We often hear the question, “What auto insurance coverage should I have on my vehicles?” It depends on several factors. Understanding what comprehensive coverage and collision coverage covers is a good first step in determining the best auto insurance coverage for your vehicles.

In the world of personal auto insurance when you hear someone refer to “comprehensive and collision,” they are referring to two separate coverages available, Comprehensive coverage and Collision coverage.


What is Comprehensive Insurance?

Comprehensive insurance helps pay for damages to your vehicle caused by factors other than an accidental collision, such as fire, vandalism, weather, theft, hitting an animal, etc. Some common examples include:

  • Your vehicle is damaged in a hail storm or other weather-related event
  • Someone vandalizes your vehicle by smashing your windows and slashing your tires
  • You hit an animal with your car on your way to work
  • A storm causes a tree to fall on your car
  • Your car is stolen
  • Your neighbors’ brush fire gets out of control and sets your vehicle on fire

However, comprehensive insurance does not cover your vehicle from all types of damage. This is a common misconception.

It does not cover damages resulting from:

  • Getting hit by another vehicle
  • Accidentally hitting another vehicle or object
  • Rolling over your vehicle

These damages are typically covered by collision insurance.


What is Collision Insurance?

Collision insurance helps cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle when it’s involved in an accidental collision with another vehicle or object. Some common examples include:

  • Another vehicle hitting your car
  • Your vehicle accidentally hitting another car
  • Accidentally backing your car into a pole or other object
  • Damage from another vehicle backing into your vehicle, even if you are parked at the time
  • Rolling over your vehicle


What’s the Biggest Difference Between Collision Insurance and Comprehensive Insurance?

The main difference between collision insurance and comprehensive insurance is the situations they cover. Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle for damages that are not caused by accidental collisions.


How Do I Know What Personal Auto Insurance Policy Is the Best for Me?

If you are shopping for personal auto insurance, here are some things to consider:

  • What is the age and condition of your vehicle?
  • Is your vehicle under a lease or loan?
  • How much will it cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is totaled?
  • Do you park your vehicle outside?
  • Do you have a long commute?
  • Do you have an inexperienced driver in the household who may be more likely to be in an accident?

Have questions about whether you need comprehensive and/or collision coverage for your vehicles? We can answer your questions and help you tailor an auto insurance plan for your vehicles. Let’s Connect!


About the Authors

Connie Greenwood has 35 years of experience as an Insurance Advisor. She enjoys helping her clients and prospects understand their insurance options, and crafting insurance solutions tailored to their unique needs. Connie finds great joy in being a trusted advisor for her clients. She loves helping protect their financial welfare against unforeseen accidents and circumstances and bringing them peace of mind.



Tim Pingel has almost 20 years of experience as a personal insurance adviser. He provides individuals, couples, and families with home, auto, and umbrella insurance. His ultimate goal is to be his clients’ trusted adviser and expert, so they have the peace of mind and protection they deserve.