As a state with a deeply ingrained car culture, California experiences more than 10 percent of the annual auto crashes across the United States. As can be expected, Southern California is where most accidents take place, particularly in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego County. Needless to say, driving without an auto insurance policy in California isn’t a good idea for many reasons. The most obvious reason is that it’s illegal to do so, but there’s also the high potential of getting into a traffic accident. Mandatory car insurance in the Golden State mostly requires liability coverage, but smart motorists often add more protection by purchasing collision coverage, obtaining a comprehensive policy, or getting both. Here are the differences between comprehensive car insurance and collision coverage, brought to you by Altra Insurance Services, a premier provider of auto, homeowners, renters, and commercial insurance San Diego residents can rely on for affordable coverage.
Collision Coverage Goes Beyond Liability
The principle behind liability insurance is that drivers can be found to have a certain degree of responsibility in traffic accident situations. Liability can apply to bodily injury and property damage. Let’s say you’re sideswiped on a slippery road. If the other driver invaded your lane, he or she will be deemed at fault for insurance purposes even though it was clearly an accident. Your hospital bills and car repairs will be taken care of by the liability insurance of the driver at fault. If, on the other hand, you lose control on a rain-soaked freeway, your liability insurance will only cover the injuries and damage you caused, and fixing your own vehicle will have to come out of your own pocket unless you have collision coverage.
Collision Coverage Can Pick Up the Slack After an Accident
Let’s say you take a scenic drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, lose control, and hit a coastal redwood tree at 25 mph. Chances are that both you and the redwood will be uninjured, but your car will surely sustain damage. In this accident, your liability coverage won’t come into play. If you have collision coverage, it may cover the damage to your car, even though neither you nor the tree were at fault.
Comprehensive Insurance Provides Other-Than-Collision Coverage
If, during the same PCH trip, an old redwood falls on top of your parked vehicle and crushes it, neither liability nor collision coverage will help you. What you need in this case is comprehensive insurance, which pays for damage your car sustains outside of traffic accidents. Should your car be damaged because of theft, vandalism, or a natural disaster, comprehensive coverage will kick in.
Comprehensive Insurance Isn’t Full Coverage
If you wish to combine the benefits of collision and comprehensive coverage, ask your auto insurance agent about full coverage plans. Comprehensive may sound similar to full coverage, but it’s not. Full coverage is a combination of policies designed to give maximum coverage and even perks such as roadside assistance, towing, emergency pocket cash, repairs after mechanical breakdowns, and temporary rental cars.
When they need affordable, reliable auto insurance, San Diego drivers turn to Altra Insurance Services. For high-quality insurance and unparalleled service, reach out to one of our friendly representatives today at 619-474-6666 to learn how you can save money on your auto insurance.