What Is the Difference Between Collision and Comprehensive Insurance Coverage?


Quick Answer

Motor vehicle collision insurance covers the cost of repairing damages resulting from an accident, and comprehensive insurance provides coverage when the source of the damage is unknown or not preventable. The amount of costs covered depends on policy deductibles. Collision and comprehensive insurance coverage is usually not required by law.

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Full Answer

Collision insurance provides coverage regardless of the type of accident, whether the insured driver hits another car or runs his car through the back wall of his garage. In states that have no-fault insurance laws, it also covers the costs when the vehicle damage is caused by another driver. If the insured driver damages another car, collision coverage does not cover the repair costs for the other car. These costs are covered by liability (bodily and physical property damage) insurance coverage, which is usually required by law.

If an insured vehicle is vandalized, damaged due to natural causes like a hail storm or flood, or stolen then comprehensive insurance coverage applies. Most policies also provide coverage for damages caused by hitting or being hit by animals or birds.

Whether required by law or not, most lenders require collision and comprehensive insurance as a condition of financing. Rates charged for collision and comprehensive coverage vary based on age of driver, driving record, credit history and local car theft rates.

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