Collision Insurance vs. Comprehensive Coverage in Florida

Collision Insurance vs. Comprehensive Coverage in Florida

When it comes to buying car insurance, too many options make things confusing for someone generally unfamiliar with insurance lingo. Buying the best insurance basically comes down to two main things: understanding how different types of insurance function and understanding how to personalize each type of insurance to your unique situation and needs.

Comprehensive and collision insurance are two different types of car insurance that are a great fit for many drivers on the road in Florida. They both can be very important to help repair any damages that your vehicle sustains after being involved in an accident.

However, comprehensive and collision insurance are typically two types of insurance that get confused with each other constantly. Many Floridians think that these two insurances are interchangeable, when in reality, they are not. While neither one is required to have in the state of Florida, they both could be a great asset to add to your existing insurance coverage.

What is Collision Insurance?

In the state of Florida, purchasing collision insurance means that you will have coverage for any damage to your vehicle if it is involved in a collision with another car or object. This coverage is given to you, the policyholder, whether you were at fault for the accident or not. This type of insurance can help you get payment for repairs to your car whether the other driver has a good car insurance policy, or no insurance policy at all. Since one in eight drivers in the state of Florida are uninsured, collision insurance may be something you should consider.

How Do I Get Collision Insurance?

If you are interested in purchasing collision insurance, call the company that provides you with your regular auto insurance. They will talk to you about the different types of collision insurance policies you can choose from and help you to pick the right one for you.

When your insurance agent is working with you, they will base your collision insurance coverage on two things: your age and the value of your car. They run your information through a database and it will tell them how much coverage you need. Once you have a recommendation for the amount of coverage, you will go over pricing with your insurance agent. They will give you an annual price for adding the insurance, as well as what that price will break down to for your monthly payments.

How Much Does Collision Insurance Coverage Cost?

When you are considering adding collision insurance coverage to your regular auto insurance, make sure to look at the combination of deductible and monthly payments. If you choose to have a higher deductible, your monthly payment will be lower. Conversely, if you choose to have a lower deductible, you will have to pay more each month. One way is not better than another, it all comes down to what you can afford, and personal preference.

Each state and each insurance company varies greatly with their prices for collision insurance, so we found the average cost for you to compare. According to a rate analysis study done by Insurance.com, the average cost for collision insurance coverage is $596 per year. This comes to just under $50 extra a month added onto your regular car insurance bill. While this seems like a lot, it can end up saving you from paying thousands of dollars after an accident.

What Does Collision Insurance Cover?

Collision insurance covers any damage that is done to your vehicle that is caused by a collision of any kind.

If your accident involved any of the following, you can receive coverage from collision insurance to help pay for property damage:

  • You accidentally back into another car in the parking lot of the grocery store
  • You run into a building, pothole, or curb and cause damage to your vehicle
  • You hit a foreign object, like a tree or telephone pole
  • Another car collides into your car
  • You experience a rollover accident, where your car rolls over and damage is caused

While the list above is not extensive, it gives you a good idea as to what type of incidents and damage are covered by collision insurance. Basically, if there is a collision, it will be covered by collision insurance, if you have it.

What is Comprehensive Coverage?

The word comprehensive, by itself, means “complete.” This definition helps in understanding the type of coverage you get when you purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. While it is helpful to think of this work when trying to remember what comprehensive insurance covers, it can also cause some confusion. Comprehensive insurance does not mean “full coverage for everything.” Read below to see what comprehensive coverage really means.

Comprehensive auto insurance coverage is designed to cover damage to your vehicle that is not caused by a crash with another vehicle. There are countless other ways your car can be damaged, many of which you may not be able to prepare for or expect.

For example, say you are driving on the highway and a small pebble strikes your windshield and causes a small crack. After a few more minutes of driving and hitting bumps, the small crack grows into a large one. The repair of your windshield would be covered under comprehensive insurance coverage.

Another example is, imagine you are caught in a torrential downpour while you are out driving. On your way home, the street you are driving on becomes flooded and the water begins to carry your car away. You abandon your vehicle to find safety, and your car is carried away by the water. After the flooding is over, you find your vehicle a few streets away, but it has large amounts of water damage, plus damage from running into large debris and other small structures. In this instance, since there is no damage caused by a collision, your car’s repairs would be covered by comprehensive car insurance coverage.

The examples above are just a few things that could happen to your vehicle that you are not expecting or prepared for.

How Do I Get Comprehensive Insurance Coverage?

If you are leasing or financing your car, your lender most likely requires you to have comprehensive insurance. If you own your vehicle, comprehensive insurance is an option that you can add to your existing car insurance plan.

If you are interested in comprehensive insurance coverage, follow the same steps as described above for collision insurance. Call your auto insurance company, and your agent will go through the different limits of coverage and payment options that you can choose from. Once you make your choice, your insurance company will add the additional payment onto your current bill. You will not get a separate bill just for your new coverage.

How Much Does Comprehensive Insurance Coverage Cost?

When you speak with an insurance agent and add comprehensive insurance coverage to your insurance policy, the first thing you will do is choose a deductible. A deductible is money you must pay out of your pocket before the insurance kicks in. For example, imagine that you have a $500 deductible for your comprehensive insurance policy, and a large tree branch falls on your car and causes $2,000 worth of damage. You will pay $500 towards the repairs, and your insurance company will pay the remaining $1,500 to the repair shop or dealership that is fixing your car.

Deductibles typically range anywhere from $250 to $1,000. Usually, the higher your deductible, the less you have to pay monthly for your insurance coverage. So, when figuring out if you can afford to have comprehensive insurance coverage, keep in mind that the deductible is your first cost.

After the deductible, you will simply have to pay monthly for your comprehensive auto insurance. Typically, your insurance agent will tell you how much the insurance costs for a year, and then he or she will break it down to tell you how much it will add to each monthly payment. If you are interested in paying for an entire year’s worth of coverage all at once, tell your agent and they will arrange that for you. That decision is completely up to personal preference.

When it comes to an exact cost of comprehensive auto insurance, there is not a “one number fits all” type of situation. Different insurance companies charge different premiums for the same services, so it is important to shop around and get quotes from a few different insurance agents. The cost will also differ depending on the state in which you reside. Typically, comprehensive auto insurance coverage has a limit, which is the maximum amount of money your policy will pay you towards damages. What most insurance companies do is set your limit to the actual cash value of your vehicle. This way they are not paying for more than your vehicle is worth.

If you are looking for a more straightforward answer, we can offer you the average cost of comprehensive car insurance in the United States for you to get an idea of cost. According to a recent data study completed by the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost of comprehensive auto insurance coverage is $136 per year. This comes out to a little over $11 per month added to your regular car insurance bill.

What Does Comprehensive Coverage Cover?

Once again, contrary to popular belief, comprehensive coverage does not mean full coverage in any situation. This insurance only covers damage to your car that was not caused by a collision.

You can receive comprehensive insurance coverage in all of the non-collision situations below:

  • Your car is vandalized
  • Someone breaks into your car and causes damage, or breaks into your car and steals something valuable
  • A rock hits your windshield and causes a large crack
  • Rioters cause damage to your vehicle during civil disturbances
  • You hit an animal while driving and it causes damage to your car
  • Your car is damaged in a natural disaster, like a flood or hurricane
  • Large hail or tree branches fall onto your car, causing damage
  • Your car catches on fire

The list above is not a complete list of scenarios in which comprehensive car insurance will cover damages, but it gives you an idea of what would be covered in the event that there is damage to your vehicle. You may think that all of the scenarios listed above seem slightly far-fetched with a low chance of happening, but you would be incorrect. Damages that are not caused by collisions happen very frequently, and almost always cost more than you can afford. Save yourself the aggravation and add comprehensive insurance coverage to your plan.

Why is Collision Insurance Coverage More Expensive than Comprehensive Insurance Coverage?

If you review the numbers from above, the average annual cost of collision insurance coverage is $596 while the average annual cost for comprehensive insurance coverage is $136. This is a difference of $460, which is a pretty large amount of money. What makes collision insurance so much more expensive than comprehensive insurance?

The answer to this question has to do with risk and chance. The events that lead to collisions are much more likely than the events that lead to non-collision damage. For example, you are much more likely to drive your car into a tree than you are to have a tree fall on top of your car. Also, it is typical for the damages caused by a collision accident to cost more to repair than the damages caused by non-collisions.

While comprehensive insurance is much cheaper than collision insurance, it does not mean that you are getting a better deal on comprehensive insurance. Many people try to save money by getting comprehensive insurance only, and not collision insurance. This typically ends up being a mistake, because there is a much greater chance that you get into a car accident that involves a collision. Once you get into a collision, it is too late. You may have to pay thousands of your own money to repair your vehicle.

How Do I Tell the Difference Between Collision and Comprehensive Coverage?

Many car accidents are not cut and dry situations. Crashes are typically messy and complicated, and have many events that lead up to them. When car accidents are not straightforward, it becomes difficult to discern which type of insurance will be used and which will not. Which type of insurance is used if you swerve to avoid hitting a deer and crash into a tree instead? Will you need comprehensive insurance or collision insurance to cover your damages?

Thankfully for you, it is not up to you to discern between collision and comprehensive coverage at the scene of your accident. If you find yourself in this situation, call your insurance company and tell them what happened. They will ask you to describe the events in detail so that they can figure out which type of insurance it falls under. If it is a particularly confusing situation, they will send someone to investigate and classify which type of insurance provides the coverage. In the scenario described above, the coverage would have come from collision insurance. This is because the actual damage to the vehicle was caused by the tree and not the deer. If the person had hit the deer instead, the coverage would have come from comprehensive insurance.

How to Choose a Lawyer to Represent You in a Florida Car Accident

If you live in Florida and are involved in a car accident that causes damage to your vehicle, you may choose to have a lawyer to represent you. Understanding insurance policies can be difficult if you are not familiar with the industry.

Call the lawyers at Frankl & Kominsky for legal guidance. Our experienced attorneys will read through all of your insurance policies to figure out where your coverage is coming from. They can also figure out if a combination of coverage policies will get you the compensation you need to pay for the damages to your vehicle.

Call 855-800-8000 for a free consultation. One of our knowledgeable and experienced lawyers will speak to you and help you understand the claims process. We will work with you every step of the way in an effort to make sure you will receive the fair and just compensation you deserve.

If you are involved in a car accident, make sure to record important details about your situation so that the facts can be remembered clearly. Call the police so that they can file an accident report. It is also recommended to take pictures of the damage done to your vehicle as well as the scene of the accident. Use your phone to take pictures of anything you think is important or relevant to your claim. Be sure to get the contact information of anyone who witnessed the crash. If you contact the lawyers at Frankl & Kominsky and give them all the information mentioned above, it will help make your initial consultation run smoothly.

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