What is The Difference Between Collision and Comprehensive Auto Coverage?

Staying current with your car insurance is one thing, but choosing the right type of insurance for your needs is another. Whether you have a new car or looking for new coverage, you need to be clear on whether you will need comprehensive and collision insurance. Understanding your needs and the many options available is the first step.  

Comprehensive and collision are the basic types of coverage options for physical damage to your automobile. When reviewing the coverage options and determining comprehensive vs collision, having the right type of insurance will help minimize any repair costs and also keep your car free of damage. The damage can include minor fender benders and accidental dents to major damage caused by yourself or another party.

There are many types of coverages in both standard and basic policies. The comprehensive vs collision coverage is an important consideration. Whether you have purchased a new car or reviewing your coverage, understanding the difference between comprehensive and collision auto coverage is important.

Both play an important role in keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape. Compare the two types of coverage to help determine what you need to protect your vehicle.

comprehensive and collision

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage is quite possibly the most important of the two coverage options when considering comprehensive vs collision insurance. Collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle when involved in a collision with another vehicle. Coverage can be full replacement or just repairs.  Collision insurance coverage pays for damage caused to your vehicle in a motor vehicle accident, when you are “at fault”. A standard collision automobile insurance policy will pay for any repairs up to the fair market value of your car.

Collision Coverage will pay for damage to your vehicle as a result of collision with another car or object. This is damage that you cause to your automobile. Collision coverage also allows for you to make a claim under your own collision coverage for damage to your car that you did not cause.  Often times this is a quicker process than making a property damage liability claim against a driver who may have caused the car accident.

To purchase collision insurance you will also need to purchase basic coverage. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly payment will be. This can be a low-cost way to get coverage. But it is necessary to take a close look at the monthly rates compared to deductible amount and see where your comfort levels lies.

Accident damages are covered with collision insurance, regardless of fault. To make a claim, your deductible will need to be paid, then your insurance coverage will pay the outstanding costs of repairs, or even for the replacement of your vehicle. The higher the deductible you’re willing to pay, the less you will pay in monthly insurance policy costs.

Collision insurance coverage is not required by law in any state. However, if you’re driving a car purchased from a dealership or financed through a lender, you may be required to carry collision insurance. Collision coverage is possibly the most important of the two options. It can only be purchased when combined with liability and comprehensive options.

  • Damage is always greater when in motion than when stationary.
  • Collision insurance covers instances when two vehicles collide, this could also be when reversing.
  • Collision covers your automobile when you hit ice and slide into a non-moving object.
  • Damaged caused by potholes, car rollovers, are covered
  • Collision coverage can get expensive, so you may want to consider a deductible of$500 or more.

comprehensive vs collision

What is Comprehensive?

There are instances when comprehensive insurance covers circumstances that are not covered by collision insurance. The main difference when considering comprehensive vs collision is that comprehensive covers damage caused to your vehicle caused by any unknown party or “act of God”.

Comprehensive insurance will protect your vehicle against physical damage that is not the result of a collision. It covers you should you hit something while driving. The damage in this case can occur when hitting another vehicle or perhaps a tree, light post, garage entrance, vandalism, fire and even a broken windshield. It will also pay if you collide with an animal.  

Specific items covered under comprehensive insurance i.e. when your car is not moving:

  • Vandalism or your car is stolen
  • Damage caused by fire or other natural disaster, storm damage including wind, hail, and flood
  • Your vehicle collides with an animal
  • A tree or other object falls on your car

How to Decide Between Comprehensive vs Collision

Knowing the value of your car is the first step. If your auto is new or has a high value you may want to consider comprehensive. This could save you from paying out-of-pocket when the unforeseen accident happens.

  • Risk Factors — Do you drive frequently, or long distances? The more you drive the higher your risk of an accident.
  • Your financial situation — Can you afford to pay for repair or replacement costs if involved in an accident.  Often you will find a reasonably priced coverage with a low deductible.

Some people may consider the best coverage to be the cheapest coverage, the cheapest car insurance policy that makes them able to legally drive on the road. Others may prefer a coverage that covers the full cost of repairs on their vehicle.

If you want total piece of mind and be fully covered for any damage to your auto and property, consider both comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. Each coverage has its own job to do.

Comprehensive insurance often costs less than collision insurance, and as a result claims are a little more common because more people carry comprehensive coverage on their vehicles. It is the cheaper of the two types of physical damage coverage.

When selecting the best coverage for your vehicle, be clear on the cost of coverage compared to vehicle’s value and potential repair costs.  If you know you have the ability to cover the damages out-of-pocket, you may want to consider reducing coverage.

Your collision and comprehensive automobile insurance policies are two places where it can be pretty easy to cut costs. You might have heard that having comprehensive and collision will give you full coverage. However, this can be deceiving. Collision and comprehensive cover many situations, but they do not cover everything.