If you have no collision coverage, then you will be responsible for paying to repair or replace your car after an accident that you cause. When you’re at fault in an accident, your liability insurance will only cover the other driver’s expenses, not yours. Collision insurance is not usually needed if the other driver is at fault, since their liability insurance will pay for damage to your car.
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.
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