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What is the Difference between Collision and Comprehensive Auto Insurance?

Comprehensive auto insurance policies cover vehicle fires.
Damage to a vehicle caused by striking another automobile or object is covered by a collision policy.
Collision insurance policies provide coverage for towing damaged vehicles.
Comprehensive auto insurance covers theft.
Collision coverage is helpful when an accident occurs between two vehicles.
Comprehensive auto insurance may not cover tires.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2014
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While many drivers simply obtain minimal insurance required by their state or area of residence, some drivers prefer to add collision and comprehensive auto insurance to their policy, to protect their vehicles in a more wide range of situations. Comprehensive auto insurance is recommended for all drivers, as it covers a wide range of situations-essentially everything which is not covered by collision insurance. Usually collision and comprehensive auto insurance are offered in a bundled package, although it is possible to purchase the two types of coverage separately.

In some cases, purchase of a collision and comprehensive auto insurance package may be required, especially in the case of financed cars. When borrowing money for a car, it is an excellent idea to consider a collision and comprehensive auto insurance package so that even if the car is destroyed, funds are still available to cover the outstanding remainder of the loan. Usually lenders will require proof of such insurance to carry the loan.

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In brief, comprehensive auto insurance covers everything except collision. Collision insurance protects drivers in the case of encounters with other vehicles, objects, people, and the surface of the road. Collision insurance will cover the driver whether or not he or she is at fault for the accident. It also provides for towing, storage, and salvage if the car has been badly damaged. Generally, collision insurance will cover the cost of repairs to the vehicle, or replacement if it is badly damaged, unless the repairs are due to mechanical failure as a result of improper maintenance.

Comprehensive auto insurance covers theft, fire, vandalism, weather damage, riots, missiles, and other similar circumstances which may cause damage to a vehicle. Comprehensive auto insurance does not usually cover acts of God, theft or vandalism by family members or employees, contents of the vehicle, tires, or damage due to improper maintenance.

In both the case of collision coverage and comprehensive auto insurance, several factors will influence the cost of the insurance. The age and experience of the driver, amount of yearly mileage anticipated, area in which the car will be driven, and value of the car will all be taken into account. With older cars, drivers should weigh the cost of the insurance against the value of the car to determine if the coverage should be carried. In almost all cases, collision and comprehensive auto insurance packages are subject to a deductible, which can range in price.

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Discuss this Article

anon357681
Post 34

I have a brand new truck (24 hours old) that my was purchased and insured for me, as a gift from my father.

My husband (an insured driver, under his own policy) was driving the vehicle and hit a very high curb to avoid a deer. The tire is now rubbing the inside of the wheel well and I am unsure how I should proceed. Hubby has clean driving record and it was raining heavily the night of the incident. Please advise.

anon353717
Post 33

Does comprehensive insurance cover accidental reverse polarity damage, which occurred after jump starting a car?

anon342540
Post 32

Consider paying your entire premium up front. By doing this, you can avoid the service fee that many insurance companies require for splitting your bill into monthly payments. Set aside money now and when your next policy renewal comes around, see if you can pay it all at once to save more money.

anon331327
Post 31

My garage door didn't open all the way, and broke the car window out while I was backing out. Would this be under auto insurance or household insurance?

anon281351
Post 30

I fell asleep at the wheel and drove off the highway into the ditch. The car is a writeoff, but I got no ticket of any kind from the police. They gave me a police report, and sent me on my way. How will this affect my driving record, and hence, any future insurance?

anon278792
Post 29

I have full coverage on my vehicle and my car caught fire under the hood. There is no physical damage inside the cabin of the car so would this be covered under comprehensive?

anon220747
Post 28

Great article, here are several tips from me on how to get cheaper car insurance:

Use insurance comparison sites. That means once you register, you'll receive a lot of offers from many insurance companies.

Ask for a group discount. Get as many kinds of insurance as you need from the same company.

Stay insured. If you cancel your plan, even for several days, some companies may consider you as high risk and you may need to pay more next time.

Car Security Devices. Any extra security measures you take to deter thieves from stealing your car will further decrease the risks you pose to the insurance company.

Good driving records. That will definitely lower your price.

anon190592
Post 27

how do they do a hit and run? my car was parked in front of my house. is this comp or collision?

anon166838
Post 26

on UShip i put an ad looking for someone to tow my fifth wheel. this guy bid on the tow and i accepted. he assured me that he had plenty of insurance in emails and he was licensed through a business.

Well, he was late, for one thing. The other thing was i didn't want it done in the dark because you know how things happen. He didn't have the right hook up for the lights, but told me it would be fine and just wanted to get going. I was following him. On the way, i couldn't see anything that was going on with his towing and i guess he couldn't either, because when we got to the destination, i looked back and his tailgate was down and the whole front of the fifth wheel was torn up: the metal, the wood frame -- everything. the LP lines were dragging on the pavement, too, but he said he didn't know that he didn't see a thing or feel anything.

He told me that he in order for me to be compensated for my loss, he had to say he bumped into my trailer but never towed it. I felt trapped at that point and didn't know what to do. I got scared and nervously said OK. he says he had full coverage on his truck.

Well, all in all, i have had storage to pay and his insurance wants to give me beans for it. This was to be my home to live in now i am living in a crappy thing and paying for storage on a 36' fifth wheel i can't move, live in or sell, and the storage guy I'm renting from is kicking me out because he wants the space back.

I have no truck to get it out or the money to move it again. Can anyone suggest to me what i can do? Please, anything?

anon156128
Post 24

Why is it necessary to carry UIM when collision will fix your vehicle, when that's all I want?

anon152538
Post 23

i bumped my passenger door in the metal bar in the gasoline station and it was dented and the bumper was torn. they are charging me $2,600. if i claim it on the insurance, will it affect my premiums incredibly? or what if i just pay it out of my own pocket? i just had my license five months ago. --xbdw

anon133320
Post 22

My SUV was parked in the garage, and the rear glass was inadvertently left open. When the garage door was opened, it snagged on the glass and shattered it.

The insurance company is calling it a collision - even though the car wasn't moving and didn't collide with anything. Do I have a case to say it's comprehensive?

anon125942
Post 21

concerning comprehensive auto coverage if you have a tire blow out there is damage do to my auto? damage due to the blowout it self plus damage is done when auto hit the road when the tire blow out

Sarah Lin
Post 20

Since vehicle damage is one of the most common kind of car insurance claims, this coverage is usually one of the priciest portion of your policy premium costs. But as we mentioned above, an older car that isn't worth much might not even need this coverage.

anon107547
Post 19

I was behind my uncle as he was pulling his boat up a steep hill on a gravel road on his own property and the clutch slipped which made the boat fall back right into my hood. Is this collision or comprehensive (since it was not on "the road")?

I have not reported it to insurance yet because my uncle is very poor and I don't want him to pay for the damages (the old truck is not insured or even registered, because he only uses it on his farm).

I could have just as easily run into the back of his truck.

anon104742
Post 18

i took my car to a drive through car wash -- the ones you drive in yourself. The machine that washed the car did damage to my rear passenger door. The car was not moving at the time. My insurance company is calling it a collision even though the car was not moving. Is this right? I would think that the car would have to be moving or hit by another object or vehicle to be considered collision.

anon100136
Post 17

I have a few claims due to vandalism, towing, uninsured driver, my insurance is denying renewal because of these claims, even though I am not at fault. Can this be argued? I have been with them for over ten years and out of nowhere we are being cancelled, plus they are making us a high risk policy holder.

anon92654
Post 16

While traveling down my street, a car hit a garbage can on the curb and sent it flying into my car which was parked in my driveway. Do I have an argument that this is comprehensive, not collision?

anon92072
Post 15

Anon74309: If you hit a deer or other animal, it is collision, not comp, but in just about all cases, insurance companies will not consider this an accident against you and will not raise your rates. Go ahead and file the claim. That's why you have insurance.

Anon74650: What you describe sounds like comprehensive, but it's possible there was not enough evidence to know for sure how it happened and the insurance company assumed the worst against you.

I would make sure they at least are not labeling this as an at-fault accident against you, regardless of whether it is collision or comprehensive.

anon79075
Post 14

just noticed damage to my car and not sure how or when it got there? What or how do i claim?

anon74650
Post 13

My car was damaged and I am not for sure where it happened or when it happened. It looks like it was kicked or something else ran into it. If someone actually took a shopping cart and ran it into my car, is this comprehensive or collision claim? I was not driving the car when it happened. How can it be considered collision?

anon74309
Post 12

I hit a deer and it caused minor damage, and I do finance the truck. First, is this comprehensive or collision? Second, the damage is minor but I do need to replace a plastic grill piece. Should I file a claim or just do it myself? Don't want my rates to increase.

anon71088
Post 11

I am under the impression that if debris becomes airborne from a vehicle and hits your vehicle before it hits the road, this would be a comprehensive claim. But if it hits the road before your vehicle, then it becomes a collision claim. Can anyone confirm this?

anon71030
Post 10

I was driving in snowy conditions. My car slid and then began doing 360's. I ended up in a ditch. My insurance company said that this is not comprehensive, but rather collision. I never collided with anything. How is this so?

- anon6824

You collided with the ditch, anon6824. A rollover is also considered a collision.

if debris on the freeway fallen from cars and you run over it damaging the bumper of your car. is it a comprehensive or collision claim? yzxt

- anon61503

If it's stationary in the road and you hit it, it's probably going to be considered a collision.

anon68243
Post 9

I was driving in snowy conditions. My car slid and then began doing 360's. I ended up in a ditch. My insurance company said that this is not comprehensive, but rather collision. I never collided with anything. How is this so?

anon61503
Post 8

if debris on the freeway fallen from cars and you run over it damaging the bumper of your car. is it a comprehensive or collision claim? yzxt

anon51842
Post 7

I ran over a chunk of something on the road resulting in damage to the doors of my car. The insurance company says it's collision, not comprehensive. Is this correct? Damage was less than $500, but I didn't put the debris on the road. So I'm out almost $500 for someone else's junk being on the road?

anon49918
Post 6

I hit an orange cone that was loose on the freeway. Is that something that's normally covered?

anon46065
Post 5

After a car accident, call your car insurance company and/or agent as soon as possible. The quicker you report an auto insurance claim, the quicker the process can get started. And the faster the claims process gets going, the sooner your car will get repaired, and you will have it back. my insurance company is great that way.

Moderator's reply: In order to maintain a neutral stance, it is wiseGEEK policy not to publish links in our posts. Thank you for participating in the discussions!

taylorheston
Post 4

After a car accident, call your car insurance company and/or agent as soon as possible. The quicker you report an auto insurance claim, the quicker the process can get started. And the faster the claims process gets going, the sooner your car will get repaired, and you will have it back. my insurance company is great that way.

anon41501
Post 3

My left rear door was seriously damaged while the car was parked. The insurance company wants to charge me a collision deductible. Is there a possibility I could convince them to repair the car under my much lower comprehensive deductible? Thank you.

anon39667
Post 2

If debris falls off the car in front of you and you run over it damaging the undercarriage of your car, is it a comprehensive or collision claim?

anon31090
Post 1

Concerning comprehensive auto coverage. Is your auto covered if you have a tire blowout and due to this blowout there is damage done to your auto? Damage is due to the blowout itself, plus damage is done when the auto hits the road when the tire blows out.

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