Do you want full coverage car insurance? The term gets tossed around frequently when speaking about car insurance. However, do you know what it means? It may not be as cut and dry as you think.
Full coverage can be interpreted in different ways. It is not a specific coverage offered by insurance carriers. Your agent does not hit a full coverage check box on your policy, and you are ready to go. It is a term which has evolved and is well known in the insurance industry, but insurance carriers do not use a laid out set of guidelines which they all follow.
The Core of Full Coverage
State Minimum Requirements
Every state in the U.S. can set its own state minimum requirements for auto insurance. The state minimum requirements typically include bodily injury liability and property damage.
Comprehensive coverage will cover physical damage for all the things that can happen to your vehicle other than a collision. Full coverage cannot be possible without comprehensive coverage. Fire, theft, vandalism, storm damage, hitting a deer, windshield coverage, and more are covered by comprehensive.
Collision coverage is the coverage that gives you the broadest protection and is always included in full coverage auto insurance. Collision coverage ensures your vehicle will be covered regardless of what causes the damage. Collision covers damage for all accidents and since collision cannot be purchased without comprehensive coverage anything other than an accident will still be covered.
Medical Coverage / Personal Injury Protection Don’t forget your medical coverage! Many policies do come with a minimal dollar amount for medical. Personal Injury Protection is provided at the level set by the states which require it. Optional increased limits are usually available so be sure to check this coverage over with your insurance agent.
Don’t Be Fooled By Extras Not Automatically Included In Full Coverage:
Extra car insurance coverage is where the line starts to get blurred when it comes to full coverage. If you state the words full coverage, maybe you assume it means every insurance coverage available. Maybe you think roadside assistance is automatically included with the term full coverage. One lesson you do not want to learn the hard way is to think you are covered for something when you are not.
Uninsured Motorist / Underinsured Motorist
These coverages can easily be overlooked if you are not familiar with the coverage. It is important to understand the coverage and determine if it is something you want. Insurance agents can easily drop this coverage off of your quote to low ball your rate and beat other quotes. If you opt out of this coverage, make sure you do it knowingly and are not surprised down the line.
Buy a new vehicle, request full coverage, and expect gap insurance, not necessarily. Gap insurance is a coverage you need to request up front. A good agent will offer it to you, but you can’t always rely on it. Do not assume gap insurance is automatically included with full coverage auto insurance.
Towing is probably the most commonly packaged coverage included with full coverage auto insurance. It can be really disappointing when you are stranded and call your agent only to find out you do not have coverage. Definitely, specify if you want roadside assistance.
Some insurance carriers do offer a limited amount of car rental reimbursement when you purchase full coverage auto insurance. Sometimes the coverage is not listed, so you have to ask what your policy offers. If car rental is an important coverage to you, make sure to request it at the time you set up your policy.
If you have never had an auto insurance claim, you may not be aware insurance companies do not use parts straight from the car manufacturer. Aftermarket parts and used parts are used to repair vehicles.
Upon request, some insurance carriers offer an additional coverage to get OEM parts, do not plan on it being included with full coverage.
Full Glass Coverage
Glass damage is automatically covered when you choose full coverage insurance because it would fall under comprehensive coverage. However, if you opt for a high deductible on comprehensive, it could wipe out your glass coverage. Full glass coverage you pay a higher premium to get no deductible or at least a lower deductible for glass claims only. Check into full glass coverage if you go with a deductible on comprehensive coverage.
If the insurance carrier you select offers vanishing deductibles, be aware the coverage usually does not automatically come with a full coverage policy. It is typically offered for an additional cost which would need to be added to your policy before a loss occurs.
Be careful when it comes to using the phrase full coverage auto insurance. Since it can be taken to mean different things, you really need to be specific when selecting coverage. If car insurance terminology is Greek to you, start by learning the basicsand ask questions until you feel comfortable with the subject.
Full Coverage Auto Insurance
Many think they carry “full coverage» on their car insurance policy; however, in reality there is no such thing as full coverage auto insurance.
A full coverage policy is typically one that includes several types of car insurance coverage that, as a whole, provide a solid level of protection in case of an accident.
What Does “Full Coverage» Mean?
While there is no car insurance coverage that goes by the name “full coverage,» most individuals think of full coverage as a policy that combines the following:
- State-required liability or no-fault insurance coverage to cover bodily injury and property damages to others in an accident you cause.
- Collision coverage to pay for damages to your vehicle in the event of an accident.
- Comprehensive coverage, which is designed to cover vandalism, theft, and other damages that are not the result of an accident.
Even with this, the details and amount of protection will vary by the company issuing the policy. You need to ask about the details and read the fine print carefully.
Additional Coverages to Consider
Having a full coverage auto insurance policy doesn’t mean you have full protection no matter what. Depending on your circumstances, it may even mean you don’t even have good enough protection. Instead of relying on a “full coverage» policy, ask yourself what coverage and limits best meet your needs.
There are numerous other types of car insurance coverage that will offer you additional protection in case of an accident or other unfortunate situation.
Consider adding one or more of the following insurance coverages to your policy if you are looking for a very comprehensive car insurance policy:
- Uninsured motorist protection – This helps you cover your costs if you get hit by a driver with no insurance.
- Underinsured motorist protection – This will help pay your costs if the other driver has insufficient insurance coverage and/or coverage limits.
- Medical payments coverage – You can use this coverage to pay for your medical costs after a car accident, even if you were at fault.
- Rental reimbursement – If you’re in an accident and your car is in repair, this coverage can cover your rental costs while you wait.
- Emergency road service – You can use this coverage if your car breaks down on the road and you need towing or labor.
- Customized parts and equipment – If you’ve enhanced your vehicle with expensive equipment, this coverage will help you with the cost of damages to your custom parts.
- Gap insurance – If your car is totaled in an accident, this coverage helps pay the balance between the amount you owe on your loan or lease and the car’s estimated actual cash value.
The Right Coverage for You
There are many factors to consider when determining which auto insurance coverage to purchase and which to opt out of. These include:
- The fair market value of your vehicle.
- The quality and limits of your health insurance.
- Medical payments coverage can be used to supplement your health insurance after an accident.
- Your location.
- High theft or vandalism rates can merit additional protection.
- If your city has a high number of uninsured drivers, you may wish to purchases uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.
- Your current budget.
- The best protection is frequently the most insurance you can afford to carry.
Remember that what one person considers “full coverage» may not be the best car insurance for you.
Take a look at your own personal needs, your vehicle, and your budget to determine what will work best for you. Once you have an idea of what car insurance coverages you need, talk to your agent or get a quote online to create a policy that you feel offers comprehensive protection and peace of mind.
When it comes to auto insurance, there are at least two givens. For starters, just about every state in the country requires you to have it to register a vehicle. Additionally, insurance offers peace of mind because it provides the financial protection from driving mistakes that can happen, as well as added security from unexpected expenses.
Liability auto insurance
Almost the entire U.S. mandates that motorists carry a certain amount of insurance protection in the event of an accident where you’re responsible, usually represented in the following fashion: $25,000/$50,000/$15,000. Each number designates the maximum amount that an insurer may be required to pay under the policy. For example, the first refers to the maximum that may be paid for each person who suffers a bodily injury in an accident, the second is the maximum amount that may be paid for each accident, and the third is the maximum amount that may be paid for property damage. You can determine how much is required where you live by visiting your state’s insurance department website.
Minus the deductible, insurers agree to pay the amount up to the limits of the policy with liability coverage. However, «limit» is perhaps the best word to use when describing this form of insurance, because there’s a only so much that it will provide coverage for. As an example, let’s say that you get into a single-car accident due to slippery conditions on the roads, damaging someone’s property. Liability insurance will pay for the cost to repair the property. But as for the expense of fixing what’s broken on your car, that has to be paid out of your own pocket.
Full auto insurance
It’s a different story with «full coverage.» Although the term full coverage doesn’t actually exist, it’s a term often used to refer to a combination of coverages that provides an enhanced level of protection. Though not required in order to drive, full coverage may be the ideal product to purchase because it may cover situations that liability doesn’t cover. For example, collision is a type of insurance that’s under the full coverage banner. With collision in place, the damages incurred to your vehicle after a crash may be paid for up to the limits of the policy minus the deductible.
Comprehensive is another type of insurance that’s included with full coverage. This type of policy may take care of repair expenses over and above crashes, such as weather, fire, vandalism, theft, broken windshields, or even asteroids. Comprehensive is an especially great type of protection to have when the weather is inclement. Icy conditions always make for tricky situations, particularly when the roads haven’t been treated or plowed very well.
In short, while liability insurance pays for costs that you’re responsible for, full coverage may address damage scenarios for which you may be to blame, as well as those you aren’t.
In summary, there’s no question that investing in liability insurance will get you where you want to go. However, with life being what it is – unpredictable – and repairs costing more than you might expect, full coverage may be the way to go.
If you have other questions you’re looking to have answered, check out our page on a variety of topics that are both informational and educational.
Full coverage car insurance is a term which describes having all of the main parts of car insurance including Bodily Injury, Property Damage, Uninsured Motorist, PIP, Collision and Comprehensive. You’re typically legally required to carry about half of those coverages. Having the whole package is called «Full Coverage», and some people opt for it to get greater financial protection. In this article, we go into length on what makes up full coverage, and why you should consider getting it, even if you do not have to.
First Part of Full Coverage: Liability Insurance
Liability insurance covers damages you are at fault for and cause to another driver or their car. It is the only part of car insurance that you are required by law to carry. Within liability, the two main types of insurance are bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) liability insurance. Bodily injury deals with injuries you cause to the drivers themselves, while property damage is any damage you cause to another vehicle, or structure. Neither coverage is meant to protect you or your car; they are exclusively for other drivers to file a claim against your insurer. For example, if you got injured in an accident, and required surgery, you would have to file through the other driver’s BI insurance to pay for the surgery rather than your own BI coverage.
Having these two coverages is the most basic type of car insurance you can carry. Each state institutes a state minimum, which is written in a three number format like 25/50/25. The first two numbers refer to your BI coverage, where the first is the limit of insurance you have for one person in an accident, while the second is the limit for the entire accident. The third number is the limit for your property damage liability coverage. State minimums usually range from $10,000 to $50,000 worth of coverage for each state. Overall, liability is not the cheapest, but certainly not the most expensive component of car insurance. To double your limits for bodily injury, it will probably cost less than an extra $100 per year. PD insurance is slightly more expensive than BI, but costs less to boost coverage.
Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist BI and PD Insurance
Uninsured BI and PD, functions exactly as BI and PD coverage, except it is only used in the event you get into an accident with a driver without car insurance, who was found to be “at-fault”. In most cases, you would just ordinarily file a claim through the other driver’s insurance. Since they do not possess any, you would need to file through your own Uninsured Motorist coverage instead. Underinsured Motorist BI and PD is used in the event the other driver does have insurance, but not enough to cover your expenses. First, you would file for reimbursement up to the other driver’s limits, then through your Underinsured Motorist to make up the rest of the damage costs.
In some states, you are required to carry some variation of these two coverages, while it is optional in others. The amount you carry usually mirrors the amount of BI and PD you carry. As well, some states may only require you have the BI version of Uninsured Motorist coverage, rather than both BI and PD. Lastly, the likelihood of getting into an accident with an uninsured driver is small, meaning you are less likely to file a claim. This makes UM and UIM insurance typically the cheapest component of «full coverage».
Second Part of Full Coverage: First-Party Benefits
Within first-party benefits are several types of insurance which constitute the second part of «full coverage». For most states, first-party benefits coverage is optional to carry. It is also generally more costly, but its biggest advantage is that you can use it for your own damages and medical expenses much faster.
Personal Injury Protection
You can think of personal injury protection insurance as BI for your own injuries. If you were injured in a car accident, rather than needing to file through the other driver’s BI insurance, you can file through your own PIP to pay for your medical expenses. The main benefit to PIP is that it pays out regardless of who was at fault. PIP tends to overlap often with your own health insurance, and usually works as a useful compliment and provides extra protection.
In 12 states, you are required to carry around Personal Injury Protection (PIP), while in the other 38, it is optional. The states where PIP is mandatory generally makes those states more expensive for car insurance. In Florida, our sample driver paid an extra $25 to $90 per year for PIP, though it should be noted that Florida offers one of the lowest limits for PIP amongst the states where it is mandatory. The cost will most likely be greater depending on the limits your state offers. In Michigan for example, where you are required to carry unlimited PIP, costs may exceed $4,000 per year.
MedPay is essentially the same thing as PIP insurance, except that it is not mandatory in any state. MedPay, as we describe more in detail here, is a mostly redundant coverage in “no-fault” states, but can be very important in states with low PIP limits, or where PIP is expensive.
Collision Insurance and Comprehensive Insurance
You can think of collision insurance as PIP for your car. Regardless of who is at-fault, you can file through your collision insurance to repair any damage to your car caused by an accident. You do not need to wait for another driver’s insurance company to pay out, meaning your car can get repaired quick and swiftly. The downside to collision insurance is that it is usually the costliest part of car insurance—sometimes encompassing over half of the total bill. For cars of high value, the price will be even higher. Luckily, you can control the price of your collision premium by opting for a high deductible. Deductibles usually range from $50 up to $2,000. The higher you opt for, the cheaper your premium will be. Collision insurance is not mandatory from a legal standpoint, but if you lease your car, the leasing company may require that you hold this coverage.
Comprehensive coverage is similar to collision, except that it only covers damage to your vehicle caused by external causes. Colloquially known as “Acts of God”, such events include a branch falling on your car, someone vandalizing your car, or an errant baseball going through your windshield. These events are for the most part, unavoidable. Comprehensive coverage costs far less than collision, most likely due to the average comprehensive claim being far smaller than collision claims. Price can also be controlled with a higher or lower deductible.
The Total Cost of Full Coverage Car Insurance
Full coverage insurance is significantly more expensive than basic coverage, mostly due to the inclusion of collision and PIP/MedPay insurance. We got a quote for a 30 year old male driver from New York, to show how each individual component breaks down in price. For this quote, full coverage (not including PIP since that is mandatory in New York) cost 86% more and added an additional $251 per six months, or $502 for the year.
Chances are you’ve heard about full coverage car insurance, but you might not be fully aware of what it actually covers or where you can find it. Here’s what you should know before deciding whether it’s right for you.
What is full coverage insurance?
Full coverage car insurance sounds great, but the term is a bit misleading. “Full coverage” generally refers to policies that include collision and comprehensive insurance — which actually cover very specific risks — in addition to liability insurance.
What does full coverage car insurance actually cover?
Many states mandate that drivers buy only a small amount of auto liability insurance. If you cause a crash, this coverage helps pay for the treatment of other people’s injuries and repairs to their property. But liability insurance won’t pay to repair your vehicle or cover incidents that don’t involve crashing into other vehicles or pedestrians. Collision and comprehensive insurance fill these gaps:
- Collision coverage pays for repairs to your car if you cause a crash with another vehicle or run into an object, such as a tree or a telephone pole.
- Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace your car if it’s stolen or damaged by a covered cause, such as an animal collision, weather, a falling object, fire or vandalism.
How much is full coverage car insurance?
Comprehensive and collision coverage give you much better insurance protection, but they also mean higher rates.
To get an idea of how much higher, NerdWallet sampled rates for liability-only policies and full coverage auto policies in three states: California, New Jersey and Ohio.
A tree fell on your new car during a heavy storm, and now it’s a wreck. You need a tow truck and a rental, plus your car must be repaired or replaced. Time to call the insurance company. Good thing you have full coverage car insurance, or do you?
Despite the popularity of the term, there is no such thing as full coverage car insurance. What’s typically being referred to is a policy with both liability and physical damage coverage. It can also describe a single policy that includes all possible coverages. Understanding what’s in your insurance policy is an important part of owning a car.
What’s Typically Covered?
What we commonly think of as full coverage is really a bundle of three distinct insurance options that offer the following protection:
- Liability Insurance: This form of insurance pays costs for the other party’s injuries and repairs when you’re at fault for an accident. You must have liability insurance before you can add comprehensive or collision coverage.
- Comprehensive Insurance: This pays for damage not caused by a collision, such as a falling tree, theft, flood, fire, hitting an animal or damage caused by weather. It can also cover windshield replacement. The coverage included in comprehensive insurance can vary so it’s a good idea to carefully review your car insurance policy.
- Collision Coverage Insurance: This pays for damage to your car when it collides with another vehicle, an object in the roadway, pothole, or flips over.
What’s Not Covered?
When you tell your insurance agent you want full coverage, it’s easy to assume you have every insurance coverage available. But many auto insurance options are not always included in policies. If you want to feel fully covered, consider adding these:
- Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance: This pays for your car repairs when the person who caused the accident cannot pay. This insurance is required in some states.
- Gap Insurance: This is important to have if you buy a new car. This coverage helps you pay off your auto loan if your car is totaled when you still owe more than it’s worth.
- Medical Payments Coverage: This helps with post-accident medical bills for you and your passengers no matter who is at fault.
- Emergency Road Service Coverage: This comes in handy when you need a tow or help fixing a flat.
- Rental Car Coverage: This coverage reimburses you for rental expenses when your car is out of commission from a covered accident.
- After-Market Equipment Coverage: This is important if you added extra electronics, expensive wheels, or other add-ons to your car. Most insurance only covers factory installed parts.
Is Full Coverage Required?
State laws don’t require you to have comprehensive or collision insurance. But if you lease or buy a new car, chances are your loan company will require a full coverage policy with a low deductible.
When Full Coverage Does Not Fully Cover You
Let’s say you caused an accident and the car you hit was a luxury sedan. Two of the passengers were transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. After the accident, you may find that you have the right type of insurance, just not enough of it.
When you choose a full coverage insurance plan, your policy will automatically be set to the minimum amount required, which varies from state to state. Most insurance policies express the amounts covered like this, for example: 25/50/25 ($25,000/$50,000/$25,000). The numbers correspond to the maximum amount for each personal injury claim, the maximum amount for all personal injury claims in one accident, and the maximum property damages for one accident.
In the above scenario, it’s easy to see how $25,000 would not cover emergency services for a seriously injured person, or be enough to replace a totaled luxury sedan. The injured party’s attorney may demand you pay the difference between what your policy covered and the actual damages. If you own a home or have a savings plan, you may want to review the amount of coverage in your policy to keep your assets secure.
If you have ever bought or shopped for car insurance, you may have heard or saw the term “full coverage”. Essentially, full coverage is having a policy which exceeds the minimum, and carries all the basic types of car insurance. The tricky thing about it? It’s completely optional to have. To drive in the U.S. you are only required to carry the minimum. Just like an extra credit assignment though, opting for full coverage could be well worth it.
So What is Full Coverage Exactly?
Full coverage car insurance is a policy that includes bodily injury liability (BI), property damage liability (PD), under/uninsured motorist insurance (UMI), collision, comprehensive and sometimes personal injury protection insurance (PIP). Those are all various parts of car insurance, each covering different things, for different people. Let’s break it down.
BI and PD are liability insurances, which are used to pay for other people’s damages. BI takes care of their injuries while PD takes care of any car or structure damages. Only another driver can file a claim through them; their sole purpose is to ensure if you crash into someone causing damage, you can pay for it.
The second part of full coverage is collision, comprehensive, and PIP . These insurance types are considered “first party benefits” and they are meant for the policyholder to pay for their own damages. Collision will cover you from having to pay for damage to your own car, even if you were the one to cause the damage. Comprehensive coverage includes damage to your car that is caused by an external force, such as a storm, vandal, or errant baseball. Personal injury protection is used to pay for your own medical bills, if you are injured in an accident.
Why You Should Consider Full Coverage
No one likes to think about getting into a car accident, but it is important to be prepared—especially for the aftermath. The post-accident time can be incredibly stressful, more so if you are dealing with injures. You need to file claims, get damage appraised, deal with adjusters; a process that can be easier or harder depending on the type of coverage you have.
If you only have basic insurance, then you will need to file a claim through the other driver’s insurance company. This process can take months to sort out, and may require a lawyer, which comes with hefty fees. All the meanwhile, you will have to pay out of pocket for any expenses until you settle the claim. In the end, there is still a good chance you won’t even get the exact amount you wanted.
If you have full coverage, however, any injuries you sustained would be taken care of through your PIP, while damage to your car would have been taken care of through your collision insurance. Both claims would not require any fault to be proven, since it is your own policy, through your own company. So, while getting into an accident is rare, when it does happen, full coverage will make the process much smoother.
Unfortunately, It Isn’t Exactly Cheap
Overall, we found the national price for full coverage to be about $1,520 for a 30-year-old male, and over $7,000 for a 17 year old male. There are ways to make it more affordable though.
For one, setting a higher deductible for collision and comprehensive is a way to reduce your monthly payments. Secondly, you can reduce your premium through discounts. Discounts for being a good student, being a safe driver, or having another policy with the insurance company are just a handful of discounts that can reduce your premium by as much as 20%.
Lastly, and perhaps the easiest thing you can do, is to shop around. Car insurance prices can differ by thousands of dollars just within a single city. There are so many companies, each with their own pricing methods, the odds are that whatever you are paying now can probably be found at a cheaper price in your neighborhood.
It’s not hard to understand why there are so many common car insurance myths: Between the semi-legalese language of policies and the overly simplified messaging of billion dollar ad campaigns, the truth about car insurance can often get lost in the mix. We thought one of the most common myths was worth addressing in its own post: The “Full Coverage” myth.
If you call and ask an agent for “full coverage,” you won’t have to pay a penny in the event of an accident.
Though it sounds like it should be, full coverage isn’t actually an insurance term agents use. What most people mean when they say “full coverage” is, instead, comprehensive and collision coverage. Collision insurance covers just what it sounds like: damage to your vehicle in the event of an accident, whether that’s a fender bender or losing a fight to an icy road. Comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, covers damage to your vehicle in the event of all kinds of unexpected, non-accident types of blunders, including—but not limited to—weather damage, theft, and fire. If you want the full package—roadside assistance, personal injury protection, which covers the cost of medical bills for you and your passengers in the event of an accident, or uninsured motorist coverage, you’ll have to spell that out for your agent.
Plus, there’s the matter of a deductible: Remember you’ll pay that amount first, and then your coverage kicks in. So make sure that number is low enough that it won’t throw you into financial turmoil in the event of an accident.
While you have probably seen or heard the term “full coverage auto insurance”, there really is no set definition for this term. This means that what one company considers full coverage may not in fact be the same thing as what another company is offering. The term full coverage generally refers to the combination of liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, and collision coverage. There may also be other specialty offerings such as roadside assistance or pet coverage included in certain full coverage packages that are offered by some companies. There is a lot of ambiguity when dealing with the term full coverage and by understanding what you want from a policy will allow you to purchase the appropriate coverage. The easiest way to approach this subject is to break down the different types of insurance policies that are typically a part of “full coverage”.
Liability Coverage: This type of coverage is what will pay for damages that are a direct result of an auto accident that you are deemed to be responsible for. Liability coverage is also required by law in order to register a vehicle and each state has specific requirements as far as coverage limits are concerned. These minimum limits are generally quite low and by no means are an ideal amount of coverage to have. This type of coverage will pay for any damages you cause to another vehicle, other damaged property such as a building, and any bodily injury that is a result of the accident. This will pay for damages up to the specified policy limits for each type of coverage. The coverage limits are usually expressed in the following format 50/100/25, which translates to $50,000 bodily injury per person, $100,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 property damage per accident. This coverage applies to any accident which you are determined to be liable for and the determination will ultimately be made by your insurance company, not the police as some people think is the case.
Comprehensive Coverage: The easiest way to describe this type of coverage is that if your vehicle is not moving and it is damaged, that is when comprehensive coverage kicks in. For example, if your car is parked in your driveway and a tree branch falls on it, comprehensive coverage would pay for the resulting damage. This is considered to be a first party insurance coverage as it is intended to cover the insured party’s assets. There is usually a deductible that the insured party will need to pay which can range from $250 to $1,000 or more. This is generally less expensive than collision coverage as there are fewer incidents of this type.
Collision Coverage: When it comes to collision coverage this generally includes any damages that result from any incident which occurs when your vehicle is in motion. For example, if you are driving your car and run into a light pole in a parking lot, this would be paid for under your collision coverage. This is a first party coverage which also requires the payment of a deductible in the event of a covered accident. The deductible will usually be between $250-$1,000 or more, depending upon the policy. This coverage will pay to have your vehicle repaired or in the event the vehicle is totaled it will pay the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle. This is usually determined by the price at which similar model and year vehicles have sold for in your area. There are also some policies which state if your vehicle is less than a year old it will pay the actual cost to buy a new one, instead of paying the ACV which is generally far less.
Buying Full Coverage Auto Insurance: When the time comes to purchase an auto insurance policy you obviously want to look for the best deal. This is a bit tricky because you need to weigh not only the price but also what is offered for that price. You will also want to read reviews of insurance companies to see which ones have high customer satisfaction rates, as these will be the best to work with in the event of an accident. By understanding what is offered by different full coverage auto insurance policies you will be better prepared to get the right policy for your needs.
You’ve got yourself a sweet ride and now you want to make sure it’s fully protected, so naturally you want ‘full coverage’ car insurance. Full coverage car insurance isn’t an insurance product you go out and buy. It’s a generic term used to describe the combination of several types of coverage that together offer a more complete coverage than liability insurance alone. So when people talk about full coverage auto insurance, what are they really talking about…?
Well, lucky for you: Compare.com is here to answer that question, what is full coverage auto insurance and maybe help you save some money in the process.
Liability coverage protects you if you cause damage to someone else’s vehicle, property, or person. Liability coverage limits are usually expressed as a combination of three numbers divided by slashes, for example: 100/300/100. The first number represents the maximum amount of coverage for bodily injury per person; the second represents the maximum coverage for bodily injury for all injuries related to a single accident; and the third number represents the total coverage for property damage for a single accident.
Liability coverage is required almost all states and coverage levels have mandatory minimums. Higher levels of liability coverage do not cause a large increase in your monthly insurance premiums compared to lower levels, so it’s a good idea to have ample liability insurance.
Comprehensive & Collision Coverage
Collision coverage pays for your own car’s repairs in the event of an accident. It also covers you in the event your car is “totaled” – meaning that the cost to repair the damage exceeds more than a certain percentage of the vehicles appraised value. If your car is totaled, then your insurer would pay you the appraised value rather than pay for repairs and your vehicle would be towed to a scrap yard. Womp womp.
Comprehensive is an additional coverage, which is often what people mean when they say “full coverage” insurance. This extra piece protects your vehicle from damage caused by things such as hitting a deer, fires, floods, and damage from strong winds. Most people use their comprehensive coverage to repair cracks in their windshields caused by debris on the roads.
Car insurance can be a tricky subject for anyone. How do you know whether your car needs liability only or full coverage? Do you know the difference? Has anyone ever explained it to you? Here are some key points about what each means and which makes the most sense for your car.
Liability only simply means that you are only insuring the bodily injury or property damage of someone ELSE. If you’re in an accident that is your fault your insurance will pay for the other party’s vehicle and their possible injuries. You would be on the hook to repair or replace your vehicle. However, if you’re in an accident that is the other party’s fault, THEIR insurance must pay for your damages to your car and potential injuries.
Full coverage means you are insuring for both the other person’s injuries and damages as well as for your own car’s potential damages. Keep in mind that there is are deductibles attached to this full coverage option that will come into play in the event of an accident. Also, it is important to note that this option is more expensive than liability only because the insurance company is taking on more risk in the event of an accident. Full coverage may also mean that you carry towing, rental reimbursement, and loan/lease gap coverage, but not all agents would consider that as a part of the full coverage option. Make sure you check on that prior to insuring your car.
Now that you know what the difference between liability only and full coverage is; how do you decide which one you should have? This can be complicated and in most cases it really comes down to personal preference.
Generally speaking, if your car is older (more than 10 years old) and has high mileage, you may want to consider having liability only. By the time you would pay your deductible and the extra cost for insurance, it might not be worth it to have full coverage on an older car.
Full coverage, on the other hand, is required when you have a loan on the car or it is leased. The bank will require you to carry this coverage so their loan will be repaid in the event you total the car in an accident. Even if the car isn’t leased or financed, this might be the right coverage for you if your car is newer and has low mileage.
The term “full coverage car insurance” is a bit of misnomer as there is no universal definition of “full coverage.” There is no one policy for “full coverage” and it can mean different things to different people. When people refer to full coverage, they are usually looking for more than just the basic insurance many states require. It typically includes collision and comprehensive coverage, which covers damages to your car in case of an accident, theft, fires, floods, and more. Since it includes more coverage than only the state minimum requirements, full coverage auto insurance is more expensive than liability only coverage.
At Good2Go Auto Insurance®, we offer liability only coverage in addition to comprehensive and collision coverage as added means of protection. We also offer uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage as well as rental reimbursement coverage and towing &labor costs in the event that your vehicle is towed from the scene of an accident or suffered a mechanical failure.
Looking to get some additional car insurance coverage? Get a free car insurance quote from Good2Go Auto Insurance and check out our low monthly rates¹.
Quote times on partner sites may vary. Prices vary based upon the state where you reside, the minimum limits you purchase, and other underwriting factors.
About Full Coverage Auto Insurance
A lot of our customers at NewYorkMotorInsurance.com are looking for full coverage auto insurance packages. When they come to us and ask us how they can get cheap full coverage car insurance, we tell them bluntly:
“Actually there is no such thing as full coverage when it comes to auto insurance. There is always something that won’t be covered.”
You may have heard the term “full coverage” being thrown around when it comes to auto insurance. Sometimes, even insurance agents and brokers will use this term to try and entice you to buy an insurance policy. The fact is, there is no generally accepted definition of what full coverage auto insurance is. It’s quite blurred and varies from insurer to insurer. The reason for this is that what may be considered “full coverage” to one insurance provider might be the bare minimum to another.
For example –
Insurance Company A sells only liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. If you buy a full coverage policy from them, you will only get liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage.
Insurance Company B offers liability, collision, comprehensive, medical, uninsured motorist, and underinsured motorist coverage. If you buy a full coverage policy from B, you will get all these coverages.
This is why we let our clients know that you can’t trust the claim of being fully insured. One company’s full coverage is another company’s 50%. When it comes to auto insurance, you need to fully understand what you are getting (and certainly make sure you meet your state’s minimum requirements).
What Is Full Coverage Car Insurance?
With that being said, when you hear the term “full coverage” in regards to car insurance, what are they most likely referring to? Chances are, they are talking about a car insurance policy that includes collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, liability coverage, and whatever else your state requires by law.
To recap, let’s take a look at what these types of auto insurance coverage are:
Auto liability insurance will cover damages you cause to other vehicles and property if you are ever involved in an accident. It’s especially important to have liability coverage because accident-related costs can really add up. In New York, for example, the following is required for liability insurance:
- $25,000 per person / 50,000 per accident for injury (BIL)
- $50,000 per person / 100,000 per accident for death (BIL)
- $10,000 for property damage caused by any one accident (PDL)
As liability coverage will protect the other driver and his/her vehicle, collision coverage will protect yours. If you are ever in an accident, collision coverage will pay for damages that your car sustains.
Comprehensive coverage usually takes care of damages that aren’t related to accidents. These can include, but are not limited to theft, vandalism, natural disasters, etc. If you live in a place with lots of crime, or maybe in a hurricane/earthquake/flood zone, you need to strongly consider this type of coverage.
More Information About Coverage Types
More likely than not, if you have these three types of coverage, you will be covered for just about everything that could happen on the road. But because we don’t want to mislead you, you need to realize that there are always unforeseen things that could pop up that you would not be covered for. This is why “full coverage” auto insurance technically does not exist.
How Can You Get Cheap Auto Insurance With Enough Coverage?
If you want to be safe on the road and protected from most of the things that could happen to you, you need to shop around and get quotes from multiple providers. First, educate yourself with the types of insurance coverage you need, next, learn about which insurance companies are the most reputable. Once you have done your due diligence, it’s time to get covered!
To begin, enter your zip code at the top of this page, we will then present you with quotes from the top insurance providers in your area. Whether you need an insurance policy with collision, liability, comprehensive, medical payments, uninsured/underinsured motorist etc. coverages, or you simply need the bare minimums for your state, we got you covered! After filling out our brief two page form, you will be given the best rates possible for you and your family.