Comprehensive vs collision coverage: What’s the difference?

The key thing separating comprehensive and collision coverage is that comprehensive insurance covers your car’s damage not caused by an accident.

Both comprehensive and collision are car insurance coverages that protect your car. While they usually come together, they cover different kinds of damages.

Collision insurance takes care of your car’s damage after an accident, regardless of who’s at fault. 

On the other hand, comprehensive coverage (also known as anything-but-collision) deals with damages that can happen while your car is parked, such as damage from weather, falling items, animals, vandalism, or theft.

Comprehensive vs collision Coverage

Comprehensive and collision insurances are parts of a full-coverage policy that address physical damage to your car. Both coverages can pay for your car’s repairs, but they cover different types of damages.

Collision coverage takes care of damages from accidents, whether it’s a single-car accident or a collision with another car. It can also help with the costs after a hit-and-run.

Comprehensive coverage handles damage not caused by a collision. It covers damage from things like animals, falling objects, floods, hail, fires, riots, vandalism, and theft.

Neither comprehensive nor collision insurance will cover any damage to another driver’s vehicle if you’re at fault. That’s where your liability insurance comes in.

Understanding comprehensive and collision deductibles 

Both types of insurance require you to pay a deductible for each claim. A deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in.

You can set different amounts for your comprehensive and collision deductibles when you’re buying your policy. They’re usually set at $500 or $1,000. 

Try not to set them too high. A higher deductible means lower insurance rates, but a lower deductible means your insurance covers more if you make a claim.

How do comprehensive and collision insurance work? 

When your car is damaged by something covered by your insurance policy, you can make a claim. The insurance will pay for the damage, minus your deductible.

If your car is totaled, you’ll get paid based on your car’s actual cash value. This is the current value of your car, minus depreciation. So, the money you get from a claim will be less than what you paid for the car.

Comparing comprehensive and collision to other insurance types 

Since these coverages don’t cover all damage types, they need to work with other coverages in your policy.

Other parts of your basic insurance policy cover situations like hitting another car, getting injured in a no-fault state, or being hit by an uninsured driver.

When to drop comprehensive and collision coverage? 

Most people should have these coverages, but sometimes it’s not necessary. You can drop them when your car’s value is less than the cost to insure it or the deductible amount.

How much do they cost? 

On average, drivers spent about $43 per month or $518 per year on comprehensive and collision. But the cost can change based on where you live.

Which one is better? 

Neither is better than the other. They cover different types of damage. To fully protect their cars, drivers should get both.

Are they worth it? 

Yes, they’re worth getting. Not having them means you might have to pay a lot to repair or replace your car after an accident.

Is full coverage the same? 

Kind of. Full-coverage car insurance isn’t a separate type of coverage. It means a policy that includes comprehensive and collision insurance.

What doesn’t comprehensive car insurance cover? 

It doesn’t cover damage you do to someone else’s car or their injuries. If you cause an accident, your liability insurance covers the other driver’s injuries and property damage.

Claim Process with Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

If your car suffers damage covered by your insurance, you can file a claim. The insurance will cover repair costs, minus your deductible. 

If your car is totaled, you’ll get a payout based on the car’s current worth, which might be less than its purchase price. These coverages protect you from high unexpected costs if your car gets damaged.

Cost-effectiveness of Comprehensive and Collision Insurance

On average, drivers pay about $43 monthly or $518 annually for comprehensive and collision insurance. Even though these coverages can make your policy costlier, they offer valuable financial safety. 

Without them, you could face high expenses if your car is damaged or stolen. But, the cost of these insurances can change based on where you live and your car’s value. 

If your car’s worth or its insurance cost is nearly equal to or less than your deductible, you might think about not having these coverages.

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