Collision Insurance: Do You Really Need It & How Much Is Necessary?

Collision coverage offers additional protection after an accident but can lead to higher auto insurance premiums. This coverage is particularly important for drivers living in places with many uninsured motorists, but it can benefit most people who can’t afford to replace their car out of pocket.

Collision coverage pays for necessary repairs if the policyholder’s car gets damaged after colliding with another vehicle or object. This coverage type is typically included as part of a full coverage policy. Other inclusions are liability and comprehensive coverage. There are various factors to consider in determining if you do need collision coverage or not. Among these are your vehicle’s age, value and location. MoneyGeek breaks down these considerations to help you determine if collision insurance is worth it for you.

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Key Takeaways

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Collision coverage offers financial protection if your car is damaged after colliding with a vehicle or object.

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There are several factors to consider to determine if you need collision coverage, including your car’s age, value and location.

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Not all drivers need to have collision coverage, so dropping it can help you save money. However, this coverage is often required when financing or leasing a car.

Do You Need Collision Insurance?

By law, most states require some form of auto insurance. However, they often only mandate liability coverage. No state requires full coverage insurance, which includes collision coverage.

That said, if you’re financing or leasing your car, the lender or leasing company may require you to have collision coverage.

When to Get Collision Insurance Coverage

Because state laws don’t mandate collision insurance, drivers need to consider their personal circumstances to determine if they could benefit from this coverage. Below are some scenarios where having collision insurance is a practical choice.

  • Scenario
    Title
  • You have a high-value car.
    Drivers who have high-value cars may find it practical to have collision coverage. It can help pay for major repairs after a collision, which tend to be more expensive for high-value vehicles.
  • You can't save enough to replace your car.
    When deciding if collision insurance is worth it, consider your finances. Can you afford to replace your car if it’s totaled? If your answer is no, then having collision coverage may be worthwhile.
  • You’re leasing or financing your car.
    If you’re leasing or financing your car, then you may need to get collision coverage. In most cases, lenders and auto financing companies require this coverage.
  • You live somewhere with many uninsured drivers.
    If you live in a state with a high rate of uninsured motorists, you may have a higher risk of getting in an accident with an uninsured individual. Collision coverage is an excellent option to protect your property from loss because it covers the cost of repairs or even car replacement.

Having no collision insurance puts you at risk of going without coverage if you cause an accident. In this case, your liability insurance and the other party’s insurance won’t cover your expenses, and you’ll be forced to pay for these costs out of pocket.

Comparing the Cost of Liability-Only and Full Coverage Insurance

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50/100/50 Liability-Only

Monthly Cost

$75
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50/100/50 w/ Comprehensive and Collision

Monthly Cost

$109
On average, premiums for policies with collision coverage are:$34 more

This is 45% more expensive.

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Collision coverage is crucial because it provides you with additional protection against unexpected expenses. It covers the repair or replacement of your vehicle if it hits an object or another car.

When to Drop Collision Insurance Coverage

Having collision coverage can be beneficial for many drivers. However, it may not be necessary for some people. Below are some of the scenarios where it may be more practical to drop collision insurance.

  • Scenario
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  • Your car is low-value.
    If you own an older car, you may consider dropping collision coverage. For instance, if your deductible and coverage costs are higher than the actual cash value of your car, then collision insurance is not financially worthwhile.
  • You have enough savings to replace your car.
    If you have enough savings and you’re willing to spend it on replacing your vehicle if it’s damaged, then you may opt to skip collision insurance.
  • You can pay out-of-pocket for repairs.
    If you have enough funds and are willing to spend out-of-pocket to pay for car repairs, then you may choose to drop collision insurance.
  • You rarely use your car.
    Paying for collision insurance may not be practical if you drive infrequently since your chances of getting into an accident are lower than the average driver’s.

In some cases, it is better to drop collision coverage. For instance, if you’re driving an older car, you may end up paying more for auto insurance than the actual value of your vehicle by adding collision coverage. That means you’re more likely to receive less than the annual premiums you have been paying if you make a claim.

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In some states, drivers have the option to have self-insurance. With this, the car owner assumes all responsibilities to protect their vehicle by leaving a cash deposit with a state agency or buying a surety bond. If you choose this, you can drop collision coverage and reduce the cost of your auto insurance premium.

FAQs About Collision Coverage

How much car insurance you need depends on your individual circumstances. These commonly asked questions can help you figure out if collision insurance is worth it for you:

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.