What is collision coverage?

Let's start off with a quick definition of collision insurance: collision insurance is a type of auto insurance that can cover you in the event of a crash or accident with another vehicle or object if your car needs to be repaired. Unlike liability insurance, your collision insurance policy kicks in even if you are found at fault. While this collision coverage definition may sound simple enough, collision insurance can apply to a wide range of accident types. Broadly speaking, collision can potentially apply to the following situations:

  • An accident involving only your car, such as rolling over
  • An accident with another object, such as a phone pole or sidewalk
  • An accident with another vehicle, such as a traffic crash or someone hitting your car while it’s parked on the street

Be aware that collision insurance only reimburses you for damage to your car – not for damage to other vehicles or objects, or for bodily injuries sustained in the accident.

Do I need collision coverage?

You may be thinking to yourself, “I’m a responsible driver. Do I really need collision insurance?” While collision insurance isn’t required by state law, it’s always a smart option – with so much on the road that you can’t control, do you really want to risk paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for damage to your car after an accident? Collision coverage helps you protect your investment, especially when paired with liability and comprehensive coverages. If you are leasing your vehicle or making payments (as opposed to owning your vehicle outright), your finance company may require that you purchase both collision coverage and comprehensive coverages. Check with your auto lender about whether collision coverage is required. Collision coverage is especially important for new drivers, such as teens, who have less experience on the road.

What does collision insurance cover?

You already know that collision coverage applies to vehicular damage as a result of an accident with another car or object, or an accident involving only your car. But every accident is unique – so what exactly does collision cover?

Does collision insurance cover theft?

No. Theft may be covered by your comprehensive insurance coverage.

Does collision insurance cover rental car accidents?

If you have a collision coverage, it may cover you in the event your rental car is damaged. However, rental car insurance coverages vary by state. Be sure to check with your rental provider for specifics around rental insurance coverage.

Does collision insurance cover vandalism?

No, collision coverage will not cover vandalism, but your comprehensive coverage may.

Does collision insurance cover other drivers?

No, collision coverage only applies to damages incurred to the policyholder’s vehicle in the event of a covered collision. If you are found at fault in an accident, your liability insurance may cover damages to the other car.

Does collision insurance cover hit-and-run accidents?

It depends on what kind of hit-and-run it is. If a driver hits your car while it’s parked, your collision policy may cover damages to your car. However, it would not apply to bodily injuries sustained as a result of a hit-and-run accident. Collision insurance covers a wide variety of incidents, and can be a smart addition to your car insurance policy. Find out more about Nationwide collision insurance and get a free quote today.

Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which are controlling. Such terms and availability may vary by state and exclusions may apply.