What is Collision Coverage?

Collision coverage is the part of your insurance policy that pays to repair damages to your vehicle due to an accident or collision. Collision car insurance will pay for repairs up to the limits of the policy minus the deductible. Although the law does not require it, we recommend that all drivers carry collision auto insurance to avoid a substantial financial loss. Find car insurance quotes with collision coverage from companies near you using our free ZIP code search below.

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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: Nov 17, 2020

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There are many types of car insurance and one of the most important is collision coverage. While car insurance is mandatory by law no states require drivers to carry collision coverage,  however when it comes to a car accident most people will wish they had some form of collision insurance.

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What does Collision Coverage cover?

Collision coverage is the part of auto insurance which pays to repair damages to your vehicle as a result of an accident with another vehicle or damages caused by an insured objet (such as a tree branch). State minimum car insurance requirements only typically include forms of liability insurance (which do not cover damages to your vehicle, just coverage for other people’s property) so you really should consider adding collision coverage to your policy.

How much does Collision Coverage Insure?

This depends on your policy and the accident details. For insured events, collision coverage will insure up to the limits of the policy minus a deductible. For example, if your car suffers $5,000 in damage and your policy has a $500 deductible then you will be covered for $4,500 in repair cost. Of course this is assuming you have at least $5,000 in collision coverage – most drivers have much more than $5,000 but always check your policy details.

Do I need Collision Coverage for a new car?

Yes. Although it’s not required by law the potential financial loss in any car accident with a new vehicle can be great. From the cost of vehicle repairs to parts its easy to get a bill for $5,000 or more after even a minor car accident for many of today’s cars.

Without collision insurance you will either have to (a) pay the cost of repair yourself, (b) drive with the damage not replaced or (b) simply decide not to use the car anymore. However, since the vast majority of new cars are financed can you really afford to have a car sitting in your driveway not in use? You still have to pay the car loan. Collision insurance is part of the full coverage car insurance policy every new car owner should have.

Should I buy Collision Coverage for an older car?

This depends on a number of factors. Ask yourself what would happen if you got a large repair bill for your older car today? Would you pay the bill or start shopping for a new car? If your car is financed you may certainly want collision coverage but if you own the title free and clear it might be worth analyzing how much the car is actually worth to you or anybody else. If the vehicle is just some wheels to get you around town then it may be worth considering saving the money on collision coverage premiums, IF you can afford to get a new car.

How much is Collision Coverage?

Collision insurance is more typically more expensive than comprehensive but still less than liability insurance. A good full coverage car insurance policy consists of all three of these types of insurance and typically collision coverage will make up around 15-25% of the total cost of a policy. Your exact premiums however will depend on your overall risk profile including the type of vehicle insured, your driving history, where you live and even your credit score.

How do I find the cheapest car insurance rates?

Car insurance comparison is key when searching for the best auto insurance rates. You need to shop around and compare as many providers as you can before selecting an insurer. There are many things to consider including the cost of premiums, how claims are handled, the company reputation and even customer service hours. Almost anywhere you live has a very competitive car insurance marketplace so do your research about discounts, deductibles and policy options then enter your ZIP code to compare car insurance quotes from local providers.

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