What is Collision Car Insurance Coverage?

Collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle in the event of a collision with another vehicle or a fixed object.

Collision coverage is not required by law, but it is usually mandated if you’re financing or leasing a vehicle.

Collision insurance is subject to the deductible (the amount you’re responsible for paying prior to your car insurance coverage kicking in).

Collision insurance is often sold with Comprehensive  insurance to provide what the industry calls “full coverage insurance.”

What does a Collision auto insurance policy cover?

Collision coverage will pay to fix your car if it collides with another vehicle or fixed object.

Filing a collision claim involves paying a deductible and typically raises your future premiums.

What’s covered by collision insurance:

    • Property damage to your vehicle sustained in a collision
    • Property damage sustained by hitting a fixed object, such as a house, tree, or wall
    • Damage to your vehicle caused by a hit-and-run driver
    • Damage sustained after losing control of your vehicle potentially due to ice or hydroplaning
    • Damage caused by hitting a pothole

Collision does not cover damage which is covered by other coverages such as

    • Liability – damage to other people’s property, medical bills for other driver’s injuries
    • Comprehensive – theft, vandalism, or damage from weather (fire, hail flood)
    • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
    • Medical payments coverage
    • Personal injury protection

Routine wear and tear are not covered by comprehensive auto insurance. For that coverage, you should look for a vehicle warranty.  Luckily we have the best in the industry for you with Arkay

Is Collision insurance required?

Zero states have laws that require collision coverage, but vehicles purchased through financing and leased vehicles require full coverage insurance.

By signing a lease or loan application, you are responsible for paying the auto loan.  If the car is damaged or totaled, you are responsible to continue to pay or to pay off the car. It is for this reason that lenders require collision and comprehensive insurance which will provide money to either fix or total your car.

For most people who have a high-value vehicle, this coverage is highly recommended.

Collision deductibles?

A higher deductible should result in cheaper insurance premiums. So, one way to lower your overall insurance costs is to raise your deductible.

If you collide with an object and the damage costs less than your deductible amount to repair or even if it is just a little more, it might be best to pay for the damages out of pocket  and not turn in a claim.  By not turning in the claim, it should avoid your insurance premiums increasing.

FYI – If your vehicle is totaled in the accident, your insurer takes the value of your car before the accident and subtracts your deductible amount before sending you a check.

How much does a Collision claim raise my rate?

A collision claim is similar to an at-fault accident as it can impact your premium at renewal in a big way.

In a past study, the average collision claim increased rates by $303 for a six-month policy when it renews.  This happens because you are now grouped with people that have 1 more collision claim.  This claim stays on “your record”  between three and five years after the accident and thus you are in a higher cost group for that time. So, this one collision claim can increase your rates by between $1,818  (3 year) and $3,030 (5 year) while you are in this more costly group.

Before you file a collision claim, it is smart to get an estimate and see if the cost of repairs is less than the cost of the rate increase plus the deductible.  If so, you might be better to pay the bill yourself (assuming you have the funds to do so).

How does Comprehensive and Collision work together?

Collision and Comprehensive are commonly packaged together in an auto policy to provide full coverage.  Together they work to protect against physical damage to your vehicle from an accident where your car collides with another object (collision) or your vehicle is damaged from weather, animals, stolen or vandalism (comprehensive).

Comprehensive vs. Collision Claim impact

Comprehensive claims normally cost much less than collision or liability insurance claims as comprehensive claims are outside of your control like weather related things like hail.

For one carrier, 1 comprehensive claim raised the premium by $48 a year where 1 collision claim raised the premium $768 a year.

Claims stay on your record for between 3 to 5 years.  Carriers assess a surcharge (increase) to your rates for accidents.

How do I save on insurance after a comprehensive claim?

After an accident, it is time to re-assess how much risk you want to retain vs. transfer to the insurance company.  You can retain more by decreasing deductibles and coverages which will reduce your premium and save you $ but at more risk to you.

If your vehicle isn’t worth much, you might not need comprehensive and collision.  The typical tipping point is around $4,000.  So if your car is worth less than $4,000 comprehensive and collision isn’t normally recommended.

Take into consideration that your car just lost value by having an accident when calculating its value.

Make sure you are getting all the discounts you deserve and potentially look into claim forgiveness as you don’t want another claim to affect your insurance price.

    • Good/safe driver
    • Multiple drivers
    • Multi-vehicle
    • Multiple policies
    • Payment by bank account
    • Paid-in-full
    • Good student
    • Telematics
    • eSign
    • Group participation/affinity membership discount
    • Homeowner discount
    • Green vehicle discount

Customers which can pay for the full premium upfront normally get a good discount for doing so.  It shows that you are responsible with your money to have enough to pay upfront and also saves the carrier on payment processing fees which they sometimes pass that savings to you.


After you factor in the above, see if other auto insurance companies are offering lower rates. Brigade Insurance can get you a number of auto insurance quotes, allowing you to find a the right policy with a premium that fits your budget.

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