If you have a car accident you need collision insurance to cover damages

Collision insurance covers damage to your car caused by an accident or collision.

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  • Collision insurance repairs your car if you get into a collision or accident.
  • Liability insurance is required by law. Accident insurance is additional to liability insurance.
  • If you lease or finance your car, your lender may require you to carry collision insurance.
  • Check out insider tips for the best car insurance policies.

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Unlike homeowners insurance, auto liability coverage is required by law. There are four main types of car insurance: Comprehensive, collision and liability insurance. The complete coverage is a combination of the three.

Minimum liability coverage requirements vary by state, but if you finance or lease your car, your lender will likely require comprehensive and collision coverage.

What is collision insurance?

Collision insurance repairs your car if it's damaged in a collision with another vehicle or object. In case of car accidents it is usually a matter of collision insurance.

However, collision insurance does not cover damage caused by theft, fire, vandalism, natural disasters or liability for personal injury.

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What does the collision insurance cover?

Damage Comprehensive Collision Liability* Full
Theft Yes No No Yes
Vandalism Yes No No Yes
Fire Yes No No Yes
Natural disaster Yes No No Yes
Falling objects (tree) Yes No No Yes
Animal Damage Yes No No Yes
Collision/accident No Yes No Yes
Turn over No Yes No Yes
Personal injury/medical bills No No Yes Yes
Physical damage No No Yes Yes
Property damage No No Yes Yes
Uninsured motorist No No Yes Yes

*Most states require some type of liability insurance

Comprehensive coverage replaces or repairs your vehicle if it is stolen or damaged. Comprehensive coverage generally covers damage caused by fire, vandalism or falling objects such as trees or hail.

Collision insurance, on the other hand, covers accidents and collisions, including rollovers. If you lease or finance your vehicle, your lender may require both comprehensive and collision coverage.

How much does accident insurance cost?

Liability insurance would be in addition to. Liability insurance required by law.

When shopping for collision coverage, get several quotes. The policy with the lowest coverage price, most coverage types and limits, and lowest deductible is best for you. Your credit score, marital status, vehicle type, previous insurance coverage and miles driven will affect your annual premium.

The average cost of liability, collision, and comprehensive costs by state are shown in the following table. The average cost is what consumers in the state pay for insurance on average. However, your annual premium varies based on age, gender and location.

State Liability Collision Comprehensive Average cost
Alabama $511,13 $380,51 $175.28 $1 $904,56
Alaska $576.09 $387.12 $ 147,87 $ $965,44
Arizona $646,75 $326,28 $208.25 1.046,40 $
Arkansas $486,72 $375,25 $235.36 898,89 $
California $616,51 $483,60 94,72 $ 1.034,05 $
Colorado $687,40 $330,50 $272,44 1.132,81 $
Connecticut $784,70 $407,54 $133.86 1.216,55 $
Delaware 900,32 $ $352,86 140,52 $ 1.291,39 $
DC $809.41 $535.96 $228,71 1.429,43 $
Florida 1.009,94 $ $361,79 149,26 $ 1.426,46 $
Georgia 797,80 $ $408,41 176,31 $ 1.212,04 $
Hawaii $479,27 $357.78 107,66 $ $829,15
Idaho $425.89 $ $262.67 $139.75 $722.06
Illinois $515.94 $339,04 140,57 $ $916,49
Indiana $442,69 $286,49 $135.63 $767.72 $
Iowa 348,87 $ $252.65 $214,65 700,71 $
Kansas $421,78 $287,24 $276.33 $805.15
Kentucky $611,54 312,51 $ 164,68 $ $936.91
Louisiana 1.015,36 $ 487,44 $ $248.57 1.545,82 $
Maine $374,59 $294,80 113,33 $ $686.25
Maryland $737,73 $422.06 167,61 $ $1.211,83
Massachusetts $658.47 $440.55 147,06 $ 1.167,16 $
Michigan 952,15 $ 479,11 $ 159,08 $ 1.469,73 $
Minnesota 499,48 $ $265,74 $206.45 $872,65 $
Mississippi $538.35 $372,17 $239,34 $971,19
Missouri $520,45 $315,49 $216,92 913,81 $
Montana $435,81 $283.65 $306,00 $825.87
Nebraska $429.35 $272.48 $260,97 796,87 $
Nevada 900,40 $ $366,54 $119.28 1.260,43 $
New Hampshire $436,76 $327.30 118,58 $ 847,58 $
New Jersey $955.93 $414,39 130,26 $ 1.385,61 $
New Mexico $576.81 $311,24 $214,10 $915,62
New York $920.25 $457.77 $ 180,64 $ 1.425,00 $
North Carolina $391,29 $342.13 $137.45 $734,06
North Dakota $307,97 $279.45 $256,76 $686.08
Ohio 448,59 $ 302,57 $ 130,74 $ $794,91 $
Oklahoma $508,89 $346,73 $267.99 $915,49
Oregon 689,74 $ $280,61 $ 106,87 $ $990,21
Pennsylvania $555.42 $376.21 $ 169,21 $ 991,23 $
Rhode Island $885.33 $474,58 140,40 $ 1.333,12 $
South Carolina $702.37 $ 318,08 $ $207,09 1.093,97 $
South Dakota $333,44 $244,47 $327.11 $ $721.67
Tennessee $477,07 $355,01 $163,83 $855,78
Texas $659.47 $ $442,88 $269.90 1.152,25 $
Utah 601,77 $ $309,20 $127.53 $941,14
Vermont $376,99 329,47 $ 147,81 $ 778,29 $
Virginia $492,68 $316,05 $148.25 $853,78
Washington $689.18 $ 312,65 $ 118,19 $ 1.035,34 $
West Virginia $521.74 $350.20 224,86 $ 938,71 $
Wisconsin $422.28 $247.95 $159.82 $1 $755.97
Wyoming $356.25 $297,61 317,22 $ $765,81

Who needs collision insurance?

If you bought a new car or a newer used car with cash, consider collision insurance. If you lease or finance your car, your lender will most likely require comprehensive and collision coverage.

Car accidents happen. Accident insurance is good protection, especially if you have a newer car.

Ronda Lee is associate editor for insurance at Personal Finance Insider, covering life, auto, homeowners and renters insurance for consumers. She is also a licensed attorney and practiced in litigation and insurance defense.