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After making sure you, your passengers and the other driver(s) and passengers are okay, the first thing you should do after a collision is take a deep breath and remember that your car insurance is going to help you no matter how much of the collision was your fault.
For this reason, of all the car insurance types you could get, collision insurance might be the one that helps you sleep best at night.

Another reason to add collision insurance to your car insurance package is that, unlike the basic car insurance you're provincially mandated to carry, collision insurance will cover the costs of damage associated with a collision you might have that doesn’t involve another driver: think signpost, tree or poorly lit pillar in an underground parking lot.

Collision coverage deductibles

You can expect to pay roughly $500 to $700 for collision coverage, and you can expect to choose between a $500 and a $1,000 deductible. When you consider that you could have to pay up to $3,200 out of pocket for a headlight damaged by a flying pebble, the comparative price of optional collision coverage is definitely worth the cost.

What to do after a collision

If you have collision insurance coverage, give your provider a call, tell them what happened and prepare the funds to cover the deductible. Your insurance provider will take care of the rest, including getting you set up with a rental vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired.

If you don’t have collision insurance, you’ll need to pull a lot more money out of your pocket to get your vehicle back on the road. Note that this will mostly apply only to an owned car. In most cases, collision insurance is a prerequisite of a lease agreement.

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Collision coverage vs. Comprehensive coverage

Collision insurance will cover you and your vehicle for anything related to hitting another vehicle. But that’s one of a million things not caused by a collision that could cause a financially crippling amount of damage, like:

  • Your car is stolen in the middle of the night
  • Your car is vandalized
  • Your car catches fire or explodes
  • Your car is hit by a flying or falling object
  • Your car is worked over by Mother Nature
  • Your car has an unfortunate run-in with a moose

Depending on where you live and how you spend your time, comprehensive insurance might be a good thing for you. And you don’t have to live on a fault line or near a nuclear power plant to consider it: many a game of street baseball has damaged many a parked car.

A final thought about collision coverage

You can be an excellent driver who respects the road, the rules and other drivers; and still, you could slide into a light pole or run over a parking barrier, damaging your ride in the process.

Instead of seeing collision insurance as something people who drive poorly would have, see it as something anyone who wants to protect their bank accounts (and maintain their calm after an accident) should have.

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