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By Chuck Wells

Your hear the term ďcomprehensive coverageĒ all the time when you are working on your car insurance and probably stayed up nights worrying about what that means. After all, you donít want to look like a moron by asking your insurance agent what it means so you just go along with what your agent is saying. I do the same thing when getting my car fixed or talking with computer experts. I just nod my head like I know what they are talking about.

Comprehensive coverage is designed for newer cars which have some value. It will pay if the car is damaged by fire, falling objects, animals, vandalism, flood, glass breakage, or if the car is stolen.

I usually recommend you have comprehensive coverage on any car that is less than 15 years old unless it is a piece of junk. The premium is low compared to the payout. Just one windshield replacement is worth the premium.

Keep in mind that the insurance company will only pay for fixing the car or the wholesale book value, whichever is less. Thatís right. You donít have a choice. If it costs more to fix than the wholesale value of the car, the company will total it out and thatís the end of it.

Will your rates go up if you turn in a comprehensive claim? Not usually with just one or two in a three year period. But if you are turning in every little thing, you will probably be canceled for claim frequency and will be stuck with paying higher premiums.

I had one guy turn in a comprehensive claim saying he hit a deer. He had a lower deductible on comprehensive than collision and also knew that his rates would not go up if it was a comprehensive claim rather than under collision. We checked the grill of his car looking for deer fur and found telephone splinters instead. He must have chased the deer up a telephone pole! We paid under the collision part of his policy and upped his rates for an at-fault accident.


You know how they call out your name in a doctorís waiting room? Well, a man in Rio de Janeiro was waiting in his doctorís reception area to be treated for an ear ache when he thought they called his name. He went in and instead of being treated for the ear ache, they gave him a vasectomy. When they asked him later why he didnít question the procedure, he said he thought the ear inflammation had deep roots. Itís probably good he got the vasectomy after-all.


Anna Gitlin, a software engineer, got a little upset when she was caught in a rush-hour traffic jam caused by an accident. She allegedly bumped her car into a police officer and screamed: ďI donít care who (expletive) died. Iím more important.Ē Obviously.

And a 20-year-old man was killed in Denver when he jumped from a car going 40mph. He told his friends that he wanted to endure some pain in order to get up the courage to get a tattoo. He doesnít have to worry about the tattoo now.

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