We’re starting a new blog series, “Coverage with Kate” highlighting insurance basics. 

Today I’m kicking this series off with Comprehensive vs. Collision Insurance.

What’s the difference?

It’s very likely you’ve come across the terms comprehensive and collision insurance.  But, you may not be familiar with the difference between the two and what they mean.  I’ll break it down explaining what they cover with an overview of comprehensive and collision auto insurance to better define the services you receive when you add these to your policy. 

Comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive is a separate coverage from collision, often taking special circumstances into account.  If you accidentally hit a deer it’s considered out of your control-and therefore, covered by comprehensive insurance. 

  • What it covers: incidents that damage your car through no fault of your own, that are beyond your control.  This includes weather-related damage such as hail, vandalism, theft, falling objects, and glass breakage. 
  • What it doesn’t cover: damage directly related to at-fault accidents (that’s where collision insurance comes in). 

Collision Insurance

Collision coverage helps pay to repair your car if it’s damaged in a collision with another vehicle or object. 

  • What it covers: collision insurance will cover your vehicle if you’re in an accident – even if you caused the accident or if you hit a stationary object. 
  • What it doesn’t cover: collision insurance does not pay for damages covered by comprehensive insurance, such as weather damage.  It also will not cover damage to another person’s vehicle or medical costs.  That’s what liability insurance is for. 

Similarities between collision and comprehensive insurance

What they have in common:

  • Neither comprehensive nor collision are required by the state of Pennsylvania.  This is why many drivers carry “liability only” on their insurance policy for their vehicle.  However, if you have a loan on your car your lienholder may require these coverages. 
  • Both coverages will help get your vehicle’s damages repaired. 

Examples of comprehensive damage

  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Weather
  • Fire
  • Animals
  • Falling objects
  • Broken/shattered windshields
  • “Acts of God”

Examples of collision damage

  • You hit a vehicle
  • Another car crashes into your vehicle
  • You crash your car into a tree or fence post

When to drop your collision or comprehensive insurance

If your vehicle is not worth very much you may want to absorb the risk and not carry collision or comprehensive.  However, understand that if you do not carry these coverages and an incident occurs – there will not be any coverage through your insurance to replace your vehicle.  If you don’t drive very much, or you have parked your vehicle in a safe, secure location – we can review options to determine whether your coverages are providing value.  A good rule of thumb is to estimate the actual value of your car, comparing it with the cost of repairing it.  In some cases, a minor accident could “total” your car and having collision/comprehensive might not be worth it to you. 

If you’re not sure which coverages are best for you, or if you’d like the see the direct impact removing these – or adding them – would have on your insurance premium, give me a call today. 

2 Replies to “What is the difference between comprehensive and collision insurance?”

Comments are closed.