Car insurance is one of life's essentials, so you can't afford to buy it and forget it. You need to regularly evaluate your automobile insurance policy to make certain that you have enough coverage and that you are not being overcharged on your premiums.

If your vehicle is paid off, you have the freedom to build a policy that meets your particular needs. If you have a lender, they may dictate the type of coverage you purchase. In most situations, however, you should buy collision coverage to go with your state-mandated liability insurance. Collision coverage protects your property when you are in an accident, and like most of us, you probably can't afford to go without it. \

Collision Coverage Basics

Collision coverage is not required by the state, but your lender may require it as part of a full coverage package. Collision coverage is meant to cover the cost of repairs or replacement of your vehicle when it is damaged in certain types of accidents. For instance, collision coverage pays when you collide with another car, run into your garage, flip your vehicle, or hit a pothole. Collision coverage does not protect you when you hit an animal, such as a deer. Those incidents are only covered under comprehensive insurance plans.

Your collision policy will pay out even if the accident is your fault. If the other driver is at fault, your insurance company will seek reimbursement from their insurance company. In either case, you are covered.

Collision Coverage Deductible

Your collision coverage comes with its own deductible, often $500 or $1000. If you want to save money on your premiums, you can choose to carry a higher deductible. Of course, if your car is damaged in a collision, you will have to come up with that amount of cash to apply to the repairs or replacement. If you are not at fault, your insurance company may be able to collect the deductible from the other insurance company. You have to balance your need for coverage with the savings a high deductible policy provides.

The Need for Collision Coverage

Your financial situation, daily commute, and vehicle value are all factors in choosing collision insurance. If you are driving a car that is not worth much, you may decide that liability coverage is enough for you. For instance, the Kelley Blue Book may list your car's worth at $1000. If you have a $500 collision deductible, carrying the policy may not be worth it. Instead, you can deposit your premium savings in order to pay for any needed repairs or to save up for a different car. Of course, if you have a newer vehicle, then collision insurance is really a necessity. Your $30,000 vehicle can be totaled in an instant on the freeway or at the intersection near your home. Without collision coverage, you may not be able to replace it.

If you frequently rack up lots of miles on crowded roadways, collision insurance is a good idea. Even a fender bender can cause costly damage to your vehicle. If you don't have the finances to pay for hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs, then you should invest in collision coverage. However, if you only drive your occasionally, you will be at lower risk of a traffic incident and less in need of collision insurance.

When you owe a lender for your vehicle, they will usually insist on full coverage, which means that you have to carry collision insurance as well as comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive policies cover damage from storms, theft, and animal collisions, among other events. If you own your vehicle outright, you may still choose to have comprehensive coverage. Otherwise, you will be on the hook if your car catches on fire or is damaged by a flood.

Making a Claim

When you are involved in a collision, you should always contact local law enforcement or the state highway patrol in order to get an official accident report. You should also immediately contact your insurer. Most have 800 hundred numbers, websites, and apps that make reporting an accident easy. Your company should take care of the details, including pursuing reimbursement from the at-fault driver's insurance company if necessary. Just make certain to document everything as completely as you can, using your phone to take pictures if you are able. Your insurance company will need all the information it can get in order to better serve you.

Getting the Best Quote

Comparison shopping for insurance gets you the best coverage at competitive rates. At, you'll instantly get quotes from a number of top insurance companies. Just visit the site, enter some basic information, and choose from a number of policies that work for your situation. You save time and money when you comparison shop this way, and the process is completely free. also aids you in gathering other money-saving information. They will help you find discounts while offering you policy options, including ones that include collision coverage.

In most cases, collision coverage is essential for your protection. Even the cost of running into your own garage door can be exorbitant. Without the right auto policy, you can easily end up without a vehicle to drive. Protect yourself by checking out your options at today.