Comprehensive vs Collision Insurance
Do you get comprehensive and collision insurance confused? Don’t worry — many people do. Both comprehensive and collision are types of car insurance that cover damage to your vehicle. But there are some important differences to understand. Let’s take a look at how these coverages help protect your vehicle from the unexpected.
What Are Comprehensive and Collision Car Insurance?
While both coverages help you when your vehicle is damaged the key is understanding how they cover different situations. Comprehensive steps in when your car is damaged from a storm, a theft, hits an animal and other incidents that are beyond your control and typically don’t involve another vehicle. Collision insurance is for those times when your vehicle hits something, like another car or an object.
In a nutshell, comprehensive is used when something other than a car damages your car, while collision is your go-to when your car hits something. Of course there’s more to it than that, so let’s take a closer look at the differences between comprehensive and collision insurance.
What Does Comprehensive Insurance Cover?
Comprehensive car insurance pays for damage caused by accidents that don’t involve colliding with another vehicle or object. For example, comprehensive covers you from:
- Storm damage to your vehicle — whether it’s just cosmetic damage from hail or something more serious, like a tree fell on it.
- Theft and vandalism
- Hitting an animal
Is Comprehensive Car Insurance Required?
Comprehensive insurance isn’t required by any state, but it typically is required by your lender if you have a loan or a lease.
What Does Collision Insurance Cover?
On the other hand, collision car insurance helps cover damage to your vehicle if it was in an accident with another vehicle or an object. It also kicks in whether you were at-fault or not. Here are some example of how collision insurance protects your vehicle:
- If your vehicle is hit by another driver
- If you hit an object like a mailbox or a tree
- If you slide on black ice and end up in a rollover
In these situations, collision coverage will help with the out-of-pocket expenses of repairing or replacing your car. It doesn’t cover medical expenses or damage to other vehicles. That’s what medical expense coverage and damage liability coverage are for.
Like comprehensive insurance, collision isn’t required by any state but it’s often required by the lender if you have a lease or loan.
Our at-a-glance chart demonstrates when collision insurance kicks in or your comprehensive insurance plays a part.