Comprehensive Car Insurance or Collision Coverage: What’s the Difference

April 29, 2016

Determining the difference between collision coverage and comprehensive car insurance can be difficult. The terms sound similar and what they cover isn’t intuitive based on the name alone. Comparenow.com will help you better understand these types of coverage so you know exactly what kind of coverage you need to cover common car insurance situations.

What Is Collision Coverage?

Collision coverage or comprehensive coverageCollision coverage is designed to insure your vehicle against damage done (to your vehicle, or, depending on the details of your policy, your vehicle or a non-owned/ rental vehicle) in the event your car overturns or collides with another object or another vehicle. This type of coverage is designed to help you pay for damages to the vehicle you are driving. Liability coverage pays for damage you do to other vehicles and property in accidents in which you are at fault.

Collision coverage for your car helps you pay for costly repairs or body work in the event you are involved in an accident. However, Collision insurance won’t pay for all damages to your car. Damage to your car from wind, rain, fire, floods, and theft are not covered under collision. That’s where comprehensive car insurance coverage comes in.

Collision coverage for your car helps you pay for costly repairs or body work in the event you are involved in an accident. However, Collision insurance won’t pay for all damages to your car. Damage to your car from wind, rain, fire, floods, and theft are not covered under collision. That’s where comprehensive car insurance coverage comes in.

Comprehensive car insurance Picks Up Where Collision Leaves Off

Damage resulting from fire, floods, and debris from severe storms, as well as impacts with animals such as deer, are the kinds of damage typically covered under comprehensive car insurance. These are sometimes referred to by auto insurance providers as “Acts of God” in your policy contract. This coverage is designed to cover the cost of repairs or replacement needed should your vehicle be damaged by any of these events.

Are Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Required by Law?

In short, no, you are not required by law to carry comprehensive insurance or collision insurance. However, if you have purchased a new car or are leasing one, your lien holder may require that you carry these coverages as part of the terms of your agreement with them. Additionally, both forms of insurance help you to pay for damage to your vehicle in the event that something happens to it, which can be helpful as auto repairs can be expensive, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Consult your current car insurance policy to determine your current coverage levels, or contact your agent to learn more.

These Coverages Affect Your Car Insurance Premium

The types of coverages and the limits you set for each type of coverage affect how much you pay in car insurance premiums each month. Changing the limits of your coverage or removing coverage altogether can result in a lower car insurance payment. Be advised, this can also have negative consequences. To learn more about other options for lowering car insurance payments, read our guide on how to reduce car insurance premiums.


Learn More About Auto Insurance

When it comes to auto insurance, there are a lot of variables, a lot of unfamiliar terms, and a whole lot of peculiarities – particularly when you consider that each state has its own insurance market. Our Auto Insurance Explainers can help sort it out for you, and make more educated decisions about your car insurance.

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