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Collision and comprehensive insurance are two important types of auto insurance that provide coverage for damage to your own vehicle.

  • Collision insurance pays to repair or replace your car if it's damaged in an accident you cause.

  • Comprehensive insurance covers damage from theft, vandalism, weather, fire, animals, and other non-collision incidents.

Comprehensive and Collision Insurance are both great coverage options for your car, however, you must know what do they cover and what not

Insurance TypeWhat's Covered
CollisionAccidents you cause
ComprehensiveTheft, weather, animals

They work alongside liability insurance to give you complete protection. Both have deductibles you pay before coverage kicks in.

Collision Insurance Coverage

Collision insurance pays to repair or replace your vehicle if it's damaged in an accident you cause. Here's what's covered:

  • Damage to your car if you crash into another vehicle
  • Damage if you hit a stationary object like a tree, pole, or guardrail
  • Damage if you roll or flip your car
  • Damage if someone else hits your car

Collision coverage will pay regardless of who is at fault in the accident. After you pay your deductible, your insurer will cover the remaining repair costs or pay the actual cash value of your totaled car.

Collision does not pay for damage from wear and tear, mechanical failure, or criminal acts like evading police. Custom equipment and electronics may not be covered either.

Collision insurance is optional in every state. But it's required if you have an auto loan or lease. It protects the lender's asset if your car is totaled.

Average Collision Premiums and Claims

  • Average premium: $378 per year
  • Average claim: $4,412

When to File a Collision Claim

File a collision claim if you damage your car in:

  • An at-fault accident
  • A hit-and-run accident
  • An accident caused by weather like ice or snow
  • Crashing into an animal like a deer

You can also file a collision claim if someone else hits you. This may be easier than going through the other person's insurance.

Collision Deductibles

Deductibles typically range from $250 to $1,000. With higher deductibles, your premiums are lower but you pay more out-of-pocket per claim.

Collision Coverage Limits

The max payout is the actual cash value of your car before the accident, minus deductible. Total loss thresholds vary by state, but are often around 75% of the car's pre-accident value.

Collision insurance is critical protection for your vehicle from damage in an at-fault accident. It also provides coverage if your car is hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

Comprehensive insurance provides protection if your vehicle is damaged or stolen from non-collision causes. Here's what comprehensive covers:

  • Theft of your entire car
  • Vandalism or damage from riots
  • Glass damage (windshield, sunroof, etc.)
  • Fire damage
  • Flood damage
  • Fallen tree damage
  • Animal collisions like striking a deer
  • Explosions
  • Natural disasters like hail, tornadoes, hurricanes

After your deductible, comprehensive coverage pays for repairs or the actual cash value of your car if it's totaled.

Comprehensive does not cover mechanical failure, wear and tear, war, or car contents stolen from your vehicle. Custom equipment may not be covered either.

Average Comprehensive Premiums and Claims

  • Average premium: $168 per year
  • Average claim: $1,359

When to File a Comprehensive Claim

File a comprehensive claim for:

  • Theft of car, parts, or damage during theft
  • Vandalism, riots, civil unrest
  • Weather damage (hail, flood)
  • Fire
  • Falling objects
  • Animal collisions

Comprehensive Deductibles

Like collision, deductibles usually range from $250 to $1,000. Higher deductibles lower your premiums but increase out-of-pocket costs per claim.

Comprehensive Coverage Limits

Max payout is your car's actual cash value before the incident, minus deductible. If repair costs exceed the car's value, it's considered a total loss.

Comprehensive insurance is critical if you want coverage for damage or theft not caused by a collision. It provides essential protection alongside collision and liability coverage.

Difference Between Collision and Comprehensive

While both provide important protection for your vehicle, there are key differences between collision and comprehensive insurance:

  • Collision covers accident damage you cause, while comprehensive covers non-accident damage from things like weather, theft, vandalism.

  • Collision pays if you hit another vehicle or object. Comprehensive pays if your car is stolen, damaged by falling tree, flooded, etc.

  • Collision covers damage from flipping/rolling your car. Comprehensive covers damage from civil unrest like riots.

  • Collision pays if an uninsured driver hits you. Comprehensive pays if a thief steals parts from your car.

Situations Covered:

Collision Comprehensive
You back into a pole Hail storm damage
Slide on ice into guardrail Fire burns your car
Hit a deer Car is flooded
Rear-ended at stop sign Thief steals your car

Average Costs:

  • Collision premiums are higher, around $378/year.
  • Comprehensive averages $168/year.

Claim Sizes:

  • Collision claims average $4,412
  • Comprehensive claims average $1,359

Deductibles for both typically range from $250 to $1,000

Maximum payout for both is actual cash value of car before incident, minus deductible

While collision and comprehensive work differently, together they provide critical protection for your vehicle from damage. Most auto insurance experts recommend carrying both if possible.

When to File Collision vs. Comprehensive Claims

Knowing when to file a collision claim versus a comprehensive claim can be confusing. Here are some guidelines:

File a Collision Claim if:

  • You cause an accident that damages your car
  • An uninsured driver hits your vehicle
  • You hit an animal, object, or another car
  • Your car flips or rolls over
  • You slide on ice or hydroplane into an object

File a Comprehensive Claim if:

  • Your car is stolen or car parts are stolen
  • Vandals damage your car
  • A tree or other object falls on your car
  • Your car is damaged by fire, flood, hail, etc.
  • You hit a deer or other animal

Unsure if Collision or Comprehensive?

Situation Type of Claim
You back into a pole Collision
Tree branch falls on your car Comprehensive
Theft of personal items from your car Neither (check homeowners/renters insurance)
Mechanical failure from normal use Neither (not covered)

Tips for Claims

  • Contact your insurance agent or company's claims hotline
  • Document damage with photos
  • Get a police report for vandalism or theft
  • Keep receipts for temporary repairs, rental cars, etc.
  • Your insurer will send an adjuster to inspect damage

Settling the Claim

  • Insurer will decide to repair or total your car
  • You'll receive a check for repairs or actual cash value minus deductible
  • If totaled, your insurer keeps the car and you get the check

Knowing whether to file a collision or comprehensive claim ensures fast and fair settlement of your vehicle damage. Contact your agent or insurer right away if you need to start the claims process.

Cost of Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

Collision and comprehensive insurance provide important protection for your vehicle, but add cost to your auto insurance premiums. Here's an overview of what impacts the price:

Factors that Increase Costs

  • Newer car (more expensive to repair/replace)
  • Sports car or luxury vehicle
  • High-theft area
  • Areas with weather risks like hail or flooding
  • Higher deductible decreases premiums
  • Poor driving record increases premiums
  • Young drivers pay more

Average Annual Premiums

  • Collision: $378
  • Comprehensive: $168

By State: Rates vary significantly by state

State Collision Comprehensive
California $483 $94
Florida $361 $149
New York $457 $180
Texas $442 $269

By Deductible: Choosing a higher deductible saves on premiums

Deductible Collision Comprehensive
$250 $550 $195
$500 $378 $168
$1,000 $342 $149

Discounts to Lower Rates

  • Multi-policy discounts
  • Good driver discounts
  • Anti-theft devices
  • Defensive driver training
  • Good student discounts
  • Paying premium in full

Collision and comprehensive insurance protect your vehicle but come at a cost. Compare rates to find the best price and look for available discounts to save on premiums.

When Collision and Comprehensive Are Required

Collision and comprehensive insurance are optional coverages, but you may be required to carry them in certain situations:

Auto Loans and Leases

If you have an outstanding auto loan or lease, the lender or leasing company will require you to carry:

  • Collision coverage - To protect their asset if you total the car
  • Comprehensive coverage - In case the vehicle is stolen

This ensures the financier's interest is protected if the vehicle is damaged. Required coverage levels:

  • Typically $500 or lower deductible
  • Coverage for the full replacement cost of the vehicle
  • Maximum of $1,000 deductible allowed on a lease

Rental Cars

Rental car companies require renters to carry:

  • Liability insurance - To cover injury or damage to others
  • Collision coverage - For damage to the rental car

This can be satisfied through your own auto policy or purchased through the rental company.

New Car Incentives

New car incentives like rebates sometimes require you to maintain:

  • Collision and comprehensive - For a specified time period after purchase
  • A maximum deductible amount (e.g. $500 or $750 limit)

High-Risk Situations

Your insurer may require collision and comprehensive if:

  • You have a poor driving record
  • Your car is high-risk or expensive to insure
  • You live in an area with increased risk of theft or weather damage

When financing or leasing a vehicle or renting a car, collision and comprehensive are often mandatory to protect the interest of the lienholder. Make sure to ask about specific requirements.

Maximum Payout Amounts

Both collision and comprehensive insurance have limits on the maximum claim payout you can receive:

The limit is the actual cash value (ACV) of your vehicle before the incident occurred, minus your deductible.

  • ACV is the current market value accounting for age, wear and tear
  • Your insurer will research your car's value using valuation sources
  • The max payout will never exceed this pre-loss ACV

Total Loss Thresholds

If repair costs exceed a certain percentage of the ACV, your car will be considered a total loss:

  • Varies by state but often around 70-75% of ACV
  • Other factors like age and condition come into play

Example Claim Payout

Your car's ACV before an accident is $15,000

  • You have a $1,000 deductible
  • Repairs will cost $12,000
  • Repairs exceed ~75% of ACV
  • Your car is considered a total loss

Your max claim payout would be:

  • ACV of vehicle: $15,000
  • Minus deductible: -$1,000
  • Total claim payment = $14,000

You would not get the full $15,000 in this scenario.

Other Limits

  • Custom/extra equipment may have lower limits if not on original policy
  • Modified or customized vehicles also have lower maximums

Important Notes on Max Payouts

  • Get guaranteed value coverage if you want replacement cost
  • Know your car's value when selecting a deductible
  • Higher deductibles can save on premiums

While extremely comprehensive, collision and comprehensive payouts are capped at your car's pre-loss value minus your deductible to prevent overpayment.

What is Not Covered by Collision and Comprehensive

While collision and comprehensive insurance cover a wide range of damage, some situations are excluded:

Exclusions for Both:

  • Normal wear and tear
  • Mechanical or electrical breakdowns
  • Damage from radioactive contamination
  • Illegal acts (e.g. driving under the influence)
  • Carrying passengers for hire or commercial use
  • Racing or track use

Additional Collision Exclusions:

  • Damage caused intentionally by driver
  • Damage caused by driver using car without permission

Additional Comprehensive Exclusions:

  • Losses due to war or nuclear hazard
  • Items stolen from inside the vehicle

Losses Not Covered by Either:

Type of Loss Example Reason for Exclusion
Regular maintenance Oil changes, new tires Wear and tear
Mechanical failure Engine blowout, transmission Mechanical breakdown
Unauthorized driving Joyriding, underage driver Illegal use
Unlisted equipment Aftermarket stereo, wheels Not on policy
Personal items Laptop, wallet, phone Covered by homeowners/renters insurance

Tips to Get Items Covered

  • Add custom equipment to your policy
  • Purchase separate coverage for expensive electronics
  • Review exclusions before a trip or driving teenagers

While collision and comprehensive cover a lot, they do not cover every situation. Review exclusions and get written confirmation for expensive equipment or modifications.

Conclusion - Collision Not Covered Under Comprehensive

In conclusion, collision damage is not covered under a standard comprehensive auto insurance policy.

  • Collision covers accidents you cause
  • Comprehensive covers theft, vandalism, weather, etc.

Collision pays for damage from:

  • You hitting another car or object
  • Flipping or rolling your vehicle
  • Sliding on ice into a guardrail

Comprehensive does NOT cover collision damage.

To be fully protected, carry both:

  • Collision for accident damage
  • Comprehensive for non-collision damage

Together with liability insurance, they provide complete coverage for your vehicle. Consult your insurer or agent to ensure you have the right insurance protection.


Q: What is the difference between collision and comprehensive insurance?

A: Collision insurance covers damages to your vehicle caused by a collision with another vehicle or object, while comprehensive insurance covers damages caused by non-collision events, such as natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and animal collisions.

Q: Do I need both collision and comprehensive insurance?

A: No, collision and comprehensive insurance are optional coverages that you can add to your auto insurance policy. Whether you need one or both depends on your individual circumstances, such as the age and value of your vehicle, your driving habits, and your risk tolerance.

Q: Does comprehensive insurance cover collision damage?

A: No, comprehensive insurance doesn't cover damages caused by a collision with another vehicle or object. However, some non-collision events that are covered by comprehensive insurance may also cause collision damage, such as falling objects or animal collisions.

Q: Is collision insurance more expensive than comprehensive insurance?

A: Based on the National Association of Insurance Commissiones website, on average, Collision Insurance costs $380 per year, and Comprehensive Insurance costs $180 per year.

Q: What is the deductible for collision and comprehensive insurance?

A: When you buy Collision and Comprheensive Insurance for your car, you have ot set the amount of deductibles. That amount of money will be deduced from your car insurer’s check.

Q: Should I file a claim for minor damages?

A: My personal experience about minor damages is this: is better do not file a claim for minor damages becuase

1st. Your premiums will increase,

2nd. Your only have to pay a couple of hundreds to fix it, and it won’t even surpass your deductibles.

Other readers were also interested in the following posts:

is better to have comprehensive or collision cover: discover the real difference

What is Fully Comprehensive Car Insurance?

What is another term for comprehensive coverage?  

Does comprehensive cover own damage?

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