Shopping for auto insurance can get a little confusing at times, especially with so many coverage options available. If you own a newer vehicle, your insurance agent may suggest carrying more than just the mandatory liability coverage. When confronted with the option between comprehensive and collision coverage, you may be wondering if there's any actual difference between the two.
Collision Covers Crashes With Other Vehicles
Your ordinary liability coverage only covers damages done to the other vehicle, as well as any potential medical injuries suffered by the other party. When it comes to repairing your own vehicle, however, you may be out of luck unless you have collision coverage.
Collision coverage covers the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle after a collision, provided you pay the required deductible. Not only does it cover the damage caused by crashing into another vehicle, but it can also cover accidents involving stationary objects including street lamps and concrete barriers.
Comprehensive Covers Everything Else
Whereas collision coverage deals with damages caused specifically by collisions with another vehicle or stationary object, comprehensive coverage deals with damages that are caused by non-collision events, including events considered an "act of God or nature." For instance, comprehensive coverage can take care of a heavy tree limb falling on your car during a severe storm or a messy encounter with a deer on a dark stretch of highway. Your comprehensive coverage can also take care of losses caused by theft, fire or vandalism.
In essence, comprehensive coverage deals with accidents, thefts and other events that are out of your control, whereas comprehensive coverage deals with largely-preventable collisions between vehicles. Like collision coverage, comprehensive coverage also requires you pay a deductible before your insurance provider steps in.
Should You Get Both?
Does it make sense to add collision and comprehensive coverage to your insurance policy? That depends on a variety of factors, including the overall value of your vehicle. If you're driving an older car, for instance, the cost of having it repaired out-of-pocket may be less than the cost of your collision coverage deductible. In addition, the current cash value of your older vehicle may not be high enough to justify the additional cost of collision or comprehensive coverage.
If you're currently financing or leasing a new vehicle, then chances are the terms of your financing or leasing agreement require you to have both comprehensive and collision coverage. The costs of repairing a newer vehicle are usually high enough to justify having both collision and comprehensive coverage. Some insurance providers require comprehensive coverage as an add-on in order to add other coverage options, such as roadside assistance.
For more information, contact companies like Northeast Insurance Agency.
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