Collision vs. Comprehensive Coverage: What to Know

When choosing your coverage, collision vs. comprehensive insurance is an important consideration. If an accident or other collision occurs, collision insurance covers the resulting damages. But if a vehicle is damaged due to non-collision incidents like weather and vandalism, comprehensive car insurance applies. Average comprehensive auto insurance rates are $13.40/month and $160.74/year, and collision coverage rates average $25.45/month and $305.45/year.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 1, 2021

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Things to Know

  • If you’re in a collision of any kind (an accident, you hit something, etc.), collision coverage applies
  • If your vehicle is damaged due to weather, vandalism, or other non-collision incidents, comprehensive coverage applies
  • While your state will not require collision and comprehensive auto insurance, if your vehicle is financed, your lender may make maintaining these coverages part of the terms of your loan

Looking to compare collision vs. comprehensive insurance and have car insurance questions? You’ve come to the right place. What is comprehensive car insurance? What does collision insurance mean? Keep reading for the answers to these and other comprehensive vs. collision questions.

Wondering which is more affordable, collision vs. comprehensive car insurance? Get started by using your ZIP code in our free tool to compare collision vs. comprehensive car insurance quotes today.

Collision vs. Comprehensive Car Insurance Coverage: What’s the difference?

Collision and comprehensive coverage provide financial protection for different types of incidents involving your vehicle. So what is comprehensive coverage? What is the collision insurance definition? What about the comprehensive insurance definition? Keep reading to find out.

What is collision insurance?

Collision insurance covers damages to your vehicle that result from a collision.

What does collision insurance cover? It typically covers collisions with other vehicles and objects (ex. a tree), rollovers, and potholes.

What is comprehensive insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance covers damages when they occur from something other than a collision.

What does comprehensive insurance cover? It typically covers damages resulting from an object or animal hitting your vehicle, weather, and vandalism or theft. So if you’re wondering if auto insurance covers hitting animals, the short answer is yes, with collision coverage.

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What should you consider when shopping for collision vs. comprehensive coverage?

When you’re looking to purchase collision and comprehensive insurance, there are a few factors you can consider to help you decide if this coverage is necessary:

  • How much is your vehicle worth? The more expensive it is, the more money you can save with both comprehensive and collision coverage if it is damaged.
  • How likely are you to get into an accident? Longer commutes increase your chances of getting in an accident, in which case you may consider collision coverage.
  • What are the chances of vehicle theft? If you live in a crime-ridden area, comprehensive coverage may be a good option. You can check vehicle crime stats in your area using the FBI’s crime statistics report.

If you do decide to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage, there are a few things you can do to save on your rates:

  • Make sure to compare quotes from at least three companies
  • Ask about discounts
  • Consider increasing your collision and comprehensive deductible

Keep reading to find out how much collision and comprehensive could cost you.

What are average collision and comprehensive coverage rates?

Take a look at this table for national averages for collision and comprehensive coverage.

National Average Annual and Monthly Rates for Collision vs. Comprehensive Coverage
Coverage TypeNational Average Annual Car Insurance RatesNational Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates
Comprehensive Insurance$160.74$13.40
Collision Insurance$305.45$25.45
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Keep in mind these rates are averages only and are based on data from around the country, so they don’t necessarily represent exactly what you’ll pay. Factors like where you live, your age, your driving record, and even your credit score will all affect your rates.

Collision vs. Comprehensive Coverage: The Bottom Line

States require neither collision nor comprehensive coverage as a part of minimum coverage. However, if your vehicle is financed, your lender will probably expect you to keep both of these coverage types under your loan terms.

These two coverages provide financial protection for different damage types. Factors to consider when deciding whether to purchase either one or both coverages include how much you can afford to pay out-of-pocket, your vehicle’s age and value, and where you live.

Before you go, get ready to buy collision or comprehensive car insurance coverage by comparing collision vs. comprehensive car insurance coverage rates using your ZIP code in the free tool on this page.

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