Many people carry only the state minimum coverage on their vehicles, but for those who want (or need) to carry more insurance, the differences between collision and comprehensive can be confusing. Fortunately, a good agent can help you get just the right coverage, so you don’t have to worry about whether you have the correct auto policy for your needs. Keep in mind, if you finance your vehicle you’ll normally be required to carry both comprehensive and collision insurance on it until it has been paid off. That’s designed to protect the company you’re making payments to, in case something happens to the vehicle.
Collision insurance is very specific. It protects your vehicle if you get into an accident, no matter who’s at fault. If another driver hits you his or her insurance should pay to fix your vehicle, but what if that driver doesn’t have insurance? It’s generally not legal to drive without insurance, but many people still do it. If you’re hit by someone who doesn’t have coverage on his or her vehicle, it’s quite possible you’ll simply be out of luck with getting your auto fixed unless you have collision coverage. Especially if your vehicle is relatively new and still worth thousands of dollars, it’s a good idea to carry collision coverage.
Comprehensive coverage is more about issues like fire, theft, and glass breakage. These problems are not covered under standard PIP and liability insurance policies, but it’s a good idea to have this coverage. Generally it’s not that expensive, and can protect you if your car is stolen or if it catches fire. Some policies cover fixing chips and cracks in the windshield and some don’t, but all policies cover serious issues of glass breakage like smashed windows or a windshield that’s too badly damaged to simply be repaired.
Understanding the difference between the various types of options for protecting your vehicle is very important, so make sure you pay close attention to the information provided to you by your agent. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure about something. That way, you’ll have peace of mind that you’ve gotten the policy that’s really right for you.