What is collision insurance?

Collision insurance is a type of coverage that can pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it's involved in an accident with either a stationary object or another vehicle. Collision coverage isn't legally required in any state, but your lender may require it if you're leasing or financing your vehicle. Collision insurance coverage is available for most types of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, boats, and RVs.

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Two cars in a collision

Do I need collision insurance?

Collision coverage is considered an optional coverage because it's not required by any state law. If you lease or finance your vehicle, however, your lender may require it to protect their investment.

If you own your vehicle outright and choose not to carry collision coverage, you will have to pay to repair or replace your vehicle out of pocket if you're involved in a single-vehicle accident or found at-fault in an accident. If the other driver is found at-fault, however, their liability coverage will typically pay for the damage.

What does collision insurance cover?

Collision insurance coverage can pay to repair or replace your vehicle after collision-related accidents, such as:

  • Single-vehicle accidents, like hitting a guardrail or a telephone pole
  • Collisions with other vehicles
  • Collisions while your vehicle is parked (including hit-and-runs)

You can typically buy collision coverage for the following vehicles:

What's not covered?

Collision coverage doesn't apply to:

  • Collisions with animals, which is covered under comprehensive coverage
  • Injuries or damage you cause to another driver and their vehicle — your liability coverage applies instead
  • Damage to your vehicle caused by events outside of your control (such as a tree falling on it), which is covered under comprehensive coverage

Is collision insurance worth it?

Consider the following factors when deciding whether collision coverage is worth it for your vehicle:

  • The value of your vehicle: If your vehicle is brand new or still worth a considerable amount, collision may make sense as it can help you pay for expensive repairs or a replacement if it's damaged.
  • Ability to pay out of pocket: If you couldn't afford to pay for repairs or a replacement vehicle out of pocket, collision is worth considering for peace of mind.
  • Whether your vehicle is in storage: If your vehicle won't be driven for a long period of time, such as a boat or RV, it may not be worth carrying collision while it's in storage.

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