While Florida state law requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of car insurance, there are still many benefits to selecting a more solid coverage plan.

Having a strong car insurance policy can protect you from mounting financial trouble and harrowing lawsuits if your vehicle sustains damage, if you’re injured, if you injure someone else, or if you destroy their vehicle — whether or not you’re at-fault.

While we previously explained the basics of car insurance, we’d like to go a step further and explain the difference between comprehensive and collision insurance. Though Floridians aren’t required by law to carry either plan, each has specific benefits. Far too many drivers don’t understand the difference between plans, which can lead to major problems down the road (pun intended).

It is important to note that liability will cover the cost of another driver’s vehicle and belongings if you are found at fault in a crash, but liability insurance will pay nothing toward the damage to your own car, truck, or SUV. You will need a collision policy if you hope to have those expenses covered.

Before you back out of your driveway, consider what car insurance you carry and what it does to keep you protected.

A Floridian involved in a motorcycle accident fills out their injury claim form.

The Cliff Notes: Key Takeaways From This Post

  • 1
    Collision insurance is a type of coverage that covers repairs, or even replacement of one’s vehicle in the event of damage caused by collision.
  • 2
    Collision insurance covers damage to one’s own vehicle through collisions with other vehicles and objects, single-auto accidents, and hitting obstructions in the road.
  • 3
    It does not cover damage that is not related to driving, such as hail damage, broken windows or theft; nor animal damage (i.e. hitting a deer).
  • 4
    Whether it is required depends on age and condition of the car and ability to purchase a new car; most auto dealers require collision coverage when financing or leasing a vehicle.
  • 5
    Comprehensive insurance covers damages from explosions, vandalism, theft, falling objects, animal impacts, terrorism and more; it does not cover collision with another vehicle or medical bills.
  • 6
    Determining whether comprehensive coverage is necessary depends on the financial situation and value of the car; auto dealers may also require this type of coverage when financing or leasing a car.
  • 7
    Both policies can be dropped depending on individual needs and conditions such as no longer making payments on a car or having the means to pay out-of-pocket for any damages.

What is collision car Insurance?

Collision insurance is a type of coverage that helps cover repairs, or even replace your vehicle, in the event of damage in a crash. Because collision insurance defends against any damage done to your vehicle, should you be involved in an accident with another vehicle or any stationary object, we highly recommend carrying it with your plan along with UM (Underinsured Motorist) and BI (Bodily Injury) coverage.

Whether you hit a telephone pole across the street, backed into a neighbor’s mailbox, or hit a tree after swerving to miss an obstacle in the road, you can rely on your collision insurance plan for coverage, in most cases.

While it’s important to note that if you are found at fault in a car crash, liability will cover the cost of another driver’s vehicle and belongings, but not yours. You will need a collision policy if you hope to have the cost of damages to your own car, truck, or SUV covered.

What does collision car insurance cover?

What it covers your car during:

  • Collisions with one or more vehicles
  • Collisions with objects (fences, trees, telephone poles, etc.)
  • Single-auto accidents that involve cars rolling or falling over
  • Hitting obstructions—i.e., potholes—in the road

What it doesn’t cover:

  • Damage not related to driving (i.e., hail damage, broken windows or theft)
  • Animal damage (i.e., hitting a deer)
  • Damage to another person’s vehicle (liability insurance covers this)
  • Medical bills (yours, your passengers’, other drivers’ or their passengers’)

Do I need collision car insurance?

The answer to this question depends on how old your car is, how long you’ve had it, if you’re still making payments on it, and whether or not you can afford to buy a new car if it’s damaged or totaled.

If you couldn’t afford to buy a new car if it were damaged in an accident, the extra few hundred dollars you’d spend on collision insurance would likely be worth it in the long haul.

While we are not able to find any states that currently require collision coverage, most car dealers will require you to purchase some variation of this plan if you are financing or leasing your car.

Keep in mind that if the car dealer requires collision insurance and you neglect to purchase it, they will tack it onto your monthly payment plan. Otherwise known as “force-placed” insurance, where you could pay up to five times more on this premium, so we recommend purchasing this coverage through an insurer of your choice.