto insurance policy.

Insurers define customary operators as anyone who may use your vehicle. Drivers with their own auto insurance policies can be added to your policy as deferred operators, often at no additional charge to the policyholder. These precautions help protect you and your assets even if you are not the one driving your registered vehicle at the time of an accident. It allows policyholders to minimize the financial impact if someone in their household is at-fault or involved, whether it’s due to distracted driving or poor judgment while behind the wheel. 

NOTE: Drivers with Learner’s Permits are not required to be listed until they are fully insured.

Recommended auto insurance for liability from Downey

Customize your Massachusetts and New England auto insurance

The amount of auto insurance coverage you need can go beyond the state’s required minimum. Consulting an insurance expert will help you determine what additional coverage is necessary to ensure you and your family have the proper safety net in place. 


Ideally, you should carry the highest amount of liability coverage you can afford to avoid unexpected financial hardship. For most drivers, 100/300/100 is the best level of liability coverage—$100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident in bodily injury, and $100,000 per accident in property damage. Drivers should also seek to add the highest level of PIP and uninsured motorist coverage to help further protect their assets and future earnings. 


Adding wiggle room to your policy means that the financial burden of an accident will fall on your insurer’s shoulders instead of yours. Optional coverage options include comprehensive and collision.

Contact us today and get the right auto insurance coverage to fit your unique needs.