What Is Full Coverage Insurance?When you’re shopping for car insurance, you have to decide if you want full coverage auto insurance. It sounds enticing. You want to be fully covered, right? But what does “full coverage” even mean?
"Full coverage auto insurance" is generally defined as car insurance that includes all the types of protection that are available in your state, on top of the liability insurance required by law. It can include:
- Liability Coverage
- Collision Coverage
- Comprehensive Coverage
- Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Protection
- Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay)
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Full coverage may also include extra perks, such as rental car reimbursement or roadside assistance. Full coverage does not mean carrying insurance with the maximum limits, although that’s an option.
Do You Need Full Coverage Insurance?
Having full coverage gives you peace of mind and financial security. However, all these premiums do add up, and you may end up paying a lot for coverage you never use. So how do you know if you should choose full coverage? Here’s what to consider:
- The age and value of your car: If you drive a newer, nicer car, then you definitely need collision and comprehensive coverage. (If you have a car loan or lease, you’ll be required to have it.)
- Your personal financial situation: If your money always runs out before the month does, then you may want to reduce your car insurance bill by choosing state minimum insurance. However, this means that if you have an at-fault collision, you could find yourself in an extra-deep financial hole. You could get sued If your skimpy liability insurance doesn’t pay for the other driver’s damages. And you may not be able to afford to repair your car.
- Your driving history: If you’ve had a few accidents in the past, you know the value of having full-coverage insurance. Of course, the cost of insurance will go up if you’ve had recent claims.
How to Find and Compare Cheap Full Coverage Auto Insurance
Wondering how to get cheap full coverage auto insurance? The trick is comparing policies with the same coverage levels to see which insurance companies will give you the best deal. In some cases, your quotes may vary by hundreds of dollars — so it makes a big difference when you choose the lowest-priced plan.
All you have to do is compare personalized quotes on Compare.com. We make it super simple by asking you to choose your coverage level — State Minimum, Basic, Plus or Premium — and then showing you multiple policies to match. If you want full coverage insurance quotes, we suggest picking Plus Coverage. The exact coverages included will depend on where you live, but in general, it will include everything that’s available in your state: liability, collision/comprehensive, uninsured/underinsured motorist protection, MedPay, PIP, rental car reimbursement and towing/roadside assistance.
Then, check your rates! You’ll know you’re comparing apples to apples, which makes it easy to see which insurer is giving you the best deal. But what if all your quotes are more than you can afford? If you’re having a hard time finding cheap full coverage insurance online, try these tips:
- Select “Pay in full” instead of “Pay monthly.” You’ll save a bundle on installment fees.
- Increase your deductible from $500 to $1,000. Then, your collision/comprehensive costs will drop.
- Click “Talk to an advisor” and ask what you can do to get cheaper full coverage. The insurance advisor may be able to hook you up with discounts or drop extras like towing and rental car reimbursement.
What is the Cheapest Insurance for Full Coverage?
In 2019, the average full-coverage automobile insurance cost for a sedan was $1,251, according to AAA. For a small SUV, full-coverage insurance costs a little less: $1,089, on average.
But when you’re talking about insurance, averages are misleading. Costs can go way, way up if you’re under 25, if you have past driving violations, or if you live in an expensive insurance state, like New Jersey or Louisiana. When you’re searching for the cheapest insurance for full coverage, here’s what you can expect.
|Age||Full Coverage Rates|
|Age||Full Coverage Rates|
|Age||Full Coverage Rates|
What is Liability Insurance Coverage?
Liability coverage protects you when you’re at fault in an accident that injures other people and/or damages others’ vehicles and/or property. Liability is almost always required; whether you buy a state-minimum insurance policy or full coverage insurance, liability will be included.
Liability Coverage Limit Explanation
The amount that a liability policy will payout to the driver or parties involved is established through the liability coverage limits. Coverage limits are displayed as three values separated by slashes. For example, 100/300/100 stands for $100,000/$300,000/$100,000.
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. The third number represents the total coverage for property damage for a single accident.
These are all payouts to the other people involved when you are at fault in an accident. If property damage or bodily injury costs exceed these limits, then you will be responsible for covering the remaining balance. If you can’t cover these out-of-pocket costs, you may be sued by the other parties involved. Full-coverage auto insurance typically includes liability coverage that exceeds state-minimum limits, giving you extra protection.
What Are Collision and Comprehensive Coverage?
When you’re searching for a reliable full-coverage policy, the two most important coverages that you’ll be comparing are collision and comprehensive. We’ve noticed that many drivers are confused about what these coverages protect against, and the differences between them. We’re here to help explain!
Collision/comprehensive work together to cover repairs to your vehicle when it gets damaged. Collision insurance kicks in when your car is damaged in a collision. (Makes sense!) If your car is damaged by something else, such as fire, flood, hail, a falling tree, etc., then comprehensive can pay for the repairs. Collision and comprehensive always include a deductible, which is the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance covers the remainder.
How Does Your Vehicle Match Up?
We have analyzed rates from 10 of the most popular vehicles in the U.S. to show the price differences between state minimum and full coverage. We compared customer’s rates from state minimum policies against full coverage policies. The standard state minimum coverage varies state by state but for full coverage, we set coverage levels for liability to 100k/300k/100k, comprehensive deductible to $1000, collision deductible to $1000, and $100k of uninsured motorist protection. See how your rates for state minimum and full coverage compare.
|Make & Model||State Minimum||Full Coverage|
|Dodge Ram 1500||$1,488||$3,453|
Do You Need Collision Coverage?
Collision Coverage is there to protect your car or truck. If any damages are done to your vehicle due to a rollover or a collision with another object and/or vehicle in which you are at-fault, this coverage can really come in handy. The amount of money that an insurance company will pay out for your car’s damages depends on the value of your vehicle and the deductible you’ve selected. Learn whether a high deductible or a low deductible is right for you.
What is an Insurance Deductible?
When you establish a deductible on your policy, you are telling the insurance company how much you are going to pay out of pocket, per accident, before they are obligated to help. If the damages to your car are $2,000 dollars and your deductible is $1,000, then the insurance company will pay you $1,000 ($2,000 – $1,000). The higher your deductible, the lower your insurance premium will be. The lower your deductible, the higher your insurance premium will be.
Do You Need Comprehensive Full Coverage?
Comprehensive coverage covers all other damages in which you are not at-fault and there is no collision involved. Some of the most common scenarios include:
- Something falling on your car (often a tree limb)
- Hitting a Deer
The amount of coverage you add to your policy is also set up through a deductible. If a flood destroys your car, your insurer will pay out what your car is valued at minus your deductible. Your deductible amount will directly affect your premium costs so choose wisely when establishing how much protection you need.
Are Full Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Required by Law?
You are not required by law to carry full comprehensive insurance or collision insurance. However, if you have purchased a new car or are leasing one, your lien holder may require that you carry these coverages as part of the terms of your agreement with them.
Even if you don’t have to have comprehensive and collision, it’s a good idea to carry this coverage. Repairs are expensive: the average collision claim is $3,425, and the average comprehensive claim is $1,817, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That’s a lot to pay when you don’t have full-coverage insurance!
Should You Consider Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
One useful benefit of full coverage insurance is uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. These protect you in case you’re hurt or your vehicle is damaged by another driver who does not have insurance or lacks sufficient coverage. Underinsured motorist coverage covers the gaps between what a driver with very low or minimal coverage limits can pay and the cost of the damage to your vehicle/medical expenses.
This coverage is mandatory in many states. Even if it’s optional in your state, we recommend buying it as part of your full coverage auto insurance. There are a lot of uninsured drivers on the road. If one hits you and you sue them, it’s unlikely that you’ll get the money you need to pay your bills.
Coverage limits are set up the same as liability coverage, establishing maximum dollar values for bodily injury and property damage. If your uninsured motorist coverage limits are 25/50/25, then you will be protected with $25k towards individual bodily injury, $50k for total bodily injuries per accident, and $25k for property damage.
Are Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payments Worth It?
PIP and MedPay are designed to help drivers cover medical costs for themselves and their passengers when an accident occurs. These insurance add-ons will cover your medical bills, up to a certain limit, regardless of who is at fault.
These coverages are similar, but one big difference is that aside from covering medical payments, PIP may also help cover lost wages, funeral costs, rehabilitation, childcare, and even transportation to your doctor’s appointments. In general, it’s a good idea to carry PIP or MedPay. These are inexpensive parts of a full-coverage auto insurance policy, and they can save you a lot of money after an accident.
Are PIP or MedPay Coverage Required in My State?
Currently, there are 15 states that require some form of these coverages. These states include:
|Delaware||$15k PIP per Person
$30k PIP per Accident
|Florida||$10k PIP Coverage|
|Hawaii||$10k PIP Coverage|
|Kansas||$4.5k Medical Expenses
$900 per mo. for Loss of Income
$25 a Day In-Home Services
$4.5k for Rehabilitation
$2k for Funeral Costs
|Kentucky||$10k PIP Coverage|
|Maine||$2k MedPay Coverage|
|Massachusetts||$8k PIP Coverage|
|Michigan||PIP – Lifetime of Medical Expenses & Up to 3 Years of Lost Wages|
|Minnesota||$40k PIP Coverage|
|New Hampshire||$1k MedPay Coverage|
|New Jersey||$15k PIP Coverage|
|New York||$50k PIP Coverage|
|Pennsylvania||$5K MedPay Coverage|
|Utah||$3k PIP Coverage|
Is Full Coverage Auto Insurance Right for You?
We’ve gone through all the options, so the only thing left to do is figure out the level of coverage you need for your situation. With so many coverage types included in a full coverage auto insurance policy, the price can vary greatly from one insurance company to the next.
The best way to find cheap insurance is to get full coverage auto insurance quotes from multiple insurers and compare prices.
It’s easy to do on Compare.com! Enter your information only once, receive multiple free quotes online, then compare them side by side. If you want to buy a policy based on one of the quotes you receive, click to purchase that policy directly from the insurer — with no hassle and no hidden fees. Save time and money with Compare.com today!