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Collision Insurance Terminology Can Be Confusing - Let Us Clear Some Things Up

Collision insurance covers the cost of collision repair to fix damage resulting from your car hitting an object like a pothole, a tree, a fence or another vehicle. Collision insurance will also cover damage resulting from a single-car accident, such as a rollover, as well as damage caused by a hit-and-run accident.

We should stress you’re only covered by collision insurance if your vehicle hits an object. If you run into a deer on the road, this is covered by comprehensive insurance. While collision insurance only covers your car if you hit an object, it doesn’t cover you if an object hits your car. For example, you’d be covered if your car ran into a tree, but not if a tree fell on your car. Collision insurance only covers damage related to driving, so you wouldn’t be covered for damage due to weather (like hail or lightning), a natural disaster or theft. Those kinds of damage require comprehensive insurance.

We should point out that collision coverage doesn’t cover damage to another car. It only covers your vehicle. If you’re in an accident and your car hits another vehicle, collision insurance will cover your car, liability insurance would cover damage to the other vehicle. Similarly, if you hit something and cause property damage, collision insurance covers your car, while liability insurance covers the property damage.

Collision insurance won’t cover medical bills that may result from an accident, nor does it pay for a rental car when your vehicle is being repaired. In the event your car is totaled in an accident, your insurer will pay for the car’s current depreciated value, not the amount you paid for it or the current replacement value. The insurer will subtract the amount of your deductible.

If you lease your car or you still owe money on your loan, collision coverage is usually mandatory. Once you pay off your auto loan, you can decide whether or not to buy collision insurance. Contact your insurance agent if you have any questions about collision coverage.