What is comprehensive car insurance in India? 

A car insurance is a legal requirement to drive on Indian roads. It is a necessary document to ensure the overall protection for your motor vehicle as it covers for damages incurred and decreases financial liability in the event of an accident. While a third party car insurance covers damages to the other party, a comprehensive insurance policy provides additional coverage to the vehicle owner as well. 

A comprehensive car insurance gives the best kind of protection for your car and provides more benefits than other types of car insurance coverages. It not only covers third-party liabilities but also covers when your car gets damaged. It is also known as ‘own damage’ or ‘other than collision’ insurance coverage, as it provides financial protection against losses that might happen other than from collision. This kind of insurance also covers any unexpected incidents due to an accident, fire, theft, or damage due to natural calamity, and personal accident cover.

One can also add other benefits such as accessories cover, engine protector, medical expenses, zero depreciation cover, etc. Comprehensive car insurance gives end-to-end coverage and provides less stress for the insurance holder though it is comparatively costlier than other insurance coverages. Here is everything you need to know about comprehensive car insurance.

What does comprehensive insurance cover?

A comprehensive car insurance policy offers coverage against losses and damages sustained by the insurer and third-party liabilities. It provides complete protection and insurance coverage to a private vehicle owner against all risks such as accidents, fire, damage due to natural calamities, etc. 

Comprehensive car insurance is liable to provide compensation for partial or complete damage; since it provides for both parties involved, it compensates for third-party death, disability, and property damage. It also covers personal casualty coverage for the car driver in case of death or injury in any accident. 

The different possibilities under which one can get insurance coverage under Comprehensive insurance are stated below:

Accidental Damages

If the insured car suffers any loss or damage due to a car accident, this insurance will provide for the loss or damages incurred.

Fire Damages

If the insured car gets damaged or sustains loss due to a fire, the insurance will cover that too.

Car Thefts

Under any circumstances, if the insured car gets stolen, then the motor insurance company will give compensation based on the present market value of the car under Comprehensive insurance.

Damages Due to Natural Calamities

If the insured car gets damaged or sustains losses due to any natural calamity then the insurance company will cover the losses or damages if it’s comprehensive insurance. 

Thirty-Party Losses

Comprehensive insurance will cover any third-party damages or losses caused by the insured car which includes – property damage, loss of life, or bodily injuries. 

Damages due to Man-made Hazards 

If the insured car gets partially or completely damaged due to any man-made hazards such as strikes, riots, terrorist activities, etc., the insurance coverage will be provided under Comprehensive insurance.


If the insured car gets damaged or suffers a total loss due to vandalism, comprehensive insurance will cover the repair work or losses incurred. 

Personal Accidental Injuries or Death

Comprehensive 4-wheeler car insurance covers not only the car’s damages and losses but also for the owner-driver in case of loss of life or injury caused due to a car accident. 

In-Transit Car Damages

In case the insured car gets damaged while getting transported via land, air, or water, the insurance company will pay for the repair work under comprehensive insurance. 

Add-on Covers Under a Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy

One can always buy add-ons to increase the protection coverage for their car, and this advantage is available if one buys Comprehensive car insurance. The various add-ons one can purchase to get better-secured insurance coverage for their automobile in India are as follows: 

  • Zero Depreciation Cover 

This cover comes only for cars that are less than 5 years old, though insurance companies also sell zero depreciation cover for 7-year-old covers. This add-on gives the advantage of not paying for the depreciating value of the car during claim settlements. 

  • Tyre Protect Cover 

Under this add-on the car insured will get coverage for the tyres if there are any losses or damages incurred during accidents and non-accidental cases. 

  • Return to Invoice Cover 

This add-on is ideal for new car owners as it helps them to get the insured declared value (IDV) equal to the invoice price of the car instead of the car’s current market value under total loss claims. 

  • Breakdown Assistance Cover

One can access roadside or breakdown assistance from the motor insurance company in case the insured car gets stuck in the middle of the road due to a flat tyre, empty fuel tank, loss of keys, etc. 

  • Consumable Cover 

All the consumables required during the repair of a car such as washers, nuts, coolant, bolts, engine oil, etc. are covered under this add-on.

  • Engine & Gearbox Protection

The cost of repairing the engine and gearbox of the insured car is covered in all situations and not just in accidents. 

  • Conveyance Benefit

This allows the owner or driver of the insured car to get a daily conveyance allowance for commuting by other means of transport from the insurance company under circumstances when the insured car gets repaired in a network garage.

  • Key Replacement Cover

One can get the replaced key of the insured car at the earliest in case of theft or loss of the original car keys. 

  • No Claim Bonus Protection 

This add-on safeguards the NCB or No Claim Bonus and allows the insured car owner to move to the next NCB slab even if he or she has raised a claim during the policy term.

  • Passenger Cover

Under this add-on, the insurance company will not cover the driver or owner of the insured car in case the car meets with an accident but also the other passengers riding in the car during the time of the accident. 

Difference between Comprehensive and Third Party Liability Policy


Comprehensive Insurance
Third-Party Liability Insurance
CoverageProvides coverage to the insured car, and third-party liability for injuries sustained by the body and property damages.Provides coverage against liabilities arising only due to any third-party bodily injuries or property damages.
VehiclesComprehensive insurance is necessary for cars that are newly purchased or that are a few years old. One can get Comprehensive insurance coverage for the cost of repairs that are costlier and caused due to any accidents or road mishaps.This insurance is perfect for vehicles older than 10 years as the repair cost for such vehicles would not cost much and will be manageable.
Cost of InsuranceComprehensive insurance is expensive as it provides more protection for the car in case of injuries, damages, theft, etc.A Third Party Liability Insurance is comparatively cheaper than a Comprehensive insurance as it does not provide coverage to the extent that comprehensive insurance provides
PriceThe price for Comprehensive car insurance may vary depending on the rates and discounts offered by the different insurance companies.The price of Third-Party Liability insurance does not vary, and it remains fixed by the Regulator.

Advantages of comprehensive insurance

When compared to third party insurance coverage, comprehensive car insurance has the following advantages:

  • The range of insurance coverage offered for the insurer and the car is more under a comprehensive car insurance. It provides multiple protections which a third-party insurance cover does not.
  • Other than accident coverage (for you and your car) and third party liabilities, the policy also pays for losses incurred due to thefts, riots, natural calamities, fire, damages due to miscreants’ actions etc. 
  • One can customize their insurance cover with add-ons
  • Can avail the benefit of no claim bonus if no claims have been made for the policy year

Disadvantages of comprehensive insurance

When compared to third party insurance coverage, comprehensive car insurance has a higher premium price for the extensive coverage. However, it will be cheaper than two standalone policies that would give coverage for third parties and for own damage.

What is not covered by comprehensive insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance gives the maximum range, but then there are certain situations or instances that will not come under insurance coverage. Given below is the list of possibilities that will not be covered by a comprehensive insurance policy:

  1. It does not cover car damages due to normal wear and tear or aging.
  2. Vehicle parts that are made of fiber or rubber are not covered under this insurance.
  3. The coverage does not protect the car from depreciating value of your car over time.
  4. The insurance will not cover any damages to the car due to any nuclear attack or war.
  5. Damages incurred due to electrical or mechanical breakdown.
  6. Damages caused to the motor vehicle by the driver without a driving license or a valid driving license.
  7. Insurance coverage does not include damages due to intoxication or the influence of drugs.
  8. The policy won’t cover damages to the tires, but if the vehicle is also damaged, then only 50% replacement cost will be borne by the Insurance company.

Comprehensive Car Insurance: Summary (100 words)

Buying a car can be a dream come true affair for many Indians. But if your car gets involved in a road accident or has to face any brunt due to traffic indiscipline, the cost one has to bear could be unprecedented. In such cases it is safe to buy car insurance to take care of such costs. Comprehensive car insurance is a planned coverage that protects from the losses and damages met by both parties that are involved in the accident. This article provides a detailed explanation of what Comprehensive car insurance is and its various advantages and disadvantages, pros and cons and what it does not cover.

FAQs on what is comprehensive car insurance

Is comprehensive the same as full coverage?

A comprehensive car insurance policy gives higher coverage than any other insurance policies as it protects from third-party liabilities, own damage cover and personal accident coverage with the option to customize the policy further by selecting the add-ons. But no insurance cover will give full coverage, and comprehensive car insurance too has certain exclusions.

What is the cost of comprehensive insurance?

The cost of comprehensive insurance will depend on the insurer, the car, its age and the add-ons selected. 

What will be covered in comprehensive insurance?

Comprehensive Insurance covers mainly three categories – third-party liability insurance, own-damage insurance and personal accident cover for car drivers. One can also add extra add-ons to get more insurance coverage but must pay additional cost. 

What does comprehensive insurance mean?

Comprehensive Insurance is an all-inclusive insurance coverage for motor vehicles that provide for third-party liabilities as well as own damage coverage and many more add-ons. 

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