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Which car insurance coverage is more expensive, collision or liability?


A

Question: We have to carry liability car insurance, but which is more expensive to have on your policy -- liability or collision? If I add collision, is it more expensive than just liability coverage? I'm in Maine.

Answer: Typically, liability takes up the biggest chunk of your car insurance premium.

In general, a car insurance policy premium breaks down so that 50 to 60 percent goes to the cost of liability (and other state-mandated coverages), between 30 and 50 percent is for collision coverage, and 5 to 15 percent is for comprehensive coverage.

While liability coverages will usually cost the most, it’s possible that the cost of collision coverage may rival your liability costs or even cost a bit more, especially if you have an expensive vehicle.

You mentioned you were in Maine, so we checked car insurance rate quotes, using a 40-year-old male who lives in Portland, Maine and drives a 2009 Toyota Camry, to give you a realistic idea of how the costs of a policy can break down in your state.  

We selected the Maine’s minimum coverages and then added on collision and comprehensive coverages with deductibles of $500 each. You only mentioned collision, but we also are giving you information on comprehensive coverage as well because many car insurance companies won’t allow you to carry one without the other.

The six-month rates we received back from three carriers were for $344, $455 and $505. As you can already see, it pays to shop around since the first quote is $161 cheaper than the last. The quotes break down so that:

  • The $344 quote has 60 percent of the premium going for mandatory coverages ($210), 35 percent for collision ($120) and 5 percent for comprehensive ($14).
  • The $455 quote has 50 percent of the premium going for mandatory coverages ($221), 40 percent for collision ($191), and 10 percent for comprehensive ($43).
  • The $505 quote has 45 percent of the premium going for mandatory coverages ($228), 50 percent for collision ($254) and 5 percent for comprehensive ($23).

As you can tell, it really makes a difference which car insurance company you go with.

The best advice we can give is to shop around. You can start right here at CarInsurance.com, of course.  Your auto insurance rate quotes will be personalized for you and so vary from our example above.

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