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The Difference Between Collision And Comprehensive Insurance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The Difference Between Collision And Comprehensive Insurance

Nathan Roberson
December 16, 2012


When you own an automobile, you will have to purchase insurance in order to drive it legally. Laws require that all drivers on the road have specific amounts of coverage before driving. This works to protect the other drivers on the road, but can protect you also. Getting in an accident with someone who is uninsured can create serious financial problems for you, and you owe the same courtesy of having car insurance to others as they do to you.

If you have ever filed a Pennsylvania car insurance claim, you have likely heard the terms collision and comprehensive. Making the right claim, buying the right policy and setting the right deductible amounts is a process of understanding the two types of insurance and finding the right price for you.

Comprehensive Insurance

If your automobile is damaged in some way that is not caused by a collision or an automobile accident, your comprehensive insurance will cover the costs. For example, a broken windshield from a rock on the freeway would fall under your comprehensive coverage. If your car is broken into and your belongings are stolen, you would make a comprehensive insurance claim. If a tree were to fall on your car during a storm, this would also fall into the scope of comprehensive insurance.

Remember that comprehensive insurance only covers the owner's automobile. Any other car that was damaged is not covered under your policy. You must have specific cars on your policy in order for them to be covered under your comprehensive insurance.

Comprehensive deductibles are typically lower than collision deductibles because comprehensive claims usually cost less for the insurance company to fix. You and your insurance agent will set these amounts.

Collision Insurance

If your automobile were damaged in a collision involving another automobile, this would fall under the collision insurance umbrella. In order to qualify for collision coverage, you car must strike another object, such as a vehicle, light post, a building or a tree. When any of these things happen, you will want to make a collision insurance claim on your policy. If you are at fault during the accident, your insurance will cover the cost of repairs to the other driver's car. If not, your insurance will only cover the cost of fixing the owner's car.

Collision repairs are often very expensive and can even result in the totaling of a car. Because of this, your collision deductible is likely higher than your comprehensive deductible. Obviously, avoiding an accident is the ideal situation, but this isn't always possible.

The Right Coverage

It's obvious that you need both types of coverage when you are driving a car. Most companies for cheap auto insurance online will provide policies will include both collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. If you have questions about which category your claim will fall under, it's a simple process to call your insurance agent or company to be better informed about your policy. If you are paying a monthly premium for your car insurance, you should understand what is happening with your money and what the further costs to you will be when you file a claim. Get educated on how your insurance policy works and be a responsible consumer.


If you have questions about which category your claim will fall under, it's a simple process to call your Pennsylvania car insurance agent or company to be better informed about your policy. Find cheap auto insurance online today.

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