As your vehicle gets older, you may be tempted to drop certain coverages off of your auto insurance policy. There is a point, after all, where it may become more expensive to insure your vehicle than it would be to simply make repairs or a replacement out of pocket.
You should take changing coverage into careful consideration, however, as dropping coverage too early can leave you with more expenses than you may expect.
What Does Comprehensive Coverage Cover for an Older Vehicle?
Comprehensive coverage provides compensation for damages to your vehicle caused by fire, wind, hail, lightning, smoke, theft, vandalism and other incidents not involving collision. For example, if your vehicle is parked outside and a bad storm sends a tree branch crashing through your windshield, comprehensive coverage should help cover the damages.
These dangers don’t go away as your vehicle gets older. However, the value of your vehicle may go down, which means the amount of comprehensive coverage you need may lower. Be sure to speak with your insurance agent before adjusting or dropping your auto insurance coverage.
Is Comprehensive Coverage Required?
Comprehensive coverage is not generally required by state or federal law whether you have a newer or older vehicle.
Some dealerships, however, require new car owners to carry full coverage auto insurance—which includes comprehensive coverage. Once you pay off your new vehicle, you may be able to drop full coverage on your vehicle and only cover the minimum amount of liability required by your state. Even if you decide to drop coverage, you must legally carry this amount of insurance. In Maryland, for example, all drivers must carry at least:
- $30,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $60,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
- $15,000 in property damage liability
Preventing Comprehensive Damage
If you do decide to drop your comprehensive coverage on your older vehicle, it is still important to try to avoid these incidents. Without this coverage, any damage caused to your vehicle without collision will be your responsibility to pay out of pocket.
Make sure to keep your vehicle parked in an enclosed space such as a garage that is secure from falling objects, bad weather, theft and possible vandalism. You can also speak with your insurance agent about saving money on your policy without lowering coverage, such as adjusting your deductible or qualifying for auto insurance discounts.
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