Many people are confused about the difference between the two kinds of coverage because, most of the time, they are purchased together as “collision and comprehensive” coverage (also known as “own damage coverage”). Basically, this is all coverage that can be purchased on top of the standard liability insurance that protects you against third party liability an uninsured or underinsured motorists.
While they’re often packaged together, they’re not exactly the same. Collision coverage provides protection against damage to your vehicle when you hit something. Comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, protects you if your vehicle is damaged by something other than a “collision” (ie. theft).
But they do share some important exclusions like:
- Warranty-type issues (mechanical breakdown or wear & tear)
- Freezing or explosion in the combustion chamber (except when due to collision)
- Vehicle contents (although equipment like seat covers of safety gear is covered)
This article was originally written for Insuranceopedia