Collision insurance is worth it if you would otherwise be unable to afford to replace your car after an accident or if you often drive in areas where the likelihood of an accident is high. Collision insurance can provide valuable coverage if you're at-fault for an accident, and it is often required for financed cars.
When Collision Insurance Is Worth It
You cannot afford to repair or replace your car after an accident or would rather avoid spending your savings on it.
You have a loan or lease and are required to have collision coverage.
You have a history of at-fault accidents.
You drive in accident-prone areas.
When Collision Insurance Is Not Worth It
If you have a lot of savings and could afford the repairs or replacement if your vehicle is damaged, you might be able to skip collision insurance. Additionally, once your annual collision premium is equal to 10% of your car’s value, you’re probably safe to drop the coverage, since you’ll likely spend more in the long run than the repairs would cost.
Lastly, unless your loan or lease requires it, carrying collision insurance is not mandatory. If you have an older car or don’t drive much, dropping collision coverage could help lower your premiums.
You should drop your collision insurance when your annual premium equals 10% of your car's value. If your collision insurance costs $100 total per year, for example, drop the coverage when your car is worth $1,000 since, at that point, your insurance payments are too close to your car's value to be worthwhile. Drivers can easily find a car’s value with the online vehicle appraisal calculators from Edmunds or Kelly Blue Book.… read full answer
When to Drop Collision Insurance
When you rarely use your car
The more you drive, the higher your risk of being in an accident – so if you don’t drive often, your risk is lower than average. That means you could be paying for collision insurance that you’re unlikely to need.
When repairing a car would not have a big impact on your finances
Maybe you have an emergency fund that you could use to fix your vehicle. If you're willing to spend your savings on car repairs, then it's safe to drop collision insurance. However, people often prefer their emergency fund to be a safety net for when they leave their job, face health issues, or need home repairs. It all depends on what you're comfortable with personally and how much you have saved.
When you’re paying 10% of your car’s value in premiums annually
The cost of repairs goes down as your car gets older, so you don’t want to overpay as your car loses value.
Other Things to Consider Before Dropping Collision Insurance
The 10% rule for dropping collision insurance is not set in stone. But it’s a good milestone to keep in mind because as the value of a vehicle falls over time, the value of its insurance coverage does too. And when you start paying a significant portion of your car’s value in premiums each year, you’re simply overpaying to offset the actual level of risk that remains – at least as far as collision damage to your own vehicle is concerned.
Collision insurance repairs or replaces your insured car if it's damaged, whether by another vehicle or an object like a tree or mailbox. This insurance covers up to the cash value of your car - which is where the 10% rule comes in. This rule most frequently applies to older cars or vehicles with a lot of mileage, as they are worth relatively low amounts. There are a few other situations where it might be a smart move to drop collision insurance, too.
When Not to Drop Collision Insurance
Every state requires car insurance except for New Hampshire and Virginia. However, the law doesn't mandate collision insurance. The only legally-mandated car insurance is liability coverage, for damages to someone or something that you accidentally hit with your car. Although collision insurance is optional, it's well worth purchasing for many people.
If you're financing your car, collision insurance is usually required. Otherwise, you might be stuck with a repair bill equivalent to the value of your new vehicle! If you're leasing your car, the same logic applies – most lessors require drivers to carry collision insurance, too.
In summary, it's a smart money move to drop collision insurance when your car is old or has high mileage, but you should definitely think twice about doing so.
If you have no collision insurance, your vehicle will have no coverage under your car insurance policy if you cause an accident. When you’re at-fault for an accident and do not have collision insurance, you must pay out of pocket to repair or replace your own vehicle. Collision insurance usually is not needed if the other driver is at-fault, since their liability insurance will pay for damage to your car.… read full answer
Collision insurance can sometimes be helpful after accidents when fault isn’t clear. If you have collision insurance, you can file a claim with your own insurance company while you wait for the insurance adjuster to make an official judgement of fault. Then, if the other driver is determined to be at fault, their insurer will reimburse yours.
Not having collision coverage can also make a claim difficult if you’re hit by an uninsured or unidentified driver. Unless you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, your only option is to sue an uninsured driver. Still, you’re unlikely to collect anything if you win, as a driver without car insurance is more likely to be unable to pay damages. And some states don’t allow you to use uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage after a hit and run, which means you’ll have to pay for the damage yourself.
It’s generally a good idea to carry collision insurance if you can’t afford to pay out of pocket for repairing or replacing your car. On the other hand, if you have the financial resources to repair or replace your car, you can usually consider dropping collision coverage if the cost exceeds 10% of your vehicle’s value.
It is better to have comprehensive insurance than collision insurance, if you need to choose between the two. Comprehensive coverage is inexpensive, can be purchased alone, and pays for damage due to events beyond your control, such as vandalism, theft, natural disasters or run-ins with animals.
On the other hand, drivers with a history of accidents or moving violations and drivers who live in high traffic areas should consider investing in … read full answercollision insurance. Given that collision insurance cannot be purchased without comprehensive insurance, you’ll get the benefit of both types of coverage.
Why You Should Get Both Comprehensive & Collision Coverage
If your car is leased or financed, your lender or lessor will likely require you to purchase comprehensive and collision insurance together. But even if you do have a choice, you should still consider purchasing both types of coverage.
Collision and comprehensive insurance are best bought together because they cover different situations. Collision coverage repairs or replaces your car when it’s damaged in an accident, regardless of fault, while comprehensive insurance applies when your car is damaged by something other than an accident.
Ultimately, if you’re still struggling to decide whether to purchase comprehensive or collision coverage, a good rule of thumb is to skip either type if the cost is more than 10% of your car’s value. However, this is just a general guideline, and you should also consider whether you’re in the financial position to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged.
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