Knowing the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage — and making sure your auto insurance policy adequately covers you in either case — can prevent one mishap with nature from becoming a financial burden.
Take a look at both types of coverage:
- Collision coverage pays for damage when your vehicle collides with another car or stationary object.1 This includes damage caused by crashing into another car, backing your car into a pole, hitting a mail box, etc.
- Collision coverage pays for physical damage to your car as a result of your automobile colliding with an object, such as another car or tree.2
- Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your automobile from almost all other losses other than collision. Covered losses under comprehensive coverage include the following: theft, fire, vandalism, weather-related losses such as hail or water, falling objects, damage caused by a bird or animal, and glass breakage.3
- Comprehensive coverage pays for damage caused by things that are unpredictable or out of your control like deer, car thieves, and hail storms.4
Here’s a good example of the difference between these two types of coverage: A winter storm lays a thick layer of ice on a tree at your home. During the night, the tree falls onto your driveway, causing significant damage to your car. If you have it, comprehensive car insurance would provide coverage.5
Be aware of how much out-of-pocket cost you will be responsible for in the event of an accident. When you purchase your auto policy, you will need to determine what your deductible will be for collision or comprehensive coverage. A deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay prior to the insurance company making any payment on a loss. Typical deductible amounts are $250, $500, or $1,000.6