What is collision coverage on car insurance?
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UPDATED: Oct 15, 2021
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- Collision coverage is an option that you can add to your auto insurance that protects your vehicle.
- This coverage option provides protection when damages are caused by a collision with another vehicle, an object, or a pothole.
- Collision coverage does not help protect against damages caused by animals or nature.
- If you carry this coverage on your policy, you may also have a deductible.
- The deductible is the amount deducted from your covered loss, meaning you are responsible for this portion of any covered claim.
Collision coverage is an option in your insurance policy that protects your vehicle in the event of an accident with another car, an object, or even a pothole.
This coverage option may be a more costly coverage because collision claims may be more costly than other types of insurance claims. If you have selected collision coverage on your policy, there are a few things to know about it.
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What does collision coverage protect your vehicle against?
Collision coverage is a portion of your insurance policy that helps you repair or replace your vehicle when it’s damaged during an accident. These damages are normally the result of a collision with another vehicle, but collisions with an object or a pothole may also be covered.
Collision coverage may cover the damages to your vehicle after you pay your deductible, or it may reimburse you the cost of your repairs once they are complete.
Collision coverage may cost more than other coverage options listed in your policy, normally due to the extra costs that are associated with collision claims.
It’s important to talk to multiple insurance providers before choosing your coverage since different providers may offer this coverage at different prices.
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What exceptions or exclusions are there to collision coverage?
Your collision coverage helps in many situations, but there are also exceptions and exclusions in your insurance policy. Some of these exclusions are:
- Damage incurred by an animal
- Damage to your personal belongings
- Mechanical failure
For instance, many drivers would call an accident involving a deer or other large animal a collision.
However, although many consider this a collision, your insurance provider is likely to cover this under comprehensive coverage. If you do not carry that policy option, your collision coverage is unlikely to provide you with any additional coverage for this event.
Collision coverage does not usually protect your personal belongings either. If you are involved in an accident and your personal property is damaged or destroyed, your collision coverage is not likely to extend to your belongings.
However, you may have other insurance policies, such as homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, that could provide coverage for your belongings.
Another exclusion to your collision coverage is that mechanical failure or other wear-and-tear to your car is not usually covered.
These damages or mechanical problems are often seen as maintenance issues, and insurance providers expect the car’s owner to maintain safe operating conditions to prevent accidents.
What policy terms come along with having collision coverage?
Collision coverage on your insurance policy may have terms and conditions that you are required to abide by. For instance, one of the most common terms is the insurance deductible, or the amount that is deducted from your covered loss amount.
Your insurance provider may handle this in one of two ways:
- They may require the deductible up front
- They may reduce any settlement by this deductible amount
The insurance deductible is a portion of your policy terms that your provider uses to help keep premium costs lower. This is accomplished by having the policyholder cover a portion of the loss, which means that you are more likely to file a claim only in necessary situations.
Deductibles may be a set amount, such as $500 of any covered loss, or it may be a percentage of the covered loss, such as five percent of any covered loss. The higher the deductible selected for your policy terms, the lower the premium your insurance provider may charge.
Some insurance providers may also offer incentives for being a low-risk driver or avoiding accidents. These incentives could be a cost reduction in your premium or even a lower deductible each year you go without a claim.
Different providers offer different benefits to their policyholders, so make sure to check with any potential or current provider when trying to determine your coverage needs.
There may be terms and conditions associated with any incentives or benefits, so make sure you discuss any offerings with your provider.
Collision coverage can be a very important coverage option for many drivers. There are different incidents that may occur that are not covered under other policy terms; making collision coverage your only option.
When you are trying to determine what coverage options and limits you need, it’s important to consider the benefits that options like collision coverage offer.
If you have questions or concerns about different situations where your coverage limits may apply, speak to your current or potential insurance provider about it.
Due to the costs associated with collision coverage, it may be beneficial to get multiple quotes from different providers before making a decision on which policy is right for you.
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