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What Is Collision Insurance?

Collision insurance coverage helps pay for repairing or replacing your vehicle if you're in an accident. You may wonder what to do if you've recently been in a car crash.

This article provides essential information about collision insurance, including the differences between collision and comprehensive insurance plans. The article also addresses what isn't covered by collision insurance and the benefits of having coverage.

Collision Insurance Defined

Collision coverage is for your vehicle's damage in an accident, minus any deductible you're required to pay out-of-pocket. While collision coverage is often optional, it may be mandatory if you're financing or leasing your vehicle. As a type of automobile insurance coverage, collision insurance pays for your car repairs regardless of who's at fault in an accident.

There are several categories of automobile insurance coverage. These include:

Liability coverage handles the at-fault driver's costs in an accident. In addition to covering the costs of damage the at-fault party causes to your vehicle, liability insurance covers the costs associated with any injuries you sustain. It also covers the legal fees associated with the damage and injuries.

Collision Insurance vs. Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage means your insurer will reimburse you for damage to your vehicle caused by anything other than the accident itself. Comprehensive coverage applies to things like:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • A tree falling on your car
  • Other "acts of God" such as hail, flooding, or earthquakes

This is in contrast to collision insurance, which applies to damages from an actual accident. This can be an accident involving another vehicle. The accident can also affect only your car, such as if you roll over. Collision coverage will also kick in if you hit a stationary object like a telephone pole.

What Isn't Covered by Collision Insurance

Several situations aren't covered by collision insurance. Other types of insurance may apply in these circumstances. Collision coverage doesn't cover:

  • Expenses related to bodily injury
  • Damages to your vehicle while parked, such as theft, vandalism, "acts of God," or natural disasters
  • Medical bills and medical expenses
  • Damage to someone else's vehicle

Benefits of Collision Coverage

Having collision coverage gives you the benefit of avoiding high out-of-pocket expenses for your vehicle's damage if you're in an accident. You'll have to pay more for your insurance premiums, but the peace of mind is often worth the additional cost.

Collision coverage can be a massive benefit if your car is deemed totaled, too. A vehicle is deemed a total loss when it isn't repairable or if it costs more to repair than it's worth. In that case, your insurer will pay you the retail market value of your car, leaving you free to buy or lease a new one.

How To File a Claim for Collision Benefits

If you're in a car accident and want to file a claim for collision benefits, you'll need to reach out to your insurance agent. You can also call the claims processing center listed on the back of your car insurance card. You'll need to answer some basic questions about the accident.

Your insurer will also require documentation of the damage to your vehicle. Depending on the severity of the damage, the insurer may send a representative out to take photos and create an estimate regarding the damage.

You'll be given an insurance claim reference number in case you need to reference your case during future calls. Once the insurance company determines an amount to pay you, you'll be sent a check.

Next Step: Find an Attorney

You've been in an auto accident. You've made your claim as the policyholder to the auto insurance adjuster, but now they're discussing collision coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, other types of coverage, and deductibles.

Talk to an experienced legal professional who can assist you in navigating your motor vehicle accident, including determining whether you should file a personal injury lawsuit and making sure you pay attention to the statute of limitations for your state.

An attorney can help you understand your coverage and seek the most effective solution offered by your car insurance policy. Contact a local attorney today.

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Contact a qualified auto accident attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

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