Collision insurance and comprehensive insurance are 2 important pieces of the Colorado car insurance puzzle. Collision insurance covers damage done to your car in a car accident. Meanwhile, comprehensive insurance covers car repair or replacement costs when there was no crash. They often get bundled together in auto insurance policies. These types of insurance are not required by law in Colorado. However, they might be a requirement to get a car loan.
In this article, our Colorado personal injury lawyers discuss:
- 1. What is collision insurance?
- 2. What is comprehensive insurance?
- 3. How do collision and comprehensive insurance fit into the big picture?
- 4. Do I have to carry collision or comprehensive insurance in Colorado?
- 5. How do deductibles work in collision or comprehensive auto insurance?
- 6. What if I am involved in a car accident and do not have collision insurance?
- 7. How much do comprehensive and collision insurance cost in Colorado?
- 8. What if my insurance company denies my claim?
1. What is collision insurance?
Collision insurance is the portion of your car insurance policy that protects your car in a crash.
That crash can happen with anything. It can involve:
- Another motor vehicle, like a car or truck,
- A rollover crash,
- A wild animal, like a deer,
- A pedestrian,
- A bicyclist, or even
- A stationary object, like a fence, building, or telephone pole.
If that crash damages your car, it triggers the collision insurance part of your car insurance policy. If the crash falls within the insurance policy, your insurance company will cover the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
2. What is comprehensive insurance?
Comprehensive insurance is the portion of your car insurance that protects your car in situations where there is no crash.
Comprehensive insurance can cover the costs of:
- Vandalism to your car,
- A tree falling on your vehicle,
- Car fires,
- Water damage from a flood or if rain leaked into your vehicle,
- Hail damage,
- Theft, and
- Windshield or other glass damage.
If one of these things happens to your car, it can trigger your comprehensive insurance coverage. If the damage falls within your policy, your insurance company should cover the costs. They will pay to repair the damage or replace your vehicle.
3. How do collision and comprehensive insurance fit into the big picture?
Collision insurance and comprehensive insurance are core pieces in the car insurance puzzle.
Car insurance has 2 major portions:
- First-party insurance, which covers losses suffered by the policyholder, and
- Third-party insurance – also known as bodily injury liability insurance in Colorado – which covers losses caused by the policyholder.
Both collision and comprehensive insurance are forms of first-party insurance. They protect you, the policyholder, from harm by covering its costs.
3 other forms of first-party car insurance are:
- Uninsured motorist insurance,
- Underinsured motorist insurance, and
- Med pay
These forms of first-party insurance protect you from other drivers who do not have enough insurance to cover your losses in a crash.
4. Do I have to carry collision or comprehensive insurance in Colorado?
No, collision and comprehensive car insurance are both optional in Colorado.
Because first-party insurance protects the person paying the insurance premium, people want it. Because third-party insurance protects other people from the person paying the premium, people want to pay as little as possible for it. As a result, Colorado law has minimum requirements for third-party auto insurance. These requirements force people to have at least some before they drive in Colorado.
Because it is in someone's interest to carry first-party insurance, though, there are no legal requirements to have it in Colorado.
5. How do deductibles work in collision or comprehensive auto insurance?
Most collision insurance or comprehensive insurance policies have deductibles. A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay, out of your pocket, before the insurance company contributes.
Example: Hail damages Sam's car. Fixing it would cost $300. The deductable on his comprehensive insurance is $500. The insurance company will not help him fix his car.
Generally, people find that in Colorado:
- The lower the deductible, the better the coverage, but
- The higher the deductible, the lower the costs of your insurance premiums.
A low deductible means you will have to pay less out of your own pocket before the insurance company covers your losses. To get that coverage, though, you pay higher premiums for insurance.
6. What if I am involved in a car accident and do not have collision insurance?
Some people choose not to have collision insurance. If they are in a car accident, the outcome will depend on who was at fault.
6.1 The other driver was at fault
If the other driver was at fault, their liability insurance (third-party insurance) will pay to repair or replace your car.
If their liability insurance runs out and only covers some of your bills, you will have to cover the rest of them.
If they are violating Colorado's law and do not have liability insurance, you will have to pay your own bills.
6.2 You caused the crash
If you were at fault and caused the accident, you will have to pay the costs of repairing or replacing your own vehicle. Your liability insurance will cover the other person's losses.
7. How much do comprehensive and collision insurance cost in Colorado?
The costs of car insurance policies depend on a huge number of factors. These factors include:
- Your driving history,
- The type of car you drive,
- Whether you park your car on a driveway or on the street,
- Whether you live in an urban or rural setting, and
- Which insurance company you use.
In general, though, adding comprehensive and collision insurance to a car insurance policy adds around $600 to the annual premium. If you want a low deductable, the price can be closer to $900.
8. What if my insurance company denies my claim?
Insurance companies have an obligation not to act in bad faith. If you buy collision insurance or comprehensive insurance, they have to uphold their end of the contract and pay for claims they are supposed to cover.
If your car gets damaged and you file an insurance claim that you think falls within your policy, your insurance company may be acting in bad faith if they deny coverage. This can lead to a lawsuit.
Call us for help…
Dealing with insurance companies is rarely a good experience. Getting them to pay for what they said they would cover is often a struggle. If they deny your valid claim, you could use a lawyer. Contact our Colorado car accident lawyers today for the legal help you need to get the coverage you paid for.