You may be wondering whether you need comprehensive and collision insurance, the answer to this question depends on your individual needs. Comprehensive and collision coverage protects against damages that are not covered by liability insurance such as fire, theft, vandalism or hail damage.

Also, if you have a car loan or lease, buying comprehensive and collision coverage will be a good choice. This guide will help you learn more about comprehensive and collision insurance so that you can make an informed decision about what type of coverage best fits into your budget.

Key Highlights
  • Collision insurance pays for damage to your car when hit by an object or another vehicle.
  • You may need comprehensive insurance if your car is hit by an animal or is damaged from vandalism, hail, flooding or fire.
  • According to’s rate analysis, the annual rate for collision insurance is $596, and $192 for comprehensive, on average.
  • When you decide to drop comprehensive and collision insurance, take your financial situation, car’s condition, age and value into consideration.

Comprehensive vs Collision insurance

Comprehensive and collision coverage are optional types of car insurance that pay to repair or replace your car in certain situations.

Collision coverage pays for:

  • Damage to your car when hit by another vehicle
  • Damage to your car when you hit an object, for instance a pole or fence

Comprehensive insurance pays for:

  • Damage to your car from vandalism, hail, flooding, fire, falling objects, rocks cracking windshields
  • Damage to your car from hitting an animal, for instance a deer
  • The value of your car if stolen and not found

What does comprehensive and collision cost?

Comprehensive and collision coverage typically won’t bust your budget, as the average cost is fairly affordable. According to a rate analysis, the average annual rate for collision is $596, for comprehensive it’s $192.

Enter your state in the search field below to see the average cost for comprehensive and collision for your location.

Average Cost for Comprehensive and Collision in your State
State Comprehensive Collision Total
North Carolina$116$416$531
North Dakota$333$431$764
New Hampshire$88$478$565
New Jersey$102$450$552
New Mexico$203$456$659
New York$145$700$844
Rhode Island$120$728$847
South Carolina$310$609$918
South Dakota$461$417$878
West Virginia$175$463$638
National average$192$526$723

Insurance Information Institute data show that about 77 percent of drivers buy comprehensive coverage, and 72 percent buy collision. But should you? That depends on your particular situation.

Penny Gusner, consumer and data analyst for, says you should buy comprehensive and collision coverage under the following circumstances:

  • If your car is less than 10 years old.
  • If your car is more than 10 years old and worth $3,000 or more.
  • If you can’t afford to repair or replace your car if it’s severely damaged or stolen.

How to save on comprehensive and collision insurance?

You may be able to save on your comprehensive and collision coverage by shopping around and comparing auto insurance quotes from different companies.

But there are some other things you can do to lower your rates and it includes:

  • Raising your deductible
  • Calculate how much you can afford to pay for your insurance
  • Compare rates with different companies before making a decision
  • Ask for discounts
  • Improving your credit score

When to drop comprehensive and collision?

If you file a comprehensive or collision claim, your insurer will only pay out up to the fair-market value of your car, minus your deductible. That means smart car insurance shoppers should assess their financial situation, their car’s condition, age and value when deciding whether to drop comprehensive and collision.

“If you wouldn’t repair it for a major mechanical issue, you probably shouldn’t insure it for comprehensive and collision,” says Gusner.

She says you should think about dropping comprehensive and collision under these circumstances:

  • When premiums for these two coverages reach 10 percent or more of the potential payoff should you file a claim. The potential payoff is your car’s actual cash value minus your deductible. For instance, if your car is worth $4,000 and your deductible is $500, your potential payoff is $3,500. If your annual comp and collision premiums surpass $350, it’s time to drop them.
  • If your yearly comprehensive and collision premiums plus your deductible add up to more than the value of your car. For example, the III pegs the average annual rate for both coverages at $660, and with a $500 deductible, that totals $1,160. If you’re driving a very old car that’s in fair condition, with lots of mileage, the value could be below $660. (Sites such as Kelley Blue Book and the NADA have tools you can use to find the value of your used car.)
  • You wouldn’t pay to fix your car if it had mechanical issues.

Her general guidelines for coverage as cars grow older:

A car repair that costs what your premiums and deductible total is a good barometer, Gusner says. If you would simply buy a newer car, don’t insure the old one for comprehensive and collision.

Can you drop collision only?

Because comprehensive coverage is a comparatively small percentage of the overall premium tab and covers a lot of events, it may be worth keeping.

Insurance companies prefer that collision and comprehensive coverage be purchased together, but some will allow customers to buy one without the other, Gusner says. It’s typically more difficult to obtain comprehensive without collision coverage than just collision on its own, she says.

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Michelle Megna
Contributing Researcher

Michelle is a writer, editor and expert on car insurance and personal finance. She's a former editorial director. Prior to joining, she reported and edited articles on technology, lifestyle, education and government for magazines, websites and major newspapers, including the New York Daily News.