Let’s face it, insurance often feels confusing. There are many terms that mean very different things in the insurance world. Even worse is not being able to make difficult decisions when you don’t know which is what.

When you hear someone use the term “comp and collision,” they are actually referring to two entirely separate insurance coverages available for Personal Auto Insurance policies.

Please note that this is a general outline and there might by exclusions and exceptions to each description.


What Are The Differences?

First off, there are two main types of coverages available to Personal Auto Insurance that you need to know: Comprehensive coverage and Collision coverage. Let’s split them up and look at each one.

Comprehensive Insurance

The best way to think of Comprehensive Insurance is that it generally helps pay for damages to your vehicle caused by factors other than an accidental collision. While we don’t have the entire list, this often includes things such as vandalism, fire, hail, flooding, wind, lightning, other weather effects, theft, impact with an animal, etc.

Here are some examples of when Comprehensive insurance may apply:

  • Your vehicle is damaged in a hail storm
  • Your vehicle is damaged by flooding, wind and lightning
  • Someone vandalizes your vehicle by slashing your tires and breaking all the windows
  • You hit an animal with your car on your way to work
  • A storm causes a tree to fall on your vehicle
  • Someone steals your vehicle
  • Your neighbor’s brush fire gets out of control and sets your vehicle on fire

It’s important to remember that Comprehensive Insurance coverage does not always cover your vehicle from all types of damage.


For example, Comprehensive Insurance does not cover damages resulting from:

  • Getting hit by another vehicle or accidentally hitting another vehicle or object
  • Vehicle upset, such as accidentally rolling your vehicle

Some exclusions may apply, but these types of damages are typically covered by Collision Insurance.

Collision Insurance

That brings us to the second type: Collision Insurance. This is generally geared towards helping cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle when it is involved in an accidental collision with another vehicle or object.

Collision Insurance coverage is exactly what it sounds like. It covers you when your vehicle collides with an object, or another car. It generally provides coverage for situations where you are the one being hit or where you accidentally hit another vehicle.

Even situations where your car is parked and hit by another vehicle or by an object on the ground is typically covered by Collision insurance.

Here are some examples of when Collision insurance coverage may apply:

  • Another vehicle hitting your vehicle
    Your vehicle accidentally hitting another vehicle
  • Accidentally backing your vehicle into a pole or other object
  • Damage from another vehicle backing into your vehicle, even if you are parked at the time
  • Bottoming out your vehicle
    Accidentally rolling your vehicle over an object, or rolling your vehicle


What is the biggest differences?

The main difference between Collision insurance and Comprehensive insurance are the situations that each covers.

Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle for situations outside of an accidental collision such as, damage from weather (hail, flood, wind, lightning, etc.), vandalism, theft, fire, and even damage caused by an animal.

Collision insurance covers a loss if your vehicle hits an object or another vehicle, or if another vehicle hits your vehicle.


What Do You Need?

This will depend on a few factors. These are great topics to discuss with your agent. They are experts trained in helping you find the best coverage.

A few things to consider when deciding if you want Comprehensive, Collision or both coverages on your personal auto insurance policy include:

  • What is the age and condition of your vehicle?
  • Is your vehicle under a lease or loan?
  • How much will it cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is totaled?
  • Do you park your vehicle outside?
  • Do you have a long commute?
  • Do you have an inexperienced driver in the household who may be more likely to be involved in an accident?


What Personal Auto Insurance Policy Is Best (For Me)?

Now that you know more about the coverages available, you may be wondering what policy will be best for you. If you’re shopping for personal auto insurance, you likely already know that there are a lot of options out there. Most auto insurance policies offer similar coverages and options.

The greatest impact where you see these coverage take place are actually the company behind them. Once you have determined what coverages make sense for you, it pays to do some extra research on the individual insurance companies that offer them, or visit an insurance provider that has access to multiple companies and plans.

When comparing auto insurance companies, here are some things to consider:

  • How long has the insurance company been in business? Look for an insurance provider that has been around for many generations. This likely means they have a wide range of products and knowledge in the industry.
  • Are they financially stable? Check the AM Best ratings to find out. 
  • How is their customer service? Insurance is a service-driven industry. Evaluate if the company prioritizes claims service. .
  • Do they offer local claims service? When your agent turns your claim over to a claim representative, it is more convenient if that person is local too.


Next Steps

That was a lot of information to take in. If you still find yourself asking yourself how much coverage you need between Comprehensive and/or Collision insurance, we should talk.

As your local insurance agency with over 100 years experience, we know how difficult the right coverage can be to find. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team with any questions.

Start a conversation with us here.