Baltimore, Maryland


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Maureen May
Maureen May
Attorney • (410) 321-6000

Collision and Comprehensive: Do I Really Need These Coverages?

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There are several different kinds of automobile insurance coverage that motorists can purchase, and in the interest of saving money, most consumers want to get the best coverage possible for the lowest cost.

Besides liability, which everyone should have, two other types of auto insurance coverages include:

  • Collision, which pays for damage to your car resulting from hitting another car or inanimate object (like a light pole).
  • Comprehensive, which covers the damage done to your car by weather, natural disasters, vandalism, fire, animals, or if your car is stolen.

Although states require that motorists carry liability insurance coverage, they do not mandate collision and comprehensive coverage, but lenders and leasing companies do, so until your car is fully paid for, you’ll need to carry it.

But once you own your car outright, do you still really need all that coverage? According to the Insurance Information Institute, 77 percent of insured drivers carry comprehensive coverage and 72 percent buy collision.

When to Drop Collision and Comprehensive

When deciding whether to drop comprehensive and collision coverage, you need to understand the purpose of auto insurance and consider the value of your car. If your premium and deductible cost more than your car is worth, comprehensive and collision coverage don’t make sense for you. But if your car is worth more than your deductible and premium, consider these factors:

  • Figure out how long it would take for cost of comprehensive and collision coverage, along with your deductible, to match the value of your vehicle.
  • If your car sustained damage, could you pay to fix it out of pocket?
  • Consider how likely it is that your car will get stolen, vandalized, or damaged by weather or an animal.

Even if you have a newer vehicle and decide that collision and comprehensive coverage makes sense now, you may want to revisit that decision down the road as your car ages and it depreciates.

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