Comprehensive and collision coverage

Reader question:

What kind of coverage pays for what kind of damage to my car?


Great question, Eva.

Auto insurance policies are broken down into several different types of coverages, which cover many different things. There are the coverages which deal with damages to your vehicle, those that handle injuries you or passengers in your car may sustain, those that deal with injuries sustained by the other driver and damage done to their vehicle, as well as any property damage caused by the car accident. It’s important to know what each part of coverage covers so that when you get into a situation where you need to file a clam, you don’t find yourself stuck out.

The two coverages that handle damages done to your car are comprehensive and collision. These are usually required if you are financing a car, be it new or used, so if you’ve ever bought a car before you’ve probably also bought comprehensive or collision insurance.

Comprehensive is basically a coverage that takes care of damage sustained by your car when it is not on the road. Well, not necessarily not on the road, but covers damage done to the car that is not caused by any kind of crash. This kind of damage is as the result of things like weather, for example. If you were in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and your car was lost in the deluge, you could make a claim for it with comprehensive insurance. It also takes into account things like vandalism, so if you have your car beaten up and some tires slashed, you can make a claim for that, too. The incident in which it is most often used is if it is stolen.

Collision coverage covers just what it says it does. This will pay for any damages to your car that are sustained as a result of a collision. Now, it’s import to look at that last part. A lot of the time, people will get into an accident and try to claim damages that they already had at the time of the collision. This cannot be done. Only damages that occurred during or because of the accident itself.


Fashun Guadarrama.

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  • Jane

    Do you think its more economical if I add collision and comprehensive to my policy for a 12 year old car?