Gianetta Palmer is a writer for CarInsurance101.com, copywriter, and essayist. Her work has appeared in EverydayHealth.com, Healthline, and The Dyrt Magazine. She is the author of Scrunchie-Fried and writes a lot about car insurance in her spare time.

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert

UPDATED: Mar 26, 2021

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Just What's Essential

  • Collision insurance pays for damage to your vehicle regardless of fault
  • The average monthly cost of collision coverage is $29
  • You may have to pay a deductible to start the collision car insurance process

Collision insurance is one of the basic insurance coverage options for drivers. Although it’s not required for some vehicles, it’s essential to any relatively new vehicle or a car you’re financing.

Our collision insurance guide explains what collision insurance coverage is, how to buy collision insurance, the average cost of collision insurance by state, and other details that can help you secure affordable car insurance.

The best companies provide various coverage options, including collision insurance. Enter your ZIP code in the free comparison tool above to compare multiple companies and find cheap car insurance quotes.

How much is collision insurance?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), collision insurance’s average annual cost is $343 per year. That’s about $29 per month.

However, collision coverage premiums vary by state. Let’s review the cost of collision insurance.

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The District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) has the most expensive collision insurance cost, but South Dakota has the cheapest.

How does my car impact the cost of collision insurance quotes?

Your vehicle can determine car insurance costs. Older make and model year vehicles produce less expensive collision insurance rates.

Let’s look at collision car insurance rates based on the Toyota RAV4 as an example.

  • 2020 Toyota RAV4 – $482/yr or $40/mo
  • 2019 Toyota RAV4 – $478/yr or $40/mo
  • 2018 Toyota RAV4 – $466/yr or $39/mo
  • 2017 Toyota RAV4 – $446/yr or $37/mo
  • 2016 Toyota RAV4 – $430/yr or $36/mo

Car insurance companies have to assess your car’s actual cash value and how much it depreciates just in case you’re in a total loss accident.

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What is collision insurance?

Collision insurance is car insurance coverage that pays for damage to your vehicle regardless of who’s at fault in an accident.

If you run into someone and cause damage to their vehicle and yours, your collision coverage activates and pays for damages to your car.

What does collision insurance cover?

All collision coverages pay for property damages to your car. Your car insurance company will cut you a check for the cost of damages after you’ve met the collision insurance claim requirements.

There are limits to collision coverage, though. Your auto insurance provider won’t pay more than the depreciated value of your vehicle. This is known as the fair market value.

What doesn’t collision insurance cover?

If a tree falls on your car or if hail damages panels on your vehicle, collision coverage won’t cover the damage.

How come? Collision car insurance only pays for damages related to accidents that involve collisions.

Also, your collision insurance coverage won’t pay for property damage to the other party’s car. Liability insurance covers other drivers.

Does collision insurance have a deductible?

Most collision insurance programs have a deductible attached to them. The lower your deductible, the more you’ll spend on car insurance. You’ll need to pay your deductible before the collision insurance claim can begin.

If you want to save money on collision insurance or auto insurance overall, raise your deductible.

Why do I need collision insurance?

Anyone who’s making payments on their vehicle is required to full coverage. Collision insurance is one of the coverage options attached to full coverage auto insurance.

The latest vehicle models also need collision insurance. There’s a way to find affordable collision insurance for newer model-year vehicles – just keep shopping around.

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Collision Insurance: The Bottom Line

Car accidents are always unexpected, and collision insurance protects you from unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses. Collision coverage is an effective option to cover your bases if you’re ever at fault in an accident.

Before you buy collision insurance, use our free comparison tool below and compare the best companies near you to find the cheap car insurance quotes and the coverage options you need.