Comprehensive and Collision Coverage in Des Moines: What's the difference?

In the state of Iowa, minimum insurance requirements require only liability insurance. There are several other types of insurance from which motorists may benefit. The law does not require motorists to carry comprehensive and collision coverage. Vehicle owners must prove they are financially responsible for another person’s damages after an accident (which could be satisfied by carrying liability auto insurance), but it is completely up to the driver whether he or she protects his or her own interests via an insurance policy.

Comprehensive and collision coverage both exist to protect the vehicle owned and driven by the policyholder in the case of an at-fault accident or other damaging circumstances.

What are collision and comprehensive coverages?

When considering purchasing auto insurance, it is important to understand the different types of coverage available. Liability insurance pays for damages to other people’s vehicles or property in the event that you are at fault for an accident.

The two types of auto insurance that pay for damage to your own vehicle in at-fault accidents or other situations are collision and comprehensive coverage. While the two coverages do protect the policyholder’s own vehicle, they are different. Below is a brief overview of collision vs. comprehensive coverage.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage is designed to pay for repairs to your vehicle, regardless of whether you are at fault. Your collision coverage also pays for replacement costs in the event that your vehicle is totaled in a crash. You can expect to receive an amount equal to the fair market value of your totaled car, plus the amount needed for tax and tags so you can purchase a replacement.

Collision coverage also typically pays for damages in the event of a hit-and-run accident in which you are unable to identify the at-fault driver. You probably will need to produce a police report supporting your claim of hit-and-run before the insurance company will consider your claim.

But collision coverage comes with a deductible that you must meet before insurance will pay for damages or replacement.

Comprehensive Coverage

When your vehicle is damaged as the result of other circumstances not related to a traffic accident, comprehensive coverage will pay for repair or replacement costs – again, after you meet the deductible on your policy. Some examples of damage that comprehensive coverage covers includes vandalism, theft, falling debris, fire, natural disasters or hitting an animal. Glass damage such as a cracked windshield is also often covered by your comprehensive coverage.

Deciding what Coverage you Need

When shopping for auto insurance, consider several factors. First, if your vehicle is financed, you may be required to carry collision and comprehensive coverage for the duration of your loan. Second, the value of your vehicle is an important consideration in purchasing collision and comprehensive policies. Older, less valuable vehicles may not warrant the cost of the protection offered by these coverages. Consider the cost of the policy versus the cost of replacement if your vehicle was damaged or totaled prior to making a decision on coverage.

You also will need to decide what type of deductible makes sense for you. Higher deductibles often carry lower policy premiums, while lower deductibles carry higher premiums.

Walker, Billingsley & Bair Can Help if You're in an Accident

Walker, Billingsley & Bair specialize in auto accident cases. We understand the complex nature of insurance policies and claims, and we can help if you’ve been injured or sustained property damage in an auto accident. Contact us today at 888-435-9886 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.

Corey Walker
With over 20 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.