Collision Insurance: Is it a waste of money?
When it comes to driving a vehicle, there are so many things which drivers must do. Aside from passing a test to acquire a driver's license, you also have to purchase insurance for your vehicle. With all the insurance types out there, drivers often wonder which are worth their money - especially when it comes to collision insurance.
What is collision insurance?
Collision insurance protects you after a collision. It is a type of auto insurance which pays the insured to repair their car after a collision with something else. That 'something else' could be a light pole, another car, or a tree that was in somebody's front yard 10 feet from their house. Collision insurance provides money for repairs to the vehicle, even if the driver of that car is at fault.
Is collision insurance required by law?
Unlike liability insurance, collision insurance is not required by law. However, if you are financing or leasing a vehicle, it is usually mandatory as part of the contract. Or if you need a loan and put a vehicle up as collateral, the lender might require either collision insurance to be added, or full coverage insurance if they take it a step further.
Pros and cons of adding collision insurance
When it comes to making a decision about adding another type of insurance to their auto insurance plans, people like to weigh the pros and cons before taking the next step. Writing down and reading both the pros and cons allows individuals to see whether or not they should take a certain action or go with something else. Or not anything at all.
- Allows claims for repair costs
- Will take care of entire repair cost, minor or major
- Provides peace of mind to drivers
- Drivers will not have to use the money in their bank account to repair the vehicle
- Higher insurance premiums
- The driver might not ever need to file a claim on their collision insurance, especially if the vehicle is hardly used
- The driver has to pay a high deductible before insurance will pay for repairs.
- The car might not be worth much, but the deductible would be high and what the insurance would pay is even less
Situations where collision insurance can help
Collision insurance has its place. The situations where collision insurance would come in handy are:
- Your vehicle is damaged from running over a pothole
- Your vehicle is struck by a hit-and-run driver and is damaged
- Your vehicle is hit by an uninsured driver and is damaged
- Your car hits a fixed object, such as a wall, tree, streetlight, neighbor's mailbox, statue of a bear at the local veterinary office, etc.
- The vehicle is damaged from crashing into a ditch or flipping over
How to file a claim and get reimbursed
As with almost any insurance claim, there are steps the driver has to take in order to receive reimbursement after their vehicle has been damaged. Depending upon what caused the damage, not every step listed would have to be followed.
Contact The Police
If your vehicle was hit by another vehicle, whether it be a hit-and-run driver, or an uninsured driver, then the police will need to be called to file an incident report. A police report helps to support your damage claim.
File a report and collect accident information
Depending on which state you live in, you may also need to report accidents to the DMV, (Department of Motorized Vehicles) or the equivalent thereof. There are some locations which do not call it the DMV, causing confusion for those who have recently moved, or visited, the area. If you are not sure about what needs to be done, then it would be wise to call the Insurance Commissioner for the state which you reside.
When contacting your insurance company, you need to have all of your accident information with you. This includes information about what happened, information about the other driver, as well as information about the other driver's insurance. You would also need to give them information about the other vehicle, or vehicles, involved in the accident.
What factors affect the need for collision insurance and the size policy
As with any complex consumer choice, there are many factors which will affect the outcome. These include:
- You can't afford to replace your vehicle
- You can afford to replace your vehicle, but you would rather not dip into your savings.
- Ability to pay extra for having collision insurance
- Age and value of the vehicle
Features To Look for and how to get a quote
To get a quote and begin comparison shopping, begin your search at AutoInsurance.com. You should also consider:
- Customer service quality of the insurance provider.
- Customer reviews. If the reviews are mostly negative, then stay away from that company.
- Affordable premiums and convenience.
Collision insurance can be a great use of money, and can easily pay for itself in the right circumstances. The decision to get it and how much to purchase will be based upon your individual finances and circumstances. Do your research, consider the options, and make sure to get a competitive quote.