Comprehensive vs Collision Insurance
When you are buying auto insurance in San Antonio, it is easy to get confused by the terminology. Two elements that help make up “full coverage” and are often misunderstood are comprehensive vs collision insurance. In most cases, when a customer buys “full coverage” auto insurance, they are not asking themselves “Do I need collision insurance?” Instead, customers are usually referring to when both comprehensive and collision coverages are packaged together along with liability coverage.
Understanding Collision Insurance
When you are in an accident, collision coverage is the insurance protection that steps in to pay for the resulting damage to your vehicle. Minus the deductible, collision coverage repairs or replaces the damage if your vehicle hits or is hit by another vehicle or object. The most commonly selected deductible amount is $500.
Understanding Comprehensive Insurance
The term “Other Than Collison” is sometimes used in place of the term comprehensive. Comprehensive coverage is what kicks in to cover repairs your vehicle needs as a result of anything other than collision. For example, if your car sustains hail damage, was vandalized, or was damaged as the result of hitting a deer or another animal, comprehensive coverage would pay for your repairs. Make note, the claim payout would be subject to your deductible ($500 avg).
In other situations when you would want to purchase only comprehensive coverage, are few and far-between. If you are storing a car but not driving it, you may want to retain coverage for potential losses due to theft, vandalism or natural disasters. In rare situations where the value of the vehicle is low, it may make sense to purchase just liability and comprehensive coverage, as comprehensive coverage is generally less expensive than collision coverage.
“Full Coverage” OR Liability Insurance Only
Before you can make a decision about purchasing comprehensive vs collision insurance in San Antonio, you should take a step back to evaluate whether you want to buy “full coverage”, or simply purchase liability insurance.
Let’s look at an example that may help make the choice clearer:
Carla rear-ended another driver at a stoplight causing minor damage to both vehicles. The next week, just after picking up her car from the repair shop, she hit a deer on her way home.
What will her insurance policy cover if she has liability insurance? What will be covered if she has full-coverage insurance?
Liability only: If Carla’s policy covered liability only, it would cover the damage she caused to the other car at the stoplight and any bodily injuries that could arise. However, her policy would not cover the costs to repair her own car. It gets because her policy would also not cover the damage her car sustained from the impact with the deer.
Full coverage: If Carla’s policy included “full coverage”, she would be in luck. In addition to the possible bodily injuries and property the liability would pay to the 3rd party at the stoplight, her policy would also cover the repairs to her own car from that accident under the collision coverage. The comprehensive coverage would then kick in to pay for the repairs required after she hit the deer. While she will be responsible for the policy deductibles, this will likely be significantly less expensive than the cost to repair her vehicle – twice.
If you have decided that you do not need “full coverage” insurance (for example, if the value of your car is low), you may still want to ask yourself “Do I need comprehensive insurance?” For a relatively small additional amount of policy premiums, comprehensive coverage will give you the additional protection to repair your car in case it is damaged as the result of something other than a car accident – like a deer in the example above.
Turn to VOS Insurance Agency for Help
Now that you can define collision insurance and comprehensive coverage, it’s time to evaluate your own insurance needs and existing coverage. Don’t worry – you don’t need to make the decision alone. The insurance professionals at Vos Insurance Agency in San Antonio are here to help.