What is Full Coverage Auto Insurance?
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.
Medical Payments & PIP
These are two different types of coverages which differ depending on which state you are in. While some states have Medical Payments (MedPay) as an option, others offer Personal Injury Protection widely known as ‘PIP’.
Medpay coverage protects you and your passengers by paying for medical expenses related to injuries sustained in an accident. With this coverage you are also covered if you are driving someone else’s car (as long as you have their permission). PIP does much the same thing, but also covers funeral expenses and lost wages due to absence from work caused by an injury related to the accident. If you have good health insurance coverage, you may not need PIP or if you are required to carry it, you can opt for minimum coverage to save money.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
One coverage that really makes full coverage insurance worthwhile is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It protects you from expenses stemming from an accident in which your vehicle was damaged by a collision involving a driver who does not have insurance. 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. This coverage is mandatory in many states.
Full, Full Coverage
These are some additional coverages that you can choose to feel more prepared for every eventuality. First, you could opt for rental reimbursement, which covers you fully or partially incase your car is in an accident and needs to go to car-hospital. You then get a replacement car so that you can still get your kids to school, go to parties and go to work.
Then there’s towing and roadside assistance. If your car breaks down or gets into an accident and you can’t drive it, a towing company will come and pick it up and take it to a repair shop. Depending on how comprehensive your package is, they may also take you home or onto your final destination.
Finally, if you’re looking for the real VIP package, you’ll want to addgap insurance. You buy a car, you roll it off the lot and (we all know) it instantly drops in value. But, if you drive it home that day and total it, you stand to lose a lot of money. That’s where gap insurance comes in: it fills the gap between your car’s current value and how much you paid for it.
Get Full Coverage Auto Insurance
Because there are so many coverage types included in full coverage auto insurance, the price can vary greatly from insurer to insurer. The best way to make sure you aren’t paying too much is to get quotes from multiple insurance companies and compare prices based on similar coverages. Luckily, Compare.com offers just that service. Enter your information just once, receive multiple quotes and compare them side by side. In the event you want to purchase a policy based on one of the quotes you receive, Compare.com allows you to purchase that policy direct from the insurer, no additional fees involved and the quotes themselves are free.