Days like today are why I usually advise my clients to keep Comp (aka Comprehensive or Other Than Collision) coverage on their car as long as possible.

I woke up in Albany today to about 5 inches of snow on top of an inch of ice.  As an independent insurance agent I immediately thought Falling Tree branches damaging cars parked outside.  The weight of ice and heavy snow wears on tree branches over the course of a winter and those of us living in the Northeast have had our fair share of storms this season.  So I had a feeling that there were going to be a lot of “Falling Object” and glass claims this morning.

comp on older carsI wish that my prediction was wrong but as fate would have it we’ve been getting calls all morning.  The Albany / Capital Region is littered with down power lines and tree branches and unfortunately there have been some roof collapses as well.

Protection Comp Provides

Comp in a very loose sense is like a homeowners policy for your car (very loose sense the coverages are not the same).  Comp physical damage on your car insurance includes coverage for (but not limited to):

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Theft / Vandalism
  • Hail
  • Explosions
  • Flood
  • Earthquake
  • Riots
  • Damage from contact with an Animal
  • and FALLING OBJECTS

Additionally, at least in New York State, Comp coverage also comes with Full Glass Coverage.  Full Glass Coverage offers replacement of glass, (not mirrors), at Zero Deductible.

On winter days like today falling objects such as tree branches and hanging man-made structures break and fall because of the weight of ice and snow.  Another common scenario is a garage or barn roof collapse where a car is stored inside. Your homeowners policy DOES NOT… I repeat, your homeowners policy DOES NOT provide coverage to a damaged vehicle you own, even if the damage is caused by your house from something like a roof collapse.

Keep Comp on Older Cars

In most cases, (everyone’s insurance is unique, call The Murray Group before making an insurance decision), Comp physical damage coverage is very inexpensive relative to the amount of coverage that you get.  Even if your car is only worth a couple grand the glass coverage alone is often worth maintaining Comp coverage.  Always do a cost benefit analysis, but I think you find that the small yearly premium to pay for Comp coverage will be well worth the protection.

You don’t have to carry Collision, to have Comp.  Collision can be very expensive relative to the benefit.  So most people drop Collision on older cars, (For more on this read When Should I Drop Collision?).  And often Collision and Comp are both dropped together.  I encourage you to look a little deeper and take a look at keeping Comp after you drop Collision.

The Rub

I know I stand on my Soap Box a lot about the Independent Agent, but I hope you are beginning to realize that this is the value that working with an independent agent brings…

I want to take the time to make sure you are properly covered in the most cost effective way!  You may overlook these types of coverage options when dealing with a website or direct writer… Sorry to lay the pitch on you hard but I am just really passionate about the power of independent insurance agents.  Be safe this winter…

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