Collision and Comprehensive Car Insurance Coverage - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Feb 22, 2019

Collision and Comprehensive Car Insurance Coverage

If you’ve ever bought, or even researched car insurance you’ve probably come across the terms “collision coverage” and “comprehensive coverage”. While these are two common concepts in the insurance world, for the rest of us, figuring out what each coverage entails can be confusing. 

We can help clear it up. There are a number of factors to take into consideration when you’re deciding which type of car insurance is best for you.  For example, details like the value of your car, your personal risk of an accident, your current financial situation, and the area in which you live, all matter. So, what exactly is the difference between collision and comprehensive insurance and what do you need to know?

Collision Coverage in Car Insurance

Collision coverage is the part of your auto insurance policy that pays for damage to your own car resulting from an impact with another car or an object, such as a house, tree, etc. If you happen to be involved in a car accident, collision coverage is what you’ll need to repair the damage to your vehicle. 

While collision coverage is optional in New York State with a vehicle owned outright, it is highly recommended if you want to have your vehicle covered and protected. Financed or leased vehicles must have collision coverage. There is no required limit for your coverage, and the most common deductible is $500. 

It is important to remember that incidents like theft or weather-related damage from hail or falling branches are covered separately. Collision coverage does not cover damage to another person’s vehicle or medical bills as a result of the collision. 

Comprehensive Coverage in Car Insurance

Like collision coverage, comprehensive coverage is also optional and not required in New York State with vehicles owned outright. Comprehensive coverage is also required for financed or leased vehicles. Comprehensive coverage typically comes with a deductible of $200. 

Like collision coverage, comprehensive coverage does not cover damage to another person’s vehicle that arise from a collision or medical expenses after an incident. However, comprehensive coverage does cover damages resulting from theft, vandalism, natural disasters, civil commotion, etc. 

If you’re unsure of which coverages you need, talk to your insurance agent.

Collision vs Comprehensive Insurance 

According to the New York State Department of Transportation, there is a statewide deer population of approximately 900,000, with an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 deer-vehicle accidents that occur throughout New York State each year. 

Unfortunately, even though the deer may have caused the damage, you are still responsible for the repairs. You might think that your automobile insurance will always cover the damages, however that is not the case if you do not have comprehensive coverage included in your auto policy. Comprehensive, not collision, is the coverage that ensures you’ll be reimbursed for the damage to your auto mobile if you hit an animal, like a deer. While this is a major concern for New York drivers who live in more rural areas, if you rarely find yourself out of a city, chances are you won’t be running into many deer. 

However, if you commute to work using popular highways like Interstate 90 or the Adirondack Northway, accidents in the morning and evening are common. This puts you at a greater risk for a collision than someone who works from home. 

Additionally, the age and condition of your car should factor into your purchasing decision. If you have an older model vehicle with minor cosmetic damage, like scratches or dents, think carefully about how much you’d be willing to pay for repairs in the event of an accident. If you feel like the additional insurance premium and  $500 repair deductible would be better used toward the purchase of a new car, you may not need collision coverage. 

These circumstances are a major factor in determining your coverage needs, which is why it’s always helpful to talk to an agent before you purchase coverage. If your circumstances change, that’s fine too, you can always update your policy.