Advertiser Disclosure

Understanding Comprehensive and Collision Insurance

July 31, 2019
Auto Insurance, Insurance
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Collision and comprehensive insurance are two of the most important types of car insurance to understand. They’re not legally required by any state, but they can come to the rescue in a variety of situations.

Compare auto insurance policies instantly

Please enter a valid zip code
powered by

What collision and comprehensive insurance cover

Collision and comprehensive insurance are similar and are often sold as a package, but they don’t cover the same problems. Both pay to fix damage to your own car or replace it entirely — not for injuries or for damage to anyone else’s property.

Collision insurance pays for:Comprehensive insurance pays for:

  • Damage to your car in an accident you cause.
  • Damage to your car if you hit an object such as a fence or pole.
  • Damage to your car if someone else hits you. Another option in this case is to make a claim against the other driver's liability insurance.
The value of your car if it's stolen and not recovered, and damage from:

  • Weather such as tornadoes or hail.
  • Floods.
  • Fire.
  • Falling objects.
  • Explosions.
  • Crashes with an animal, such as striking a deer.
  • Riots and civil disturbances.

» MORE: What is comprehensive insurance?

How much collision and comprehensive cost

To get realistic comparisons, we analyzed rates for minimum-coverage policies and compared them to policies with comprehensive, collision, and higher liability limits that are commonly considered “full coverage” car insurance together. Here are the rates for the seven largest insurance companies in the U.S.

CompanyFull coverageMinimum coverageAnnual difference
USAA is only available to military members, veterans and their families.
State Farm$1,337$578$758
Geico$1,627$595$1,032
Progressive$1,828$746$1,082
Farmers$1,855$850$1,004
Allstate$1,964$842$1,122
Liberty Mutual$2,752$1,102$1,650
USAA*$896$308$588

Car insurance rates vary widely by state for similar policies, even when it comes to comprehensive and collision coverage alone. Here are the average costs differences between minimum and full coverage in every state.

StateFull coverageMinimum coverageAnnual difference
Average$1,621$676$946
Alabama$1,468$522$946
Alaska$1,282$446$835
Arizona$1,549$655$893
Arkansas$1,386$498$888
California$1,817$631$1,186
Colorado$2,065$681$1,384
Connecticut$2,039$947$1,092
Delaware$2,444$1,208$1,237
District of Columbia$1,698$795$903
Florida$2,411$1,140$1,271
Georgia$1,921$794$1,127
Hawaii$1,312$502$810
Idaho$990$398$592
Illinois$1,439$648$792
Indiana$1,142$464$677
Iowa$1,013$325$688
Kansas$1,538$575$963
Kentucky$2,007$869$1,138
Louisiana$3,678$1,167$2,511
Maine$897$378$519
Maryland$1,971$1,077$893
Massachusetts$1,270$547$723
Michigan$4,079$2,508$1,571
Minnesota$1,673$832$841
Mississippi$1,478$523$954
Missouri$1,521$624$897
Montana$1,277$411$866
Nebraska$1,127$423$704
Nevada$2,414$976$1,437
New Hampshire$1,125$474$650
New Jersey$2,173$1,279$894
New Mexico$1,570$554$1,016
New York$2,647$1,448$1,199
North Carolina$978$398$580
North Dakota$1,241$405$836
Ohio$1,123$520$603
Oklahoma$1,596$522$1,074
Oregon$1,758$1,062$696
Pennsylvania$1,298$477$822
Rhode Island$2,159$925$1,234
South Carolina$1,322$572$750
South Dakota$1,155$326$829
Tennessee$1,445$474$971
Texas$1,934$726$1,208
Utah$1,400$702$698
Vermont$1,082$386$696
Virginia$1,139$480$660
Washington$1,029$508$521
West Virginia$1,490$603$887
Wisconsin$1,044$466$578
Wyoming$1,128$315$813

The cost to add collision and comprehensive insurance varied widely among the companies we sampled. Your own cost will depend on the value of your car, your location, your driving history and the deductible amount that you choose.

Save money by raising your deductible — if you can pay out-of-pocket to fix or replace your car.

You can save money by raising your deductible. Many policies offer ones as high as $2,000. But do this only if you’re prepared to spend more of your own money to fix or replace your car. Shop around for prices to see if you’re getting a good deal.

» COMPARE: Car insurance quotes from multiple companies

Should you buy collision and comprehensive coverage?

Yes: If you took out a car loan to buy your car, your lender will probably require that you carry collision and comprehensive coverage.

Yes: If you lease your car, your leasing company likely requires you to buy collision and comprehensive coverage.

Yes: If you couldn’t afford to replace or significantly repair your car if you crashed it or if someone stole it.

Yes: If your area has a high incidence of car theft, vandalism, severe weather (like hail) or animal collisions and you don’t want to pay for repairs yourself, or a new car.

No: If your car is older and not worth a lot. Remember the maximum payout will be the value of your car if it’s totaled or stolen. If your car’s value is low, consider whether the potential payout would be worth the premiums you’ll pay. Remember, too, that the deductible amount will reduce any claims check. Check out NADAguides for your car’s current value.

About 77% of all U.S. drivers buy comprehensive coverage, and 72% buy collision, according to an Insurance Information Institute analysis.

NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with no incidents on record for 20 ZIP codes in each state and Washington, D.C., from the largest insurers, up to 12 in each state. Rates for minimum insurance coverage represent the limits required by law in each state.
For the full coverage category, we averaged rates from the largest insurers for 40-year-old men and women in 10 ZIP codes and with the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. We used a 2015 Toyota Camry in all cases. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

 

About the author