Together, liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance are commonly referred to as “full coverage.” Collision coverage protects your vehicle in the event that you are involved in a wreck and your automobile must be repaired or is deemed a total loss, regardless who caused the wreck.

You can always make a claim under the collision portion of your policy, even if the other driver caused the wreck. Beware, however, that a deductible likely will apply under the collision coverage on your automobile. Therefore, if another insured driver is at fault, it generally is best to make a claim under their policy, thereby avoiding the deductible that you will incur by making a claim on your policy.

Depending upon the value of your vehicle, collision coverage is typically the most expensive type of coverage available. If your automobile is financed, the lien holder probably will require you to maintain collision insurance coverage on it.

Comprehensive or incidental coverage protects your automobile from vandalism, theft, hail damage, and flying objects, such as a rock hitting your windshield. This type of coverage pays for the cost of repairing or replacing the resulting damage (i.e., your windshield) and normally has a much lower deductible (or none in some instances) than your collision coverage.

Recommendations

The limits of this coverage will, in large part, be determined by the value of your vehicle. One thing to consider is the amount of the deductible. Obviously, a lower deductible is better. A deductible of $250.00 or $500.00 is advisable. Ask your agent for the resulting difference in cost for a $250.00, $500.00, and $1,000.00 deductible. You may find that the lower deductible is not that much more expensive and, when weighed against the potential risk, worthwhile.

Comprehensive coverage (i.e., broken windshield, vandalism), rental car reimbursement, and towing are normally a set amount, varying from insurance company to insurance company. Again, the deductible is the key consideration. It is best to maintain a very low deductible (i.e., $50.00) on comprehensive coverage and 20-30 days of rental car coverage.