Personal Injury Lawyer & Car Accident Gold Firm

Collision Insurance vs. Comprehensive Coverage in California

When shopping various car insurance options in San Bernardino, California, there are many different choices tailored to individual needs. From comprehensive coverage to simple liability protection, Californian drivers have an array of car insurance options to choose from. However, it can be tricky to tell exactly what kind of car insurance coverage you will receive from each different policy that is offered. Factors such as coverage limits, deductibles, and additional perks all play pivotal roles in crafting the perfect policy, but are not necessarily clearly defined when researching policies. 

Whether prioritizing affordability, ample coverage, or specialized protections, San Bernardino residents can find car insurance plans that suit their unique driving habits and circumstances. However, there’s a common misconception among drivers that some insurance policies are interchangeable. One common misunderstanding is the belief that collision insurance is the same as comprehensive car insurance. However, there are significant differences between the two. While collision insurance covers damage resulting from accidents involving other vehicles or objects, comprehensive insurance offers much more. Often, these two types of insurance are bundled together, however they are two very different insurance policies. Understanding these differences is important for drivers in California to ensure they select the car insurance coverage that best suits their budget and protects them against a range of potential risks on the road – like road hazard accidents.

What Is Comprehensive Auto Insurance?

When they find out that collision insurance and comprehensive insurance are two separate types of policies, many drivers find themselves wondering, “What is comprehensive insurance?” Comprehensive insurance is a policy that serves as an important component of vehicle protection that extends beyond collision coverage. This type of insurance steps in to cover damages resulting from various non-collision accidents. Comprehensive auto insurance makes sure that your vehicle can be repaired or replaced, whether its damage caused by:
  • Hail
  • Flooding
  • Fire
  • Falling trees
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Other covered events not resulting from the driver’s actions
Comprehensive collision insurance is a safeguard against a range of unforeseen events and circumstances, providing peace of mind to drivers in San Bernardino, and the rest of California knowing that their vehicles are covered from a multitude of potential risks on and off the road.

What Is Collision Coverage?

Collision coverage is a fundamental aspect of motor vehicle insurance, offering coverage for damages that are caused by accidents involving other vehicles or objects. Whether it’s a collision with another car on the road or an impact with a stationary object such as fences, trees or poles, collision coverage steps in to assist with the repair or replacement costs. Drivers who finance or lease their vehicles are typical required to carry collision coverage, which ensures financial protection for both the driver and the lender. However, for those who own their vehicles outright, collision insurance becomes an optional type of coverage they can add to their car insurance policy. It’s important to note that while collision coverage addresses damages resulting from accidents, it does not cover other types of incidents that comprehensive insurance covers, nor does it extend to cover damage to another person’s vehicle or anyone’s medical bills.

California Car Insurance Requirements

The mandatory auto insurance policy for all drivers in California is liability insurance. This type of coverage is designed to pay for bodily injuries and property damage when a policyholder is liable for an accident. It’s important to understand that liability insurance does not cover the policyholder’s injuries or damages to their own property. Instead, it assists in covering expenses for the victim’s:
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
The state sets minimum coverage limit requirements, often represented as the 15/30/5 rule. These numbers represent the maximum amounts the insurance agency will have to pay for specific types of damages, and is the bare minimum of insurance any California driver can carry. For instance, California drivers are required to carry:
  • $15,000 In Bodily Injury Coverage For 1 Person – $15,000 in bodily injury coverage per person means that the insurance company will pay up to $15,000 for any injuries sustained by a single person in an accident that was caused by the policyholder.
  • $30,000 In Bodily Injury Coverage Per Accident – $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident is required and covers all injuries caused by the policyholder in a single accident when it involves multiple occupants.
  • $5,000 In Property Damage Coverage – $5,000 in property damage coverage per accident covers damage caused by the policyholder is an insurance requirement in California. This is a requirement in order to provide some sort of compensation for another person’s damaged property in an accident.
These coverage limits are required by California law, and it is important for drivers to comply with state laws to make sure they have adequate protection in case of an accident.

How Much Does California Collision & Comprehensive Insurance Cost?

The cost of California collision and comprehensive coverage insurance varies depending on the coverage limits you choose to set for your policy. When considering adding collision coverage or comprehensive coverage to your auto insurance policy, it’s important to look at the combination of deductible and monthly payments. Choosing to go with a higher deductible can lower your monthly premiums, however, selecting a lower deductible will result in higher monthly payments. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for choosing insurance limits, and it ultimately boils down to your budget and personal preferences. It’s important to remember that while higher deductibles may reduce your immediate expenses, they could leave you paying higher out-of-pocket costs if you’re involved in a car accident in San Bernardino, especially if you are the one that is liable. Lower coverage limits might lead to potential financial strain if the victim chooses to pursue a personal injury lawsuit that exceeds your insurance coverage limits. On average, collision insurance in California costs around $1,061 per year, which equates to approximately $88.41 extra per month, while comprehensive insurance averages $178 annually, which amounts to about $14.83 per month. Although these costs may seem significant, they serve as important safeguards against potentially hefty expenses following an accident, or unexpected incidents caused by weather. Ultimately, these two types of insurance coverages save you from financial burden in the long run.

Contact An Experienced San Bernardino Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in an accident in California and have questions about comprehensive insurance and what is covered, contact the experienced San Bernardino car accident attorneys at Gold Firm. Whether you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, head-on collision, left turn accident, rideshare accident, bicycle accident, or motorcycle accident, you will want a trusted personal injury attorney who can stand up to the insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve. And as a top-rated no-fee lawyer in San Bernardino, we don’t get paid until you do. To book a no-obligation consultation about your case, contact us by calling 909-308-1118 or use our online form.