Collision insurance pays for accident damage to your own car. That's important, because if you're in a crash that's your fault, you don't want to be stuck footing a large repair bill on your own.
What does collision insurance cover?
Collision insurance covers your car damage if you crash into an object such as a tree, fence, guard rail, light pole, building or another car. Remember, this is for damage to your car that you cause by accident.
If you crash into someone else and it's your fault, your liability insurance pays for damage and injuries to others. For example, if you take out a neighbor's mailbox, or mow down someone's fence, your liability insurance will pay for their property damage and collision insurance can pay for your car damage.
Here are other important things to know about collision insurance coverage:
You'll pick a deductible, which is the amount deducted from an insurance check for a collision claim. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and a $2,000 repair bill after backing into a pole, the insurance check will be $1,500.
Collision coverage is usually packaged with comprehensive insurance, which pays for auto theft and damage from hail, floods, fire and other problems.
If you have a car loan or lease, your lender or leasing company likely requires that you have both collision and comprehensive insurance.
The maximum collision coverage payout is the value of your vehicle. That would happen if you total the vehicle.
Collision insurance gives you options. If someone else causes a car accident, you can either: 1) Make a claim on that person's liability insurance or 2) Make a claim on your own collision coverage. If you choose option two, your check would be reduced by your deductible amount. However, your insurer may be able to get your deductible back from the at-fault party through a process known as subrogation.
The cost of collision insurance depends on the value of the vehicle and the "claims history" of the model. If you insurer has paid frequent or expensive collision claims for your model type, collision insurance rates will generally go up for that car.
Insurance companies must file insurance rates with each state. We looked at filings made by State Farm for its collision insurance "rating groups." These lists show the vehicles with the highest and lowest comprehensive insurance rates from State Farm. While your insurance company will have its own prices, State Farm's lowest and highest groups may be similar.
Cars with the least expensive collision insurance (2018 and 2019 models)
Chrysler Fiat Pop
Chrysler Pacifica L and LX
Fiat 500X Easy and Pop
Hyundai Kona SE
Jeep Compass and Compass Sport
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport
Mazda CX-3 Sport
Nissan Frontier S King Cab
Nissan Kicks S
Subaru Crosstek 2.0
Subaru Outback 2.5i
Subaru Forester 2.5i
Subaru Impreza 2.0i
Cars with the most expensive collision insurance (2018 and 2019 models)
Aston Martin DB11 and DB11 Volante
Aston Martin Vantage
Aston Martin Vanquish and Vanquish Volante
Audi S8 4.0T Quattro
Bentley Bentayga W12
BMW Alpina B6 and B7
BMW M760i XDrive
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon 65 Edition
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Jaguar XJ RL
Lamborghini Aventador S
Land Rover Range Rover SV Autobiography Dynamic and Autobiography LWB
Maserati Granturismo 4.7
Mercedes Benz AMG GT
Mercedes Benz AMG S63
Mercedes Benz G550
Mercedes Benz G65 AMG
Mercedes Benz Maybach S560 4MATIC
Mercedes Benz S65 AMG
Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG
Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG
Porsche 911 Carrera
Porsche 911 Turbo
Porsche Cayenne S Turbo
Porsche Panamera Turbo
Porsche Panamera Hybrid
Rolls Royce Dawn
Rolls Royce Ghost
Rolls Royce Phantom
Rolls Royce Wraith
Tesla Model S P100D
Tesla Model X Electric Vehicle P100D
Car loan? You may have a "gap"
If you have a car loan (or lease), know about gap insurance. Here's how it works: In some cases, a car loan balance can be higher than what the car is worth when it's totaled. Let's say your car is totaled you get a $10,000 check from a collision insurance claim. But say you owe $12,000 on a car loan. You'd have to come up with the $2,000 difference yourself. Or gap insurance can pay the difference.