Collision vs. Comprehensive Coverage

Buying collision vs. comprehensive insurance (or both) is an important decision when choosing your car insurance coverage. Collision insurance covers damages that result from an accident or collision, while comprehensive car insurance covers damages from non-collision incidents like weather and vandalism. Average comprehensive coverage rates are $160.74/year and $13.40/month, while collision coverage rates average $305.45/year and $25.45/month.

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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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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Feb 17, 2021

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The Highlights

  • Collision coverage pays to repair damage to your car if you’re in an accident
  • Comprehensive coverage protects you if your vehicle is damaged in something other than a collision
  • Collision and comprehensive coverage are not required by law, but if your vehicle is financed, your lender may require you to buy these coverages as a part of the terms of your contract

You know there are several different insurance coverage types. But when you’re ready to compare car insurance quotes, you need to know more than just the basics. For example, you’re looking at comprehensive and collision coverage. Should you get both? Just one? If so, which? Is it required? What is comprehensive insurance? Read this article for answers to your collision vs. comprehensive insurance questions.

Wondering whether you should buy collision or comprehensive car insurance coverage? Compare collision vs. comprehensive car insurance coverage quotes using your ZIP code in the free tool on this page.

Collision vs. Comprehensive Coverage: What’s the difference?

What is collision insurance? The collision insurance definition is exactly what it sounds like, coverage if you’re in a collision. What is comprehensive coverage? Comprehensive car insurance covers damages to your vehicle that do not involve a collision.

Neither of these coverage types is required by state law, but if you’ve financed your vehicle, there’s a good chance your lender will require one or both coverage types.

What does collision insurance cover?

  • Damages resulting from a collision with an object (ex. a tree)
  • Damages resulting from a collision with another vehicle
  • Damages resulting from your car rolling over
  • Damages resulting from your car hitting a pothole

What does comprehensive insurance cover?

  • Damages resulting from an object falling on your car (ex. a tree)
  • Damages resulting from an animal hitting your car
  • Damages resulting from a fire or natural disaster
  • Damages resulting from vandalism or theft

So how much do these coverages cost? Keep reading to find out.

How much does comprehensive and collision coverage cost?

Average rates for comprehensive and collision coverage will vary based on a number of factors including where you live, your driving record, your age, and more. But to give you an idea of what you could pay, take a look at this table for the national average rates.

National Average Annual and Monthly Rates for Collision vs. Comprehensive Coverage
Coverage TypeNational Average Annual Car Insurance RatesNational Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates
Comprehensive Insurance$160.74$13.40
Collision Insurance$305.45$25.45
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If you’re looking to save money, one option is to increase your collision and comprehensive deductibles. However, this is dependent on what you can pay out-of-pocket because the higher your deductible, the higher your out-of-pocket costs before your insurance coverage kicks in. Comparing rates and asking about car insurance discounts are two other ways to save.

What factors should you consider when deciding on collision vs. comprehensive coverage?

If you’re not mandated by a lender to purchase comprehensive or collision coverage, there are some things to consider when deciding whether you need this coverage.

First, the value of your vehicle. If it’s newer, you may save money with these coverage types when damage occurs. However, if it’s older and not worth much, buying this coverage may not be worth the cost.

Next, how likely are you to get in an accident? For example, if you have a long commute, your risk of an accident may be higher than someone with a shorter commute.

You should also take where you live into consideration. Is your vehicle likely to be damaged due to weather or local wildlife? What does the vehicle theft look like where you live? You can check this by looking at your state’s FBI crime statistics report.

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Collision vs. Comprehensive Coverage: The Bottom Line

What is comprehensive car insurance? Collision coverage? Collision and comprehensive car insurance coverage are not required unless your vehicle is financed. However, it may be a good idea to purchase one or both anyway.

In considering what coverage you need and comparing comprehensive vs. collision coverage, there are factors to consider like the age and value of your vehicle, how likely you are to be in an accident, where you live, and more.

Ready to compare affordable collision vs. comprehensive car insurance coverage? You can start by getting personalized collision vs. comprehensive car insurance coverage rates by using your ZIP code in our free tool.

Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

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