At a minimum, most states require some kind of liability coverage, but it’s a good idea to consider collision insurance coverage as well. Liability policies help pay for the other driver’s expenses if you cause an accident, but collision insurance allows you to repair or replace your car.
Let Benzinga help you find the best collision insurance for you. We’ll also go over the laws you need to know and how you can save on your policy.
Get Collision Insurance
Tip: compare 2-3 quotes
Best Collision Insurance:
- Best Overall Collision Insurance: Allstate
- Cheapest Collison Insurance: Progressive
- Best for Customer Service: GEICO
- Best for Discounts: Esurance
- Best for Rideshare Coverage: USAA
What Does Collision Insurance Cover?
Collision insurance covers repairs to your vehicle if it’s damaged in an accident. You can use collision insurance to help cover the cost of replacing it if your vehicle is damaged beyond repair. Accidents covered by collision insurance include:
- Accidents that involve more than 1 vehicle
- Collisions with objects such as fences and trees
- Damage from your vehicle rolling or even tipping over
Obviously, there are other ways your vehicle may suffer damage. Collision insurance does not include coverage for:
- Damage to your vehicle that occurs when you are not driving, such as storm damage or damage due to theft
- Damage you cause to another person’s vehicle
- Medical bills for yourself or for any other person involved in the accident
Do You Have to Add Collision Coverage?
Collision insurance is usually required by financial lenders. If you lease or finance your vehicle, you will probably be required to carry collision insurance. If you own your car and are no longer making payments, collision insurance is optional.
You may wonder whether you should add it to your policy if you’re not required to carry collision insurance. Beyond simple liability and collision, policies offer a wide range of coverage types. Here’s an overview to help you understand each type of auto insurance.
You’ll probably be required to carry comprehensive coverage if you lease or finance your vehicle. It provides coverage if your car is damaged for reasons not related to a collision. This may include accidents involving collisions with animals, theft, vandalism and falling objects such as tree branches.
Gap insurance is optional. It can be used if your vehicle is completely totaled due to an accident or if your car is stolen and can’t be found. In most cases, your auto insurance company will give you a settlement based on the actual cash value of the lost vehicle. However, since your car’s value may be less than what you owe on your auto lease or loan, you could still have a big bill to pay. Gap insurance can help you cover the gap between the amount owed on your car and the settlement received.
Liability coverage protects you from paying out of pocket for damages after a covered accident. If your accident causes an injury, it can cover medical bills and loss of income for the other person. If your accident damages someone else’s property or vehicle, it can pay for the necessary repairs.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage can cover the medical costs for you and your passengers if you get in an accident. You can use it for ambulance bills, hospital bills, doctor visits and any other necessary medical treatments. Some companies may offer medical payment coverage if you are injured in someone else’s vehicle or if you are struck by a vehicle while walking.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection (PIP) may help cover medical costs related to a covered accident no matter which driver is at fault. It can provide coverage for medical bills and lost wages due to injuries from a covered accident. It may also offer coverage for rehabilitation or funeral costs.
Rental Reimbursement Insurance
If your vehicle needs to be repaired and cannot be driven following an accident, you’ll need another way to get around. Rental reimbursement insurance can help pay for a rental car until you’re able to use your own vehicle again.
Towing and Labor Coverage
If you have a comprehensive coverage policy, you can also add towing coverage. If your car needs to be towed due to something like a dead battery or an accident, you can use this coverage. You can also add labor coverage to cover the cost of delivering and installing parts to the location where your vehicle broke down. Some companies refer to this coverage as roadside assistance.
If you’re still trying to decide whether you should get collision insurance, consider your finances and vehicle.
Consider the benefits of collision insurance as well as the costs. Insurance requires a monthly premium, and when you need to use your insurance, you will have to pay the deductible — your cost out of pocket before insurance kicks in. You can choose the premium and deductible when you purchase a policy.
If your vehicle is older and you feel comfortable replacing it if necessary, collision insurance may not be important. Get a quote from a few different insurance companies and see if the cost of collision insurance is worth it in your situation.
The cost of repairing a vehicle can vary depending on factors such as make, model and year. Do some research to see how much parts of your vehicle cost if they needed to be replaced. You can also look up the actual cash value of your vehicle. This may differ from how much you paid for your vehicle when you got it and how much you may still owe on it.
The coverage you need will depend on how much your vehicle is worth. Each policy comes with a coverage limit. The more your car is worth, the higher you will want your coverage limit to be. Make sure your coverage limit will be able to pay for repairs to your car if it becomes necessary.
Laws Specific to Collision Insurance
Auto insurance laws vary depending on your state. However, no state currently requires drivers to carry collision insurance. Remember, even though it’s not mandated by law, your lender may require collision insurance if you lease or financed your vehicle.
Best Auto Insurance Providers for Collision Coverage
Your next step is to compare insurance providers. We’ve done the research for you. Get several quotes to find the best coverage option for you.
1. Best Overall: Allstate
Allstate’s quote process is thorough and helps you receive a lot of possible discounts. You may also have the option to bundle multiple insurance products.
Allstate’s standard auto insurance policy includes not only collision coverage, but comprehensive, personal injury and liability protection.
2. Cheapest: Progressive
Progressive offers affordable auto insurance policies that include collision insurance. Its basic policy includes both collision and comprehensive coverage.
You can enroll in higher-level policies, which may offer additional coverage and lower your deductibles.
You can also edit your coverage or save by paying on your policy 6 months at a time.
3. Best for Customer Service: GEICO
GEICO is affordable and offers excellent customer service. A standard GEICO policy includes both comprehensive and collision coverage.
GEICO offers online resources and articles to answer commonly-asked questions regarding coverage.
It also offers an app for easy access to your policy and you can access a virtual assistant on its website.
4. Best for Discounts: Esurance
Esurance offers 3 different levels of coverage to suit your needs. Its standard coverage policy includes collision, comprehensive and liability coverage. You can edit your policy to change your deductible and add more coverage.
Esurance also offers several discounts to help you save money on your policy. You can receive discounts for 3 years without driving infractions and for 5 years without making a claim. It also offers discounts for anti-theft devices on your vehicle and for bundling policies.
5. Best for Rideshare Coverage: USAA
If you are a rideshare driver for Uber or Lyft, make sure your auto insurance policy offers coverage for this unique line of work. USAA offers options to cover you at any stage of the rideshare process. Its Ridesharing Gap Coverage makes sure you’re covered between trips.
As long as you’re logged into your ridesharing app and waiting to receive a request, you’re covered. Some competitors do not offer coverage for this time between trips.
Is it Time for Collision Coverage?
Collision insurance is not always required, but if you want help to repair or replace your vehicle no matter the cause, it may be time to look into adding collision to your policy. Get a quote from our list of best collision insurance providers today and find the right coverage for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: By law, what types of car insurance do I have to have?
Almost all states (with the exception of New Hampshire) require you to carry liability insurance on your vehicle. Your state may require additional auto insurance coverage. Limits are expressed like this: Amount for injuries per person/amount for injuries total per accident/amount for property damage per accident.
2) Q: How does my personal credit play a role?
Insurance carriers run credit scores to help determine policy premiums. Your insurance rates will likely be lower if you have an excellent credit score. On the other hand, your insurance rates may be higher if you have a poor credit score. Insurance companies believe credit scores are an indicator of whether you’ll make your insurance payments on time and credit scores combined with other data can be predictive of risk. Check out the best companies for all credit scores now.