Comprehensive vs. collision insurance: What's the difference?

Comprehensive and collision are both optional coverages that protect your vehicle, but they differ in the type of incident they cover. Comprehensive covers damage to your vehicle from unexpected non-collision incidents like theft, animal damage, falling trees, and weather damage. Collision covers damage to your vehicle that's the result of a collision with another vehicle or object. If you finance or lease your vehicle, your lender may require you to carry comprehensive and collision.

3 min to read

Collision vs. comprehensive comparison

Collision coverage is for damage to your vehicle caused by an accident with another vehicle or object, such as if you rear-ended someone and as a result need to replace your bumper. Comprehensive coverage is for damage to your vehicle caused by an unexpected incident like theft, vandalism, hitting a deer, tree damage, hail damage, and more. Here's a comparison of the difference between collision and comprehensive:

Type of coverageCollisionComprehensive
What does it cover?CollisionDamage to your vehicle from:
  • Accidents with other vehicles, regardless of fault
  • Single-car rollovers
  • Accidents with stationary objects like road signs and guardrails
ComprehensiveDamage to your vehicle from:
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Animals
  • Weather events like hail
  • Fire
  • Other non-collision incidents
What doesn't it cover?Collision
  • Damage to other vehicles
  • Damage to your own vehicle caused by non-collision incidents
Comprehensive
  • Damage to other vehicles
  • Damage to your own vehicle caused by a collision with another vehicle
Is it required by state law?CollisionNoComprehensiveNo
Is it required by vehicle lenders?CollisionUsuallyComprehensiveUsually
Is it included in "full coverage"?CollisionYesComprehensiveYes
What's the deductible?CollisionYou choose, usually between $100 and $2,000ComprehensiveYou choose, usually between $100 to $2,000
What's my limit?CollisionTypically your vehicle's actual cash valueComprehensiveTypically your vehicle's actual cash value

Is full coverage both comprehensive and collision?

Yes, "full coverage" car insurance typically refers to carrying both comprehensive and collision in addition to any state-required auto coverages. That said, "full coverage" isn't an official insurance term or product — if your lender or agent uses this term, confirm with them which auto insurance coverages they're referring to.

Comprehensive vs. collision deductible

Since they're different coverages, you can choose different car insurance deductibles for your comprehensive and collision coverages. So, if you want lower out-of-pocket costs for a collision claim, you can choose a lower collision deductible than your comprehensive deductible. However, choosing the same deductible for both coverages makes it easier to expect what you'll pay out of pocket for any physical damage to your vehicle.

How to choose comprehensive and collision deductibles

When selecting your comprehensive and collision deductibles, determine how much you'd be willing to pay out of pocket if your car was damaged. For example, if you have $500 in savings set aside for non-maintenance vehicle repairs, choose a deductible of $500. The higher you're able to set your deductibles for comprehensive and collision, the less your premium will be.

Comprehensive vs. collision cost

Comprehensive coverage usually costs less than collision coverage, though costs may vary based on the insurer, your location, the value of your vehicle, and other factors. You can adjust the cost to some degree by opting for a higher car insurance deductible to lower your premiums or vice-versa. However, it's generally easier to have the same deductible amount for both coverages so you always know roughly how much you'd pay for repairs regardless of the type of damage.

Important note: Coverage limits for both comprehensive and collision coverage are determined by the value of your vehicle, as well as the deductible amounts you select. That's because, in the event your vehicle is totaled, the maximum payout you can expect will be equal to the actual cash value of your vehicle, minus your deductible.

Which coverage is more important for my vehicle?

Comprehensive and collision coverage are both equally important for protecting your vehicle from physical damage. You should ultimately choose the coverage that's right for your budget and needs. Note that some insurers may require you to buy comprehensive and collision coverage together, rather than just buying collision coverage separately.

How to get comprehensive & collision coverage

New Progressive customers

Get a quote for auto insurance, boat insurance, motorcycle insurance, RV insurance, or another type of vehicle and add comprehensive and collision coverage to your quote. You can also call us at 1-866-749-7436 and get a quote for whichever policy you need.

Current Progressive customers

Log in to your policy or call us at 1-866-749-7436 to add comprehensive and collision to your vehicle.

Quote car insurance online or give us a call

Learn more about car insurance policies.