Collision and comprehensive insurance offer you protection when your vehicle is damaged either in a collision or other-than-collision. Comprehensive is the term generally used for other-than-collision.
With basic liability coverage, your auto insurance policy will only cover damage to other people and property in a collision. Basic liability does not cover the cost of repairing your own vehicle. It does not include collision coverage and no state requires you to have collision coverage. Basic liability coverage is the bare minimum you are required to purchase in NY. However, if you have a lien holder on your policy, the lien holder will require full coverage, which is collision and comprehensive insurance, as long as the loan is outstanding.
What Is Collision Insurance Coverage?
Collision insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident. Collision coverage will cover you for accidents where you were at fault as well as accidents that were the fault of the other driver. Situations that collision insurance would cover include:
- Your car collides with another vehicle
- Your car hits an object, such as a tree
- Your car rolls over
- Your car hits a utility pole or fence
- Your car is damaged due to hitting a pothole
What Is Comprehensive Coverage?
Comprehensive car insurance pays for damage to your vehicle caused by covered events such as theft, vandalism or hail, which are not collision-related. When you buy collision coverage, your vehicle is only covered in an accident. With comprehensive, you get extended coverage for situations outside of accidents. Situations that comprehensive insurance would cover include:
- An object falls on your car, such as a tree
- An animal collides with your car
- Your car is damaged due to fire or natural disaster
- Your car in vandalized or stolen
Should I Buy Both?
You pay more money when you add collision and comprehensive coverage to your policy. These policies cost a lot more money, but you also get significantly more coverage. When you have both collision and comprehensive insurance, you are fully covered in all situations. You can relax knowing your vehicle is fully covered.
Many people, however, do not wish to purchase collision and comprehensive for an older vehicle. The older vehicle might not be worth much money. If that vehicle is significantly damaged, then the repairs to fix the car might not be worth it.
You May Required to Buy Both
As noted above, if you finance or lease your vehicle, then the bank or car dealership will require you to add collision and comprehensive coverage. In this situation, you don't fully own the vehicle. The lender is protecting the collateral that secures the loan. Once your vehicle is paid off in full, then you can remove the collision or comprehensive coverage if you wish.
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