If you dread buying automobile insurance, you are not alone. The process can seem complicated and time-consuming. Many drivers are confused by the multiple options available. In particular, you may fear that you are buying too much or too little coverage.

In order to find a policy that fits your particular needs, you must understand the basic differences between types of coverage, such as collision and comprehensive. You may not even know exactly what your current policy covers! Before buying a new policy, carefully consider whether investing in comprehensive insurance is a better option than going with collision only. You need to balance the amount of protection you purchase with other important factors. Let's review: \

Collision and Comprehensive Insurance Basics

Your best coverage choice depends on your personal finances, the value of your car, your lender's requirements and your driving history. Most states require liability insurance, which protects you when you are at fault in an accident. It pays for damage and medical expenses for the victims of the crash, but it doesn't cover your own property damage and medical bills. That's why many drivers need to add collision coverage to their policies. But collision doesn't offer you complete coverage, either, so you may choose to add comprehensive coverage as well.

Collision insurance protects you financially when you are in a collision with another vehicle or your neighbor's mailbox. It pays to fix the damage done to your car or works to give you the value of your totaled vehicle - minus your deductible, of course. However, other things can cause harm to your vehicle, and they are not covered under collision insurance.

Comprehensive insurance protects you if your car is stolen, damaged by hail, hit by vandalism, or catches on fire.

5 Key Differences

While collision insurance is part of full coverage, you can choose to buy it without comprehensive insurance. If you have both types of insurance, you should be fully covered. Five of the most important differences between comprehensive and collision insurance are as follows:

  • Cost: When you buy only collision to go with your liability insurance, you might save some money on your premiums. How much depends on a number of factors, including your collision deductible, the value of your car, etc. You are betting that the only damage your vehicle will ever suffer is from a collision. Statistics do show that the average driver files a collision claim every three years but files a comprehensive claim only every ten years. So it is possible that your gamble will pay off.
  • Choice: If you owe money on your vehicle to a lender, you might need comprehensive coverage. Some lenders want their investment fully protected, so they will force you to keep full coverage, which means having both collision and comprehensive insurance. If you own your car or truck outright, you can choose to have only liability coverage or liability coverage with collision coverage instead of paying more for comprehensive protection.
  • Nature: Mother Nature is responsible for a lot of car damage. If you've ever experienced a hail storm, you know what it can do to your exposed car. Broken windows and a dented hood are common results. Comprehensive insurance will help cover these issues. Collision insurance will not.
  • Theft: In the United States alone, approximately 156 vehicles are stolen every day. These thefts are more common in urban areas, although the biggest cities don't have the highest rates. (In 2018, Albuquerque, New Mexico, had the most car thefts per capita.) Unless you purchase comprehensive insurance, automobile theft is not covered. You'll be stuck with all the replacement costs if someone makes off with your car.
  • Animal Damage: In some parts of the country, it's not unusual to collide with a wild or domesticated animal. For instance, in the rural Midwest, deer season is a serious hazard for drivers. Any animal can cause damage if you run into it. Surprisingly, colliding with an animal is not covered under your collision insurance. So if you damage your car after an incident with a wild hog, you are out of luck unless you have comprehensive insurance. If you rarely leave the city, animal collisions may not be a big issue.

Getting the Best Quote

When you are looking for insurance, comparison shopping is key. You want to find the right amount of coverage for the best possible price. When you visit Autoinsurance.com, you can get dozens of quotes quickly and easily. You will be able to see exactly how much various coverage plans will cost you, including the difference between comprehensive and collision.

In addition to helping you understand your insurance options, Autoinsurance.com will also steer you to special discounts and make sure you meet your state insurance requirements. You'll save money no matter what you choose: collision, comprehensive, or both.

You always want to be protected without spending money on coverage you don't need. Take the time to comparison shop before you decide on a particular policy. Then buy what you need at a price you can afford.