Comprehensive and Collision Coverage
Comprehensive and collision auto insurance is coverage is only required if by terms of automobile leases. Both comprehensive and collision car insurance pay for damage to your vehicle. Collision coverage covers vehicle damage while driving, and comprehensive covers damage from vandalism, theft, and acts of god. Comprehensive and collision coverage rates are higher than liability coverage. Find out comprehensive and collision coverage for your vehicle by reading on.
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UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021
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Comprehensive and collision automobile insurance are two of the most important auto insurance coverage options which are not required by state law to be included in any driver’s automotive insurance policy. This is more than a little strange, seeing as how the vast majority of filed claims, in one way or another, could be financially covered by Collision or Comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive and collision coverage are basically two types of insurance that apply to physical damage to your vehicle. The main difference is that comprehensive covers damage to your car that happens when you (or other approved drivers) aren’t using it — when a tree falls on it during a storm or a thief breaks in and steals the stereo. Collision applies when someone is driving the car and the car is damaged — like when you hit a tree or are in an accident.
Read on to learn more about these two types of coverage, and if you want quotes for collision or comprehensive coverage you can use our FREE search tool to compare rates.
How to Get Comprehensive and Collision Coverage
Some states will give you the option to purchase comprehensive coverage without getting collision insurance, but you won’t be able to get collision coverage without comprehensive insurance.
Regardless, because these coverages protect drivers from so many different situations, purchasing both is usually the best option. And in certain circumstances, just because your state doesn’t require comprehensive and collision insurance, doesn’t mean you won’t have to buy it. Leased vehicles, or new vehicles that are financed by a bank loan, may also require you to purchase these types of coverage.
Collision automobile insurance generally protects you against the eponymous “collision damage”. If you are found culpable in an accident and your vehicle and/or someone else’s property sustain damage, your collision coverage might end up paying out the claim. Situations where this type of insurance kicks in include (but aren’t limited to):
- Accidents between two drivers
- Accidents that involve your automobile hitting an object or structure (poles, fire hydrants, trees, etc)
- Hit-and-run accidents
Comprehensive automobile insurance insulates you from almost any sort of random, unexpected, or otherwise non-avoidable circumstances. To give you an idea of what might be covered under a policy that has Comprehensive coverage, the following are usually common instances in which comprehensive insurance protects you:
- Tornado, flood, or other types of weather damage
- Theft and/or vandalism
- Fire damage, water damage, or acts of God
Comprehensive insurance is even more important if you live in one of the cities with the highest vehicle theft rates. Because there are a large and disproportionate number of vehicle thefts, insurance rates are likely a lot higher than if they didn’t have a large number of thefts.
Buying comprehensive insurance means that your car is covered if a thief steals it, after your deductible of course.
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Comprehensive and Collision Automobile Insurance Coverage – Specificity and Selection
Comprehensive and collision insurance coverage works a little bit differently than the other coverages on your policy. For starters, both types come with a mandatory payment called a “deductible”. In the event that you have to file a claim and your insurance company agrees to pay out that claim, you will first be required to contribute to the overall cost by paying your deductible to your insurance company.
This is different from your auto insurance rate because you only pay a deductible if your insurance company accepts the claim. It is a one-time payment per claim, whereas your monthly rate is mandatory each month to keep your policy current. Deductibles usually come in amounts of either $250, $500, or $1,000. But different companies in different areas might be more flexible with your deductible amount.
After this deductible is paid out of pocket by you, the insurance will reimburse you for the damages up to the fair market value of your car at the time of the accident. But if your vehicle has depreciated in value over time, there might be a “gap” in price between the fair market value of your vehicle, and the actual cost to fix or replace it. This is why many drivers also purchase GAP insurance — just in case the gap left by Comprehensive and Collision is too expensive to handle.
Changing Your Deductible to Save on Comprehensive and Collision Auto Insurance
You have a great deal of control over how high or low your deductible is. If you haven’t done so already, you might want to contact your insurance agent and discuss it. Drivers with a clean record who are at the lowest risk of getting into an accident can raise their deductible and save a considerable amount of money by lowering their monthly rates. However, if the worst does happen, you will have a hefty deductible bill to pay before you can get back on the road.
As a rule of thumb, if your comprehensive and collision are costing you more than 10 percent of your car’s market value, you’re probably paying a bit too much. You might want to think about eliminating the coverage from your policy — but just understand that there could be potentially expensive consequences if you do.