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Comprehensive Coverage Vs. Collision Coverage: Do You Need Both?

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Every state has its own legal minimum requirement for auto insurance coverage. In most states, drivers are required to have at least liability insurance coverage. No state requires drivers to have collision or comprehensive coverage. It is important to know that carrying the minimum insurance required, which is liability insurance, is not enough. Some people reason that they drive old cars and that they would be satisfied with only liability insurance. Though it may seem like a sensible thing to avoid both comprehensive and collision insurance in these instances, you may need to get either one of the two coverages. 

Collision Coverage

Collision insurance, as the name implies, protects against vehicular damages that are caused by an automobile collision. If a collision occurs due to contact with another vehicle, an animal or any other object, damages are covered under collision insurance. This type of insurance pays the cost to repair your vehicle, including any damage inflicted on the vehicle’s functionality or appearance. 

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive insurance covers damages to a vehicle due to anything other than collision, and these include vandalism, theft, falling objects, flood, or fire. Essentially, comprehensive coverage will pay for repairs to your vehicle when the damage is not caused by an accident. 


Although it is not mandatory to carry either comprehensive insurance or collision insurance, it is usually a good idea


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to have such policies if they are affordable for you. The main benefit of all insurance policies is that it protects you against catastrophic events, by spreading the risk thinly over a large number of people, and since a lot of the catastrophic events that occur to our society have to do with automobiles, getting such coverage is a wise thing to do. So if something happens to your car, which you rely on to get around, you won’t be stranded. Your insurance company will ensure that you have some kind of transportation, or car to use. 


Comprehensive and collision insurance have several common characteristics that you need to know about. Both of these insurance policies require you to pay monthly or yearly premiums, and you are also provided options for deductibles. For comprehensive and collision coverage, insurance companies determine your rate by calculating the risk they take by providing coverage for you. If you have a clean driving record and drive an inexpensive car, you will be offered low rates. However, if you have many traffic violations on your driving record and you drive a sports or expensive car, your insurance rates will be high. 

Comprehensive vs. Collision Coverage

Some people think comprehensive coverage includes everything, but it is actually only useful in specific circumstances. While comprehensive does cover certain types of damage due to accident, it does not cover the cost of repairs that are due to normal wear and tear.

If you run into an object while driving, comprehensive insurance will not pay for damage, but your collision coverage will pay for it. Collision insurance coverage pays for damages that are as a result of your fault. For example, if you run into a boulder, collision coverage will pay for the damage. However, if a boulder falls on your vehicle, comprehensive coverage will pay for it.


If you are leasing your car instead of purchasing it, the finance institution may require you to get both collision and comprehensive coverage whether you want to do that or not. Additionally, if you drive an expensive vehicle, it’s worth the extra expense to get both types of coverage. Though collision coverage is essential everywhere, some areas necessitate having comprehensive insurance coverage more than others. In areas where there are high crime rates or a high tendency to get floods, it is absolutely necessary to have comprehensive insurance. 

Greg Fowler

Greg Fowler

Managing Member of AutoInsureSavings LLC, Greg has been in the insurance industry for 12 years and enjoys rebuilding vehicles. His goal is to help drivers save on anything related to automobiles. Travel and enjoying the outdoors are some of his hobbies. The best way to reach him is at his Twitter or Facebook Profile.

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