D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Feb 25, 2021

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Just the Basics

  • Collision car insurance covers damages to your car if you are in an accident
  • Comprehensive auto insurance covers damages to your car not resulting from an accident, such as vandalism, theft, hail, fire, or flood
  • Full coverage car insurance includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages

When it comes to collision vs. comprehensive car insurance coverage, at first glance they seem similar.

Although both collision and comprehensive insurance cover damages to your vehicle, the situations that the coverage comes into play are very different.

How much insurance do I need for my car? Well, that will vary based on many different factors, including if you have a new or older car.

If you are looking for affordable car insurance with collision or comprehensive coverage, shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal.

Enter your ZIP code now to compare collision vs. comprehensive car insurance rates.

What does collision insurance cover?

What is collision insurance? Collision coverage helps pay for damages resulting from an accident where your vehicle hits another car or an object such as a tree, guardrail, or fence.

Some instances where damages are covered are:

  • Single car rollover
  • Collision with another car
  • Collision with an object like a fence
  • Damages from potholes

Collision coverage will pay to repair or replace your vehicle. You will have a collision deductible and limits to how much your payout is.

The average cost of collision insurance is around $12.56 a month. This is very cheap when you consider how much it would cost to fix your car if you are in an accident.

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What does comprehensive insurance cover?

What is comprehensive insurance? Comprehensive car insurance covers damages to your car that aren’t from an accident.

Here is a list of some of the damages that are covered by comprehensive coverage:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Flood
  • Hail
  • Falling debris
  • Riot
  • Hurricane and tornado
  • Damage from animals, like squirrels
  • Repair or replace a windshield

For example, if a tree limb falls on your car, your comprehensive coverage would pay for the damages. However, if you drove your car into a tree, comprehensive would not cover those damages.

Just like with your liability and collision coverages, you will have a comprehensive deductible and coverage limits. Comprehensive coverage is about $11.57 a month.

Do you need both collision and comprehensive car insurance?

While collision and comprehensive coverages are not required by states, they are a good idea. Although these two coverages get lumped together, they are not the same thing and comprehensive vs collision cover very different damages.

For example, you might buy collision vs. comprehensive car insurance if you are more worried about accidents than theft.

When it comes to which one is more affordable, collision vs. comprehensive car insurance rates are very similar.

Also keep in mind, that if you purchase a new car, your lender can require you to carry these coverages. However, if you own an older car that isn’t very expensive, you can skip these coverages.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, four out of five drivers choose to carry both collision and comprehensive coverages. A car is a big purchase, and these coverages ensure you can make repairs or replace your vehicle.

These coverages make sense for drivers who have a newer car, live in a high-risk area for crime or natural disasters, and drive often.

When you compare collision vs. comprehensive auto insurance rates, consider carefully what each coverage provides.

Enter your ZIP code now to compare collision vs. comprehensive car insurance quotes.