Collision insurance is a very broad term used to refer to a variety of policies, offering varying coverage for automobile collisions. This can range from simply covering the associated repair costs, to paying for resultant health care expenses, that of the other driver etc. What all these offerings have in common is that they represent some level of financial assistance, above that of the insurance legally required, to policy holders in the event of a collision, hence the name.
Costs for collision insurance vary based on a number of factors. These include; (i) safety record of the driver seeking insurance (ii) value of the car and (iii) location. Usually, the most influential of these is the safety record and drivers with a history of frequent collisions will find themselves paying much higher premiums or even being denied insurance altogether. It should be noted that insurance statistics for collisions are based on claims, so paying for minor accidents out of pocket can save you money in the long run.
On a whole collision insurance is usually more than adequate for the average driver with no pre-disposed likelihood for misfortune. For drivers who desire, still, more protection and want the comfort of having nothing to worry about in any eventuality, there is comprehensive insurance.
Comprehensive insurance works a bit differently and is considerably more expensive. Simply put whatever damage happens to your car, howsoever caused, is covered under your plan (barring exclusions possibly hidden in the fine print). The idea behind such a comprehensive insurance plan is to give the policy holder the total peace of mind that comes from the knowledge that almost every possible eventuality has been provided for. This stretches as far away from conventional accidents as you can imagine, encompassing freak accidents (falling piano from an upstairs balcony), vandalism, water damage due to an exploding fire hydrant, or whatever. Additionally, damage to another vehicle, caused by yours, is usually covered under a comprehensive plan. This all-encompassing nature is what makes this plan so popular among those who can afford it. Interestingly enough, a lot of comprehensive insurance plans exclude collision from the coverage requiring an additional collision insurance plan if so desired. Rates for comprehensive insurance are invariably high and are affected much less by driver accident history than other types of automobile insurance.
Either, or both, of these types of insurance may be the best bet for an individual motorist. Proper evaluation of each situation by the individual will aid in making the correct decision on the necessary coverage. Most large companies offer free consultation with an agent to discuss the best options.