Comprehensive vs Collision Coverage: What You Need to Know
Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Our agents often get asked, "What's the difference between comprehensive and collision?" Both insure your car but cover different scenarios.
Here's the simple break down:
Comprehensive: This covers damage resulting from incidents other than collision. Examples include vandalism, theft, fire, broken windows and/or windshield, animal damage, storm damage, and falling objects.
Collision: This covers the cost to repair your vehicle (minus your deductible) if you get in an accident.
Easy enough, right? When people say "full coverage" (which is not a real insurance term, by the way!) they generally are looking for liability, comprehensive and collision. Unlike liability, comprehensive and collision are not mandatory.
Should you drop your comprehensive and collision coverage?
If your vehicle has a loan on it, the lender will often require you to carry comprehensive and collision coverage. Once your loan is paid off, you may explore different coverage options.
There are many factors to consider when discussing if you should drop your collision/comprehensive coverage.
The first is the value of your car if your car is totaled. Don’t forget to subtract your deductible from that value.
For example, let’s say I have a car worth $15,000 and a $1,000 deductible. If my car was totaled, I should expect to receive about $14,000 from the insurance company. However, if I had a car worth $2,000 with a $1,000 deductible I’d only expect about $1,000.
Would you be able to cover that cost out of pocket should you have to replace your car? If you could, then you may be a candidate to drop these coverages. However, there are still other factors you should consider.
The next important detail to consider is how much collision and comprehensive insurance costs on your policy. By removing the coverage, you may save a small amount per month. However, if an incident happens you'll have to be prepared to pay 100% of repairs out of pocket. If I only had to pay $100 a year to protect myself from a $14,000 loss, it might be a worthy option to keep.
How likely are you to have a claim? None of us can make a guess on if you will or will not have an accident. You may be a great defensive driver, but there's other people on the road who are not. Collision coverage can help in those situations. Dropping comprehensive is like making a bet against nature. There are many unforeseen events that can occur. It's up to you to decide if you want to take the extra protection from your insurance policy.
If you end up in an accident tomorrow, would you be able to replace your car?
That’s for you to decide. Ultimately, it is your decision.
As an independent agent, we recommend you strongly consider the reality of what you may pay out of pocket versus what insurance could pay for you. We'll gladly review your coverages with you. Give our office a call: 845-255-7806.