If you are like most new car owners, then you probably paid the extra money to include the protection offered by collision coverage in your insurance policy. However, as your vehicle has now begun to age and depreciate, you've likely started to ponder if and when you should drop the pricey collision coverage that's running up your insurance bill.
There's not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. After all, everyone won't have the same comfort level on risk or the same insurance needs and wants. However, there are some factors that you can consider to help you determine if and when you should drop your collision coverage:
1. Determine the value of your vehicle.
The first thing you should do when deciding if you should drop your collision insurance is determine approximately how much your car is worth. There are several ways to go about this, but one of the best methods is by getting an actual cash value (ACV) estimate. Kelley Blue Book and N.A.D.A. guides are excellent sources. However, you might want to call your insurance agent to find out which ACV source is used by their claims department, as ACV figures will often vary slightly from source to source. Do remember to factor in the wear and tear on your vehicle. Dents, scratches, upholstery holes or tears, and fading or chipping paint are just a few of the factors that can lower your vehicle's ACV.
2. Weigh your potential risk against the cost of your collision coverage.
Although your collision coverage premiums will generally decrease slightly as your vehicle ages, you still need to make sure that the cost of your collision coverage remains a worthy expense to cover damage that may or may not occur to your vehicle. Weigh what you're paying every year for collision coverage against the potential risk of not having it. The ACV of your vehicle should also be a factor in your decision process. For example, the new car you bought several years ago may only be worth $3,000 dollars today, and if you're paying $600 per year for your collision coverage, then you're paying 20% of what your car is worth for just this one coverage.
3. What's your deductible?
Your deductible is another important factor to consider. Most drivers usually select a collision coverage deductible between $250 and $1,000 dollars. You might have even selected a higher deductible to keep your premiums lower. In any case, you need to remember that your deductible is the amount of money you've agreed to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage takes effect. You need to decide if the combination of your collision coverage premiums and the deductible amount you'd pay after an accident are still reasonable costs for the value of your vehicle. For example, you'd be looking at a $1,600 out-of-pocket cost for the year for your damaged vehicle if you have a $1,000 deductible and you're paying $600 for your annual collision premiums. If your vehicle's value is anywhere close to what you'd pay out-of-pocket, then you can see where you're likely wasting your insurance dollars. On the other hand, if your vehicle would cost a great deal more to replace or repair than what you pay out-of-pocket with your collision coverage, then it's likely worth the expense.
4. Can you live without the perks of your collision coverage policy?
You'll need to decide how valuable the perks of your collision coverage policy are to you. For example, your collision coverage policy might offer a free rental following an accident. Without the collision coverage providing this, could you rent a car on your own or find alternative transportation?
The bottom line is that there's no cut-and-dried answer about dropping your collision insurance. Consider the above points and how they apply to your unique situation before making your decision. You can always schedule an appointment with your insurance agent if you have any doubts, concerns, or questions during your decision process.