What Is Collision Insurance Coverage?

Collision coverage helps pay to repair or replace your car if you get into a crash.

woman taking a photo of a car accident with a truck on her phone for collision insurance AAA auto insurance, image

Collision insurance offers peace of mind in case of a crash—no matter who's at fault. 

iMoved Studio / Shutterstock

With more than 7 million car crashes in the U.S. every year, you’re right to be wondering if you're fully covered by your car insurance. If your vehicle is damaged in an accident—whether it’s a fender bender or a crash into a tree, fence, or another object—collision coverage offers peace of mind no matter who’s at fault.

What is collision insurance?

If you’re involved in an accident, collision coverage can help cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, no matter who was at fault.

Collision insurance is different than liability coverage, which only covers expenses if another driver is at fault—and if that driver is carrying enough liability coverage to pay for your repairs.

What does collision insurance usually cover?

Collision insurance typically covers damage to your car caused by:

  • an accident with another car, whether or not you’re at fault

  • hitting an object such as a fence, pole, or tree

What doesn’t collision insurance cover?

Collision insurance does not cover medical bills, damage to another person’s vehicle, or damage caused by:

  • storms, hurricanes, hail, tornadoes, and earthquakes

  • flood

  • fire

  • explosion

  • falling objects

  • theft and vandalism

  • riots, civil disobedience, and acts of terrorism

  • hitting an animal, such as a deer

While collision insurance doesn’t cover damage from these causes, comprehensive coverage often does.

How does collision insurance work?

When you purchase collision insurance, it will be combined with your liability coverage. Generally, the better your driving record is, the lower your collision insurance premium will be. The type of vehicle you drive also affects your rate:  If you have an expensive sports car, for example, your premium will be higher than someone who drives a more practical vehicle. Your deductible—the dollar amount you pay for repairs before your insurance kicks in—will also affect your premium cost. Deductibles are typically $250, $500, or $1,000. Agreeing to a higher deductible will lower your premium.

Like all auto coverage, your collision insurance has a payout limit. It typically pays up to the cash value of your car at the time of your accident.

Why should I buy collision insurance?

Everyone makes mistakes. Few things are more frustrating than crashing your own car, and an accident may damage your vehicle beyond repair. If that were to happen, could you afford to replace it? Collision coverage will pay to repair or replace your car so you can get back on the road.

It’s also another layer of protection for your vehicle, and if you haven’t had many accidents, it can be inexpensive. If you have a loan on your car, your lender may require collision coverage.

AAA offers car insurance including collision coverage, with driver discounts to save you money. When you sign up for AAA auto insurance, you’re signing up with a company with more than 100 years of experience protecting drivers. AAA’s friendly, knowledgeable agents are dedicated to helping clients like you.

Exceptional coverage. Expert service. Extra savings.

AAA Auto, Home, and Life Insurance.

More Car Insurance Definitions

*The availability, qualifications, and amounts of coverages, costs and discounts may vary from state to state and there may be coverages and discounts not listed here. In addition, other terms, conditions, and exclusions not described above may apply, and total savings may vary depending on the coverages purchased. For more information regarding your eligibility for certain coverages and savings opportunities, please contact your AAA agent. Insurance products in California offered by AAA Northern California Insurance Agency. License #0175868, in Nevada by AAA Nevada and in Utah by AAA Utah. Insurance provided by CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA insurer.