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Home » Auto Insurance Basics – Comprehensive vs Collision
January 31, 2020

Auto Insurance Basics – Comprehensive vs Collision

black and white graphic of one car hitting the back of the other car

Auto Insurance Basics – Comprehensive vs Collision Coverage


When it comes to Auto Insurance, you have multiple options when it comes to what coverage and limits that you choose. For physical damage coverage, policyholders can opt to include comprehensive and/or collision coverage.  What is the difference between these two coverages?

Both are physical damage coverage, which means they cover damage to your car. However, they cover different situations and damage types.  For the best coverage, you should always have both comprehensive and collision both, in order to avoid coverage gaps and find yourself having to pay for damage to your vehicle out of pocket.


As the name implies, collision coverage is for when your car collides with something. In addition to including collision with another vehicle, it also includes when your car has collided with something else while you were driving, such as a guardrail, a tree, light or electric pole, a fence, etc.  Damage from hitting a pothole is also covered under your collision coverage. Collision insurance also covers you if you are in a single-car accident and your car rolls over or falls.


Comprehensive will cover the damages to your car that are not collision-related. When an object falls on your car, such a tree branch or fallen tree, that is comprehensive coverage.  Damage to your car from a natural disaster is also covered under comprehensive, as is fire damage to your vehicle. If your car is vandalized or stolen, that is comprehensive coverage.  While collision coverage covers your damages for hitting another object, comprehensive covers you for when you either hit an animal, or an animal collides with your car.  

Remember, your Auto Insurance Liability is third-party coverage and does not cover the damage to your vehicle. Most auto leases and finance companies require that you carry this coverage as well.   Without physical damage coverage, any repairs to damage to your vehicle would need to be paid out of your pocket.

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