What is the other than collision coverage on my car insurance?

Q:

What is the other than collision coverage on my car insurance?

A:

Great question. Other than collision coverage is the part of your automobile insurance policy that covers you for losses that occur as the result of something other than a collision. Sounds simple enough, right? But what does that actually mean? The answer is a bit more nuanced that it might seem.

Collision coverage will cover damages to your own vehicle for accidents that happen when you hit something and are found to be at fault. If you rear-ended someone or slipped off a wet road into a telephone pole, that's the kind of thing your collision coverage is for.

Other than collision coverage, on the other hand, covers you for things that can be thought of as being outside of your control. If your windshield is damaged by hail, for example, or if you were the victim of theft or vandalism (don't let it happen to you; see these 9 Ways to Keep Your Car from Getting Stolen). But it also includes things that we would normally think of as being a "collision." Oddly enough, if you hit an animal while driving, that loss would be considered "other than collision." We can speculate as to why that is. Maybe it's because an animal's behavior is erratic and outside the insured's control? To be honest, I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation for why that is, but that's how it works in most policies I've seen.

Depending on your jurisdiction, other than collision coverage might by a different name: comprehensive coverage.

On most automobile insurance policies, collision coverage is bought alongside other than collision coverage (for related advice, see Top Tips for Getting Full Protection from Your Auto Insurance Coverage).

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Written by Jacques Wong
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Jacques grew up around the insurance industry and began actively participating in 2013. Since then, he has gotten a Level 2 license, won an Insurance Council of BC award in 2015 for academic excellence in the insurance licensing courses and educates insurance professionals through PNC Learning.   Full Bio