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Do I Need Collision Coverage on My Insurance Policy?

Determining whether you need collision coverage is an important part of any decision making when establishing or re-configuring an insurance policy. There are different insurance coverage choices and collision is one of them. There are reasons for having it and not having it. Here is some general information on collision insurance coverage, just what it covers, and any current requirements. You can better decide whether you need collision coverage included on your vehicle insurance policy.


Collision Insurance Requirements

State car insurance laws vary from state to state. No states require drivers to carry collision coverage as part of their minimum requirements. Collision coverage is optional according to state laws.


What Collision Insurance Covers and Other Particulars


Collision Coverage

Collision insurance covers damage that you cause to your vehicle when you hit a stationary object such as a tree, pole, fence, pothole, mailbox, guardrail or some other fixed object.



  • Collision insurance will pay for a claim when hitting any of the above objects. Since these objects are avoidable on a street or in a road, insurance companies will consider you at fault for hitting any of them.
  • Filing a claim for hitting an object may cause a premium increase.
  • Accident forgiveness may negate increases.
  • Insurance will only pay damage for your vehicle even when you’re at fault.
  • Coverage will pay for damages when a rollover accident occurs. If you’re at fault, collision insurance will still pay the damages.
  • When another driver is at fault in a rollover incident, the driver’s insurance should pick up the cost for damages.
  • If a vehicle is in total disrepair and not salvageable, collision coverage will insure the vehicle at its current cash value. Insurance estimators will determine repair costs or whether damages extend beyond the possibility of repair.


Collision Coverage When the Other Driver is at Fault

  • When another driver is at fault, collision coverage will pay for damage to your vehicle.
  • When another driver completely totals your car or damages it significantly, your collision coverage will take effect.
  • Collision coverage will cover costs when the driver of another vehicle lacks sufficient insurance to cover damages.
  • Your insurance provider will cover the costs of damage to your vehicle and will pursue reimbursement through the other driver’s insurance company.
  • When the insurance company of the other driver stalls or fails to act expeditiously, your insurance company needs to take prompt action to rectify the situation. If you carry collision insurance on your overall car insurance policy, you may ask your insurance company to act on your behalf.
  • If you have to use this option and pressure your insurance company, and you were not at fault in the accident, you should not experience an increase in rates. It’s important to speak with your insurance agent concerning whether this situation will affect your insurance rates.


Property Damage Insurance

One thing to keep in mind with collision insurance coverage is that it only covers damage to your car. It doesn’t cover damage that you may do to someone else’s vehicle. Property damage insurance, which is part of your liability coverage, which is a requirement in nearly every state, is the coverage that will pay for damage to another driver’s vehicle. When the other driver is at fault and damages your vehicle, their liability coverage pays for damage to your car. Your collision insurance does not cover damage by someone else.


Other Situations in which Collision Coverage Operates

Sometimes collision coverage will pay for damage that is not part of your policy. Say you don’t have comprehensive coverage which covers acts of nature, vandalism, theft and other situations. When comprehensive insurance coverage is lacking, these losses can go through collision insurance coverage. Other instances include hit-and-run accidents or non-insured driver accidents. Remedies for losses under these situations can fall under collision coverage, but using it in these cases may increase rates. Your carrier may consider the damage your fault. That is one reason comprehensive insurance is an added benefit, as is underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). They both make up for most any damage in various situations.


When to Purchase Collision Insurance

When you have a newer vehicle or one that requires extensive and expensive repair, collision coverage is important. It’s also usually a necessary requirement if you took out a loan to buy your vehicle.

If you have an older and less costly vehicle, it makes little sense to buy collision insurance as the cost to repair your older vehicle may be more than what you put out for the insurance coverage. Since collision insurance is not a requisite, you’ll want to look at the cost to insure your vehicle, your vehicle’s value and the cost of repairs.


Consider Deductible Amount and Overall Costs

Another important thing to consider with collision insurance is the deductible amount you’re willing to go with if you add collision coverage to your policy. If you have a larger deductible, premiums will be lower but you’ll be paying out a large deductible if an accident occurs and your vehicle has major repairs. Your overall costs for collision insurance will vary and will depend on the car you own, its age, its current worth, your driving record, your age and gender. Collision coverage will probably be higher if you have a poor driving record and have filed claims for damage in the past.

Whether you need collision insurance is something that requires careful thought and consultation with your insurance provider. Should you have further questions concerning a collision policy, complete the online contact form and a representative will get back to you quickly with the answers you need to make an informed decision.

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