If you purchase comprehensive coverage, are you required to purchase collision coverage, too?
Many people have comprehensive and collision coverage on their auto insurance policies even though those coverages aren't required. Often referred to as "comp/coll," they protect your own vehicle in case of damage, regardless of fault. Though you often see them together, are you required to purchase both, or can you purchase comprehensive without collision?
While you are legally required to have at least the minimum limits of auto insurance for your state, minimum limits often only include liability coverage. However, if you finance a car purchase, lenders generally won't loan you the money without showing proof of insurance that includes comp/coll coverage. This requirement is a protective measure so neither you nor your leasing or finance company will have to foot the entire bill if your vehicle is damaged.
But what if you don't make payments on your vehicle? Can you purchase comprehensive coverage without collision coverage, or vice versa?
If you own your vehicle outright, you're only required to have what your state mandates for auto insurance. In most states, that's simply liability coverage. It's your choice, then, to purchase the optional coverages. In some cases you may be able to purchase comprehensive without collision.
Some insurance companies, like Progressive, will sell comprehensive only policies in certain situations. Typically, these policies are limited to vehicles that are not driven during the policy period, such as classic cars. Comprehensive only policies do not offer liability coverage and are often subject to strict rules.
Most insurance companies don't allow you to purchase collision without comprehensive coverage, however.
Should You Purchase One and Not the Other?
Often, comprehensive coverage has a much lower premium than collision coverage. Because of this, you may be tempted to choose only comprehensive coverage. However, before you make your decision, remember that comprehensive coverage pays for specific damage to your car that collision doesn't cover.
For example, comprehensive coverage will apply in the following situations:
- Hail damages your car while you're driving home.
- A deer runs into your car as you drive on a highway.
- Your car is vandalized in the parking lot while you're shopping.
- Your stereo is taken while you're at a friend's house.
- Water damages your car after heavy rains.
Similarly, collision coverage applies to your vehicle in the following examples:
- You rear-end someone.
- You back into another car in a parking lot.
- You run a red light and T-bone another car.
- You swerve to miss a squirrel and hit a mailbox.
A simple way to remember comprehensive and collision coverage is that comprehensive protects you in situations that don't involve colliding with a nonliving object while collision protects you when you collide with another vehicle or object. Collision generally covers you in collisions with other cars or property; comprehensive generally covers you in accidents that don't involve other cars, such as animal hits, weather-related losses, and theft or vandalism.
So, while it's ultimately your option to choose both coverages or comprehensive only, you'll have greater protection for more circumstances if you choose both comprehensive and collision coverage.
If you're unsure what to choose, you can contact Progressive at any time for assistance. Quotes and assistance are available online 24/7, or you can call us at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE (1-800-776-4737) for round-the-clock answers to your questions.
The information in this blog may vary based on your particular state or situation. Always refer to your insurance policy for your specific coverages.