I don't know how it works in the US, but over here in the UK fully comprehensive insurance is cheaper than TPFT, at least for a 40-year-old with a clean licence and full no-claims discount. I also get glass cover and legal assistance. If I price up TPFT it's about 100 quid a year more expensive, presumably because the sort of people who chuck fully comp on it are less of a risk.
When I lived up north, I got about £120 off my car insurance simply because I had a shotgun licence.
I pay $600/yr for maximum coverage including $500 deductible, $0 deductible glass and free rental car. I'm very risk averse and very OCD so if someone damaged my car and took off, I'd want it fixed.
In my case it is only a waste of money that will never be recovered if nothing happens over the course of 5 years. However, the piece of mind that I have is worth the increased cost of full coverage. Ultimately it's a value decision only you can make.
Here in OZ the cost of third party (insuring the other vehicle only) which is a legal requirement is not much cheaper than "fully comprehensive "so I always opt for full cover. As Nico said peace of mind for not only if some uninsured looney (which we have our share) runs into you but a fire which we have seen a few recently. But as you say all insurance is lost money......like gambling really.
if your driving history is clean with zero accidents or zero accidents going back many many years your only risk is a mathematical outlier. someone else acting stupid and damaging your car. depending upon where you live and drive.......ie: high traffic areas versus rural areas your risk of an outlier event rises or falls.
ergo, if your record is clean or clean enough for a long time and you live in a low traffic density area with statistically average or below average car accidents per 000 drivers you are likely wasting your money.
do the math and decide for yourself if over 5-6 years time the extra cost exceeds the purchase of another p38 (6 years from now) should yours get wrecked. if it does then its money down the drain.
It all depends on how much you will save by going for reduced cover. As Gordon has already pointed out, in the UK comprehensive insurance costs are no more, or only marginally more, expensive than Third Party or Third Party Fire and Theft. The additional benefits given with comprehensive also make life easier. Inclusive glass cover being one. You only need on big stone chip that turns into a cracked windscreen and the extra you've paid on your insurance easily covers the £500+ that a new heated windscreen will cost on a P38.
There's also the convenience. Presumably it is the same or similar in the US to here but an example that happened to my wife a few years ago makes a perfect case for comprehensive. She had a cheap car (an old 3 series BMW that we'd paid under £500 for) so had gone for the minimum insurance cover on it. Taking our daughter to school one morning and someone ran into the back of her at a junction. Damage to her car was light but the damage to the front of the other car looked far worse (modern car with lots of plastic versus a steel bumper and back panel on an old Beemer....). As she had third party cover she had to take the car to 3 different bodyshops to get a quote and then send those quotes in to the insurance company. While getting one quote she found the woman that had ran into her who was there to collect her car after it had been repaired. With comprehensive she had simply called the insurance company who had arranged for an approved bodyshop to collect the car, supply her with a hire car and get her car repaired. That was it, all taken care of. In comparison, my wife had to get the quotes, send them in, wait for someone to decide where it should go to be repaired, take it in, arrange her own hire car, pay for the hire car and then, once everything was sorted out, pay the difference between what was paid to the bodyshop by the insurance company and the total bill (as her policy had an excess on it), claim back the cost of the hire car and the excess which had to be passed onto the other drivers insurers for them to deal with. In total, it was 11 months before she got everything that she had paid out refunded. So, comprehensive may cost slightly more but for the convenience alone if you happen to be involved in a no fault accident, it is worth it to save the aggravation.
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