When people think of auto insurance, they probably think of the comprehensive and collision insurance. But, most do not actually full understand the terms. So, what is the difference?
Comprehensive and collision insurance are two of the most common types of auto insurance that are offered to repair damaged vehicles. The two insurances, however, act very differently as they cover different types of damage.
Comprehensive car insurance is meant for damages which are caused by non-collision-related damages. So, anything that deals with inclement weather or theft or vandalism. Collision insurance, on the other hand, is meant for damages just caused by collisions. In both types of insurance, the coverage may include individual repairs or a full replacement of your vehicle.
To get a better idea, here are a few examples of when collision and comprehensive insurance come into play:
- Collision insurance typically comes into play pretty much any time the car is being driven. So, for example, if you are driving and you hit another vehicle, or another vehicle hits you. Or, if you accidentally collide with a stationary object such as a tree or street sign. Collision insurance also kicks in if you are driving and you hit a major pothole. Again, it is best to think about the car being in motion and colliding with something.
- Comprehensive insurance, however, generally comes into play for all incidents that happen that are not related to the car being driven. In many states it is known as “other than collision” insurance. So, for example, you park your car under a tree and a branch crashed down on it. Your car is damaged due to inclement weather, like during a hurricane or damage related to hail.
Moreover, it is important to remember that comprehensive insurance actually includes a deductible, which is the amount that you have to pay out of pocket. So, for example, if you hit an object that causes you $2,000.00 worth in damage. You must then process an insurance claim in order to pay for your losses. If you have a $1,000 deductible, then you would have to pay the $1,000 deductible and the insurer would pay the remaining $1,000.
There are a few quirks with comprehensive insurance that you would naturally think would be collision. For example, if you collide with an animal, the damage would fall under comprehensive insurance. Also, any type of damage to your windshield or glass would be considered comprehensive. Lastly, any rocks or gravel that is either kicked up or dropped from cars is considered to fall under comprehensive insurance and not collision insurance.
Thus, when you are trying to figure out what insurance covers a certain damage, it is always best to think of how the car was damaged. However, because the two insurance cover different types of events, most people frequently bundle the two together. Think of it this way. If you hit a deer, you will need comprehensive coverage. If you, however, swerve to avoid hitting a deer and hit another car or a street sign, you will need collision coverage.
When deciding what kinds of auto insurance to get, you should take into account of a variety of things. First, you need to take into account your budget and how much your car is worth. You should sit down and figure out just how much you could afford to repair on your own. If anything were to happen to your car, could you replace or fix it on your own?
You also need to think about how much your car is worth. If your car is newer, then it is most likely more expensive to fix or replace. If, however, you have an older car with a lot of miles on it, then it would not be as expensive to repair.
Next, you should consider the area in which you live. Do you live in a crowded metro area, or do you live a more rural location? How are the roads in your town? If you live in a crowded city, then you are more likely to be involved in a car accident than if you live in a rural location. You are also more likely to have your car being vandalized or have items stolen from it. However, if you live in a more rural location, then you are more likely to have an accident with an animal, such as a deer.
Remember that in Florida, you are more likely to have weather-related accidents. Hurricanes are prevalent and can cause serious damage. Whether it is objects being thrown through the air, flooding, or hail. If you live in Florida, it is usually wise to buy comprehensive insurance.
Something else to keep in mind is that Florida’s rate of uninsured drivers is particularly high. In fact, with an uninsured driver rate standing at over twenty percent, Florida has one of the largest number of uninsured drivers in the United States.
This high rate of uninsured drivers makes the average monthly payment fairly expensive. According to the IRC – Insurance Research Council – the average Floridian paid a whopping $1,339.00 per month for auto insurance. This rate may seem high, but getting into an accident with an uninsured driver can be extremely expensive. The average cost of getting into an accident with an uninsured driver can cost as much as $20,000.00. With that kind of price, it is certainly cheaper to buy collision insurance.
One more factor to consider is how often you plan on driving and for how long. The more you drive and the longer you drive, the more likely you are to get into an accident of some kind. Thus, the more important it is to buy a bundled package.
If you drop comprehensive coverage, on average a person can save approximately twenty-two dollars per month. But, if you do not have any sort of comprehensive coverage, then you will have to pay one hundred percent of the price of the damage out of pocket.
So, as stated before, when you are buying insurance, it is highly important to consider all of the factors that affect you personally. In most cases, you should find that it would be in your best interests to buy a package that bundles both comprehensive and collision insurance.
The car accident lawyers at Wolfson & Leon have helped car accident clients since 1963 and they are here to help you too. If you have questions about the type of insurance you should consider, call us. If you believe an insurance company is treating you unfairly, contact us. If you were in a car accident, reach out to us. We have offices in Miami, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Call us at 305-285-1115 for your free and confidential consultation.