Together, these two common types of auto insurance offer you protection when your vehicle is damaged. The type of damage they cover, however, is very different. Let’s begin with a description of each:
- Collision Insurance covers damage to your vehicle in the event of a covered accident involving a collision with another vehicle. This may include repairs or a full replacement of your covered vehicle.
- Comprehensive car insurance pays for damage to your vehicle caused by covered events such as theft, vandalism or hail, which are not collision-related. So, what's really the difference between comprehensive vs collision insurance? It comes down to how your car was damaged. If you hit another car or a stationary object like a telephone pole (or if you roll over), you’ll be covered by collision insurance. If an animal or a non-stationary object such as a falling tree hits your car or it’s damaged by vandalism, fire or a natural disaster, you’ll be covered by comprehensive insurance.
- Your car hits an object, such as a tree
- Your car collides with another vehicle
- Your car rolls over
- Your car is damaged due to hitting a pothole
- An object falls on your car, such as a tree
- An animal collides with your car
- Your car is damaged due to fire or natural disaster
- Your car is vandalized or stolen
Why get comprehensive insurance
Simply put: accidents happen. No matter how cautious you are behind the wheel, you can’t always control what happens to your car. Sometimes you have to park outside, and a strong storm hits out of nowhere. Sometimes you have to drive a dark country road, and a deer jumps into your vehicle. You can’t control these things, but you can prepare for them by purchasing comprehensive auto insurance.
Why get collision insurance
Even when you’re cool and composed behind the wheel, you still can’t control the vehicles around you. Collisions can happen to even the safest drivers. That’s why every driver should be ready with collision insurance. Collision insurance will help pay the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle even if you’ve gotten into an accident with a driver who does not have insurance.1
Factors to consider
You may be wondering if having both types of coverage is necessary. In order to determine if you need collision insurance and comprehensive insurance, consider the following:
The value of your car
The higher your car’s value, the more expensive it is to repair or replace! Purchasing comprehensive and collision coverage can protect you from having to pay those costs out of pocket.
Risk of an accident
If you drive more, especially on roads with a higher volume of traffic, then you may be more likely to get into an accident. If your risk is higher, you’ll want to make sure you’re protected with collision insurance.
Your current savings
Do you have sufficient savings to pay the cost of repairing or replacing your car out of pocket? If not, then purchasing coverage is imperative.
Some locations are more hazardous than others! If your area has more reports of vehicle damage due to fallen branches or animals crossing the road, then purchasing a comprehensive auto insurance policy may be a good idea.
Do I need comprehensive and collision insurance?
Anyone who owns a car would be wise to have comprehensive and collision insurance. In some cases, a car owner who rarely drives or lives in an area with incredibly low risk of damage might be able to get by without incident, but accidents happen in even the safest places. Having comprehensive and collision coverage is especially important for drivers who live in more hazardous areas. For example, if you live in Montana, ranked the least safe state to drive in for 2022 by WalletHub, then comprehensive and collision are must-haves.2 Drivers with high-value cars who drive longer distances should also seriously consider both coverages, as should anyone whose financial situation would not allow for surprise costs like vehicle repair and replacement.
Learn more about liability insurance and get help deciding the right auto coverage for you with these car insurance resources.
2https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-states-to-drive-in/43012, Accessed February 2022.