We are all aware that we are required by law to have liability car insurance. A simple definition of liability car insurance is coverage if an insured is legally liable for bodily injury or property damage caused by an automobile. What we may not be so knowledgeable about is collision and comprehensive coverage. While these types of coverage may be optional, they certainly can help protect you and your loved ones from serious consequences.
Collision coverage covers just that, a collision. Whether your vehicle strikes another car or hits a stationary object, such as your neighbor’s mailbox, you’d file a collision claim.
Comprehensive coverage will pay for damage to your vehicle that is caused by acts otherg than collision. These acts can be theft, fire, and vandalism to name a few. A great way to remember the difference between the two is to call comprehensive “other than collision”.
You’ve loaded the car up and you are headed to the mountains for the weekend. While your driving along, a moose is taking its afternoon fieldtrip across the road. You can’t slow down in time and if you swerve you’ll hit that huge pine tree. Before you know it the moose is tumbling across the hood of your car and tottering into the woods, but you aren’t going anywhere without a tow.
Because you have hit the moose you may think this will be covered under your collision coverage, but it is a claim that would be filled under your comprehensive coverage. This type of coverage pays for damage that is out of your control or unpredictable, like a moose or hail or a flood.
Let’s say you took your chances and swerved, missing the moose but smashing into the tree. It was the moose that contributed to your accident so wouldn’t you file a comprehensive claim? No, you collided with the tree, a stationary object, same as your neighbor’s mail box.
Why are they an important part of complete auto insurance?
Liability insurance will only provide financial protection in the event you are at fault in an accident. If your vehicle is damaged, liability won’t repair those damages, but having collision and comprehensive coverage will provide financial protection by covering the expenses associated with damage to your vehicle.