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What is Collision Insurance?

Amy Danise

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.

What else should I know?

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 car insurance.

The maximum collision insurance payout is the value of your vehicle. That would happen if you total the vehicle.

Collision insurance gives you options after an accident. 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 a collision claim, 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 R8

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

Lamborghini Huracan

Land Rover Range Rover SV Autobiography Dynamic and Autobiography LWB

Maserati Granturismo 4.7

Maserati Quattroporte

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

Nissan GT-R

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.