What is Auto Collision Coverage?
Collision coverage is an optional coverage that helps fix or replace your vehicle after a covered accident, no matter who’s at fault.
Real life example:
On a winter drive, you come across a patch of black ice and slide into a curb. Your bumper, wheel, and axle take a hit and require repairs. You pay your deductible and your Collision coverage pays the rest, up to any limits stated in your policy for the covered accident.
What Collision Insurance Covers
Collision coverage is all about protecting your vehicle when it collides with another vehicle or object (but not animals or people – those are covered under the Comprehensive coverage).
Collision Coverage on Non-Owned Vehicles (Including some rental cars)
Collision coverage can also apply to rental cars in some situations and to what we call a “non-owned vehicle.” That’s a vehicle you have permission to use and:
- Is NOT owned by anyone on your policy or in your household
- Is NOT listed on your policy
- Is NOT a car anyone on your policy or in your household has general consent to use (such as a work vehicle)
Collision Coverage and Non-Owned Utility Trailers
Just as with the non-owned vehicles, up to $500 of Say‘s Collision coverage can extend to non-owned utility trailers, including the cargo being carried on the trailer as long as it is not already covered under another coverage.
Collision Coverage and Modifications
At Say, if you made the following modifications to your vehicle before your accident, they would also be covered under Collision coverage, but only up to $5000:
- Custom paint job
- Updated parts and equipment (if permanently attached to the vehicle)
- Added wireless components (with required equipment permanently attached)
- Added child restraint systems
What Collision Insurance Doesn’t Cover
For the most part, what qualifies as a Collision claim is pretty easy to identify, but there are certain items or damages that are not covered under Collision insurance. They include, among other things:
- Tires, unless they were attached to the vehicle AND other parts of the vehicle were damaged as well
- Damage to radar detection equipment
- Damage to detachable living-quarters units (like a camper or RV) if they include permanently attached sleeping or cooking facilities
- Damages sustained while the car is being used in a transportation network company, like Uber or Lyft
- Damage sustained while the driver was being paid to transport anything (including people)
- Damage caused by the driver continuing to drive the car after the accident if it was reasonable to stop driving after the original damage occurred
Collision coverage doesn’t cover a rental auto in those situations either. And it doesn’t apply to an auto:
- On loan for demonstration purposes by someone in the auto business
- Being used to carry property for a charge
- Covered under other coverages
- Used after the driver purchases a collision damage waiver, collision insurance from the rental company, or any other similar contract
- More than 12,000 pounds in gross weight
Do I Need Collision Car Insurance Coverage?
Collision coverage is an optional coverage in all states; but if your vehicle is financed or leased, the lender may require you to purchase a policy with Collision coverage. If your vehicle is fully paid off, then it really depends on whether you decide this coverage is worth paying for.
One way to decide if the coverage is worth the extra cost is to compare the value of your vehicle to the amount of the deductible you’d pay if you had to use the coverage. Remember, a deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. To decide about the coverage, think about the age of your car:
A fully paid-off vehicle: If you no longer owe any money on the car, then the value to repair or replace it in the event of an accident depends on the estimated value of your car compared to the cost of the damages.
A new vehicle: If your car is brand new, a $250-$2000 deductible to repair or replace it doesn’t seem too bad.
A clunker: If you’re driving a clunker, the deductible and premium for this extra coverage may cost you more than your vehicle is worth, so the coverage may not be worth it to you.
Say’s Collision Coverage Deductible Options
At Say, we have four deductible options, though there may be certain situations when all four aren’t available. In most cases, Say drivers can choose a deductible of: