Comprehensive and collision are referred to as physical damage coverages because they are part of an auto insurance policy that will protect your car if it is damaged by paying for the damages (or total loss of your vehicle), minus the deductible associated with the coverage.
Physical damage coverages for your car are optional coverage, unless you have financed or leased a car, in which case your finance contract will usually require that you have collision and comprehensive coverages as part of your car insurance policy.
When adding comprehensive and collision to your policy that already has at least the state-mandated liability limits on it, you are said to have full coverage.
Comprehensive is also sometimes referred to as "other than collision" since it pays for damages to your vehicle caused by perils other than a collision, minus the deductible that you choose. For example, comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car if it is stolen; or damaged by flood, fire, glass breakage, or animals. Also, damage from natural occurrences, like a wind or hail storm, are covered under comprehensive. (See "'Acts of God' and your car insurance")
Collision covers damage to your car when your car hits, or is hit by, another vehicle, or other object. It also covers the upset of your vehicle, so if you overturn it, you could make a collision claim. Collision also comes with a deductible you choose, and that must be paid before your auto insurance provider begins their payout for repairs or the total loss of your car.
Each type of physical damage coverage protects your vehicle against different perils and that is why many motorists place both comprehensive and collision on their vehicle. Also, with many auto insurance providers it may be difficult to get one without the other.
For instance, many auto insurance companies will not sell comprehensive coverage without you also carrying collision coverage. In addition, some insurance companies will require you keep the deductible amount the same for both coverages. Your lien holder can also mandate your deductible amount; typically they require it to be $500 or less.
When purchasing an auto insurance policy with collision and comprehensive, it's a good idea to shop around since rates vary from one insurer to another. You canhere with us.