I know I have written about this before, but it comes up fairly frequently in my practice. What is comprehensive? What is collision? Can my rates go up for filing one of these claims? So, lets start with the basics.
Collision coverage applies, if you have it, when your vehicle strikes something else and you are making a claim for damage to your car. So, your vehicle is stopped and hit by another vehicle – collision claim. Your vehicle is being parked in the garage and hits the front of the garage – collision claim. Your vehicle rolls down a hill and into a building – collision claim.
Comprehensive, sometimes called other than collision, applies, if you have it, for anything that is not a collision for damage to your car. Fire? Theft? Vandalism? All comprehensive claims.
Now, lets make it fun. Your car hits a deer. Comprehensive or collision? Clearly, this is collision since the car struck the deer, right? Well, it makes sense, but any time a vehicle and an animal collide, its a comprehensive claim. It doesnt make sense, but go with it if you strike an animal.
Why does it matter? For a few reasons. First, some people carry collision but not comprehensive or vice versa. Second, your rates can go up for an at fault collision. In California, at fault means 51% or more at fault. For a comprehensive claim, your rates cannot go up.
So, you are driving to Santa Barbara and a deer is standing in the road. You hit the deer. The accident is your fault. But, because it is an animal, it is a comprehensive claim and your rates cannot go up. That is why all of this matters!