Collision Insurance

What Is Collision Insurance?

Find out how collision insurance protects your vehicle, and why you need it.

Collision Insurance

Even the safest drivers on the road can find themselves in a fender bender or other accident. If that happens, it's critical to have the right protection for your vehicle. That means having collision insurance.

Luckily an independent insurance agent can help you get equipped with the right collision insurance, long before an accident ever occurs. But first, here's a deep dive into collision insurance and what it covers.

What Is Collision Insurance?

Collision insurance is one component of a full car insurance policy that covers the cost of repairs if you get into a collision with another vehicle or object like a telephone pole or mailbox. Collision insurance covers most types of collisions, except for those with large animals like deer. To cover that kind of collision, you'd need comprehensive insurance.

Collision insurance isn't one of the types of car insurance required by state law. But it's still an important coverage to have to protect your vehicle from potentially costly repairs. After an accident, without collision coverage, you could end up paying out of your own pocket for damage to your vehicle. 

How Often Do Collisions Happen?

You may not expect to ever have to use your collision coverage, but accidents happen more frequently than you  might think. Check out the chart below and see for yourself.

Frequency of Private Passenger Auto Collision Insurance Claims for Physical Damage in the United States

[image: Statista graph, attached]

At the beginning of the observed period, there were 5.2 physical damage collision claims per 100 car years. Towards the end of the period, this number had risen to 6.14 claims per 100 car years. However, with the limited traffic on the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this number fell quite a bit last year, to 4.63 claims per 100 car years.

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What Does Collision Insurance Cover?

Like the name suggests, it covers costs related to collisions with other vehicles or objects like posts and fences. Collision insurance helps you pay for repairs or a replacement, and if you’re leasing your car or still paying it off, it also helps cover  debt if it your vehicle gets totaled. Here's a breakdown of what collision insurance covers and doesn't cover.

What's Covered by Collision Insurance?

Covered - Not Covered

Traffic collisions with other cars - "Other than collision" threats like vehicle theft, storm damage, etc.

Collisions with objects like telephone poles and fences - Costs of repairs to another driver's vehicle after a collision

Collisions with potholes and other road obstructions - Collisions with large animals like deer

Certain accidents like rolling your car into a ditch - Personal injury costs or medical payments

Do I Need Collision Insurance?

Though you don't need collision insurance by law, going without a vehicle after an accident can really disrupt your daily life. Having collision insurance limits the time you’ll spend carless after an accident. However, having collision insurance doesn't always make sense for everyone.

You might not want collision insurance if:

  • You’re driving a car with a replacement cost that would be cheaper than your annual premiums.
  • You have enough disposable income that you could easily pay out of pocket in an accident. 

If you don't fall into either of these two categories, though, collision insurance is highly recommended. Your independent insurance agent can help you determine if collision insurance is a good fit for you.

Is Collision Insurance Required by Law?

Collision coverage is one type of car insurance that's not required by state law. Most states require property damage liability and/or bodily injury liability insurance as their minimums, while others might require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection coverage. However, car dealerships and banks often require you to have collision insurance if you lease or are otherwise still paying off your car. 

Another important coverage not required by law is comprehensive, or other than collision, coverage. Along with collision insurance, these are both critical coverages to consider.

  • Comprehensive insurance: Covers you from threats to your vehicle beyond collision such as natural disaster damage, theft, vandalism, and collisions with deer or other large animals.
  • Collision insurance: Covers you from collisions with other vehicles or objects like buildings, telephone poles, mailboxes, and more.

An independent insurance agent can explain even further why it's imperative to consider adding collision and comprehensive coverage to your car insurance policy.

How Does Liability Insurance Differ from Comprehensive or Collision Insurance?

If you've heard the term "full coverage" car insurance, though it's not a standard policy, it often means a combination of collision insurance, comprehensive insurance, and liability insurance. There are two major forms of liability coverage under car insurance:

  • Bodily injury liability: Pays for injuries to another driver and their passengers if you cause an accident.
  • Property damage liability: Pays for damage to a third party's property if you run into it with your vehicle.

While collision and comprehensive coverage are meant to cover damage and destruction to your own vehicle, liability coverage is meant to protect others, including other drivers, pedestrians, etc. 

How Much Does Collision Insurance Cost?

Collision insurance is just one part of a complete car insurance package. The cost of your overall car insurance will depend on several factors, including:

  • Your vehicle's make and model
  • Your vehicle's age and value
  • Your location
  • Your driving history
  • Your credit score
  • Your age and gender

An independent insurance agent can help you find exact quotes for car insurance in your area.

Why Choose an Independent Insurance Agent?

Independent insurance agents simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes for you. Not only that, but they’ll also cut the jargon and clarify the fine print so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Independent insurance agents also have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best car insurance coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you.

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TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

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