Collision vs. Comprehensive Car Insurance

The difference between collision and comprehensive auto insurance is the type of damage covered, and coverage is generally inexpensive. Collision coverage averages $43 a month and comprehensive is around $11 a month. Many factors affect whether or not you will need to add comprehensive and collision coverages. Read more to determine if adding collision and comprehensive coverage is right for you.

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UPDATED: Jun 28, 2022

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Written By: Chris TepedinoReviewed By: Laura WalkerUPDATED: Jun 28, 2022Fact Checked

The Rundown

  • Collision coverage helps pay for damages to your car that results from an accident, hitting an object like a fence, or from rolling over
  • Comprehensive coverage helps pay for other damages, like theft, flood, or hitting a deer
  • Whether or not you need these coverages will depend on the value of your car

The difference between collision and comprehensive auto insurance is simply how the damage happened to your vehicle.

There are many types of car insurance, and it’s up to you to determine what coverage is right for you.

Keep reading to find out the differences between collision and comprehensive car insurance coverages and whether or not you need to add them to your policy.

Shopping around for your car insurance needs helps you get the best coverage at the cheapest price. Enter your ZIP code to compare quotes that include collision and comprehensive coverages.

Collision vs. Comprehensive Auto Insurance

Most states require that you carry at least the minimum car insurance, which is usually liability coverage. While the intent is to make sure the other driver’s damage is covered by your insurance, this does nothing to protect your property.

Adding collision and comprehensive coverages help pay for your repairs or replacement in the event of an accident or other damage.

So, what’s the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage? Keep reading to learn more.

What is collision auto insurance coverage?

Collision coverage is just like it sounds. It helps pay for damages in the event of a collision. Some of the accidents it covers are:

  • Damages to your car if you cause an accident
  • Damages to your car if someone else causes an accident but doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for all of your damages
  • Hitting an object like a fence or tree
  • Rolling your car
  • Hitting a pothole or curb

Collision insurance helps you repair or replace your vehicle in many scenarios that your basic liability coverage won’t help with.

Consider adding collision insurance to your policy to ensure your property is covered in case of an accident.

What is comprehensive auto insurance coverage?

Comprehensive car insurance helps cover damages not caused by a collision. Some examples are:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Hail
  • Falling objects like tree limbs
  • Animal damage, like hitting a deer or animals getting in your car and chewing through the wires

Comprehensive coverage helps pay for those damages that are out of your control.

This coverage is a great idea if you live in a place with a lot of theft or even prone to flooding.

How much will comprehensive and collision auto insurance cost?

Comprehensive and collision coverages are generally inexpensive to add to your auto insurance policy.

Check out this table to get an idea of the average annual cost of these coverages in your state.

Average Annual Rates for Comprehensive Coverage by State
StateAverage Annual Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates
District of Columbia$230.25
New Hampshire$103.03
New Jersey$123.18
New Mexico$166.89
New York$156.66
North Carolina$123.00
North Dakota$227.64
Rhode Island$122.17
South Carolina$165.38
South Dakota$228.59
West Virginia$195.04
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The average cost of comprehensive coverage is just $11 a month, and the cost of collision coverage is around $43 a month.

Now, let’s look at how to determine if you need these coverages.

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Factors to Consider Before Buying Comprehensive and Collision Auto Insurance

Just like with any coverage, you need to decide if it’s right for you.

Generally, if you are leasing or financing a vehicle, you will not have a choice and will have to carry full coverage.

If your car is paid for, you can decide if these coverages are right for you.

When you can consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage?

Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to carry additional auto insurance coverages on your vehicle. This will depend on the value of your car and your particular situation.

Comprehensive and Collision Insurance Coverage Limits

Comprehensive and collision auto insurance is based on the value of your vehicle. Your payout limit will be calculated as a percentage of the value of your car. You can use a resource like Kelley Blue Book to determine the value of your car.

If the cost of the insurance is greater than the value of your vehicle, you might want to skip the additional coverage.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Deductible

Just like with liability insurance, you will have to pay a deductible to use your coverage. The higher the deducible, the lower your rate.

However, if you choose a $1,000 deductible and your car is only worth around $1,000, it doesn’t make sense to pay for coverage.

Consider Your Driving Habits

If you don’t drive often or far and have an older car, you might not want to spend the extra money on collision coverage. Driving very little will drastically decrease your chances of being in an accident.

It’s still not a bad idea to consider comprehensive coverage since a tree can still fall on your car in the driveway.

When should you not cancel your collision and comprehensive coverage?

If you are financing a car, you probably won’t have the option of not carrying collision and comprehensive coverages.

Also if you have a newer car, it just makes sense to carry those coverages. Repairing or replacing a new car is expensive. The more insurance you carry, the less you will have to pay out of pocket for damages.

Saving on Comprehensive and Collision Auto Insurance

Adding comprehensive and collision coverages don’t have to break the bank. There are ways to save on your overall car insurance rates.

Look for discounts that your auto insurance company offers to help lower your rates. Discounts can drastically lower your rates. The difference between collision and comprehensive auto insurance at GEICO will be different from State Farm or Allstate.

So finding the best discounts based on your provider and location is key to finding the lowest rate.

Some common discounts are:

  • Multi-car
  • Multi-policy
  • Good driver
  • Good student
  • Paperless billing
  • Loyalty

Be sure to ask your agent what discounts are available to you. Stack up even more savings by bundling your discounts.

Another way to save money on adding comprehensive and collision coverages is to shop around. Each car insurance company will determine rates differently. Prices will vary from company to company.

Enter your ZIP code now to compare auto insurance quotes that include comprehensive and collision coverages.



Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by insurance experts.

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

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