How to Get the Cheapest Full Coverage Car Insurance
If you’re looking for the most comprehensive auto insurance, you can probably expect to pay more than you would for basic liability coverage – and for a good reason.
Full coverage auto insurance typically provides you with state-mandated liability coverage (including bodily injury liability and property damage liability) along with collision and comprehensive coverage, so you’re fully protected in the event of an accident.
But just because you have to pay more, it doesn’t mean you can’t find cheap full coverage car insurance while maintaining quality coverage.
What is a Full Coverage Auto Insurance Policy?
Full coverage auto insurance is just what it sounds like – it provides full coverage of your vehicle in the event of an accident. Typically, your full coverage insurance policy will include comprehensive and collision coverage along with bodily injury, property damage, and uninsured motorist coverages.
You’ll find full coverage insurance is more expensive because you receive far more complete coverage that can save you significantly when you need it.
Typically, drivers who opt for full coverage insurance do so when the value of their car exceeds their annual insurance premium and deductible. Also, if you finance or lease your vehicle, your lender may require you to carry full coverage to protect their investment. But if you don’t fall into either of these categories, it may not be worth the higher premiums.
What Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Cover?
When you purchase a full coverage auto insurance policy, you’re covering the state’s minimum requirements for auto insurance, along with adding collision coverage and comprehensive coverage on top.
Some full coverage car insurance policies also include uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection, depending on the state where you live.
Here’s a breakdown of those insurance protections to help you understand what everything means:
State Minimum Auto Insurance
State minimum auto insurance is a policy that meets the state’s coverage requirements for you to operate your vehicle legally. Usually, this is just a liability-only policy with basic limits for bodily injury and property damage coverage.
The requirements will vary by state. However, it averages $15,000/$30,000 coverage, meaning your insurance will pay up to $15,000 of bodily injury liability damages per person and $30,000 in total for all people in an accident where you are determined to be at fault.
Bodily Injury Liability
Bodily injury refers to when a driver or passenger is injured in an accident, and the damage results in the need for medical treatment.
Bodily injury liability is used when you’re responsible for the harm caused to someone during an accident.
An example of bodily injury liability would be if you’re in an accident and hit another vehicle, and the person is injured. That’s when your bodily injury liability coverage would kick in to cover their medical costs.
Property Damage Liability
Property damage liability pays for damage to another person’s property from an accident you’re responsible for. Often, it will cover the cost of repair to someone’s vehicle. Still, it can also pay for damages to other damaged property such as a garage door, fence, etc.
Collision coverage pays for damages to your vehicle that occur when you have an accident with another vehicle or object while the car is moving. This will be covered if you hit someone’s car, if they hit you, if you crash into a home or other object, or if there’s a single-car accident.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage covers the costs of damages when the driver at fault has no auto insurance. It also protects you if there’s a hit and run when the driver leaves the scene of an accident. Your state might also require this coverage.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
When the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay for the cost of your accident, underinsured motorist coverage will reimburse you for expenses that exceed their coverage limits.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection (PIP) is also known as no-fault coverage. It covers you and your passenger’s injuries in case of an accident. This insurance will also cover funeral expenses, medical expenses, and lost wages.
The 12 states where no-fault coverage is mandatory are:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
What Isn’t Covered Under Full Coverage Insurance?
While full coverage insurance covers many components of a vehicle accident, some things aren’t covered, such as:
- The cost of renting a car
- Driving your vehicle for delivery service
- GAP insurance
- New car replacement
- Roadside assistance
- Medical payment coverage
If you want these protections, you’ll have to purchase them separately as add-ons to your full coverage insurance.
When is Full Coverage Auto Insurance Recommended?
Having full coverage insurance is more expensive than other options, like liability coverage. That’s why you want to make sure it’s the best insurance option for you based on your needs.
Here are a few ways to know when having full coverage insurance is right for you:
Because It’s Required
Depending on your state, you might be required to have coverage for medical payments, personal injury protection, or uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in the event of an accident. In this case, it might make more sense to purchase full coverage insurance.
Because Your Car is New and Expensive
If your vehicle is new or expensive, having full coverage insurance is more valuable because your car is worth more and is, therefore, more costly to replace if you get in an accident.
Your insurance company won’t cover the cost to fix your car if you don’t have full coverage insurance and cause an accident, so you’ll be stuck with the cost of repairing your vehicle out of pocket. You’ll find that when you have an expensive car, the cost to fix it will often exceed the annual premiums plus your deductible for your auto insurance.
On the other hand, if your vehicle is older or you own it outright but you don’t expect it to last much longer, it may not be worth the cost to have full coverage insurance.
Because You Live in an Area Prone to Extreme Weather or Theft
If your area is more likely to experience extreme weather conditions, vehicle theft, or collisions with animals, it might make more sense to have comprehensive auto insurance coverage. That’s because you’re more likely to file a claim and need your insurance to cover damages.
Keep in mind that if you live in these areas, you likely also have to pay higher insurance premiums.
Because You Can’t Afford to Replace or Repair Your Car Without the Insurance Payout
If you have enough savings to afford to replace or repair your vehicle without the help of insurance, you might be able to avoid paying for full coverage insurance. However, if you know you won’t be able to do so, you’ll want to maintain full coverage, so you don’t have to worry about getting your vehicle in working order if something happens.
Because You Finance or Lease Your Vehicle
If you finance or lease a vehicle, your lender will require that you carry comprehensive and collision coverage to protect their investment in the event of an accident.
8 Steps to Get Cheap Full Coverage Auto Insurance
If you know you need full coverage insurance, that’s great. Now, it’s time to learn how to get the cheapest full coverage insurance. Many factors will impact how much you pay for auto insurance, such as your vehicle, driving history, age, and area where you live. While these factors will play a part, you can still do things on your end to get the cheapest full coverage insurance policy.
Lower Your Coverage
Another option to save money on your monthly bill is to reduce the coverage levels you have on your vehicle. You might initially opt for full coverage insurance with various add ons such as roadside assistance or GAP coverage. Still, you can save by eliminating those additional coverages if it makes sense for you.
Ultimately, when lowering your coverage, you’ll pay less for your premiums, but you’ll have less protection, too. That’s why you want to consider whether it’s worth it based on your risk tolerance and personal situation.
When looking for the cheapest full coverage insurance, you want to shop for quotes from different companies. Your goal is to get the best coverage while paying the least amount for your premiums, and how can you know if you’re getting the best deal if you don’t see what else is out there?
While you’re getting quotes, you want to make sure you look at the coverage levels, so you’re comparing apples to apples. You’ll get coverage that’s equivalent in an ideal situation, not just cheaper while you sacrifice your coverage.
Some points to look for include:
- Deductible for comprehensive insurance
- Deductible for collision insurance
- Coverage limits across the board (like liability limits, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, etc.)
Don’t Let Your Coverage Lapse
Never allow your auto insurance coverage to lapse — not even for a day. Even if you plan to stop driving for a period, you still want to maintain some level of coverage (in these situations, non-owners insurance is a cheap way to retain nonstop coverage for just a few dollars a month).
Getting a new policy after your insurance lapses is a recipe for a more expensive premium — it could cost you thousands long term.
Maintain a Good Credit Score
While you might not see the link between your credit score and your insurance rates, it’s true that drivers with good credit will typically have lower insurance rates. This is because car insurance companies see drivers who have bad credit as more likely to miss a payment or allow their coverage to lapse.
You can make small changes to your spending habits, such as paying your bills on time and keeping your utilization rates on credit cards under 30% to boost your score and reduce your monthly payments. Then, once you’ve lowered your credit score, be sure to shop around for a new policy, too — you could save hundreds!
Drive Safe and Drive Less
Some auto insurance programs will charge you less if you have safe driving habits and drive below average miles. Some companies even offer “usage-based” car insurance policies (sometimes called “pay-per-mile” insurance) where you pay based on how much you drive each month.
On the other hand, you could wind up paying more if the opposite is true and you drive a lot, so be sure before you sign up that you’re ready to meet the program’s requirements.
Look for Car Insurance Discounts
Many auto insurance companies will offer discounts for a variety of reasons, including:
- Having a good driving record
- Setting up automatic payments
- Installing anti-theft devices
- Having a vehicle with safety features like anti-lock brakes or airbags
- Paying the premium in full
- Being a student with good grades
- Taking a driver education course
- Being a member of the military
- Bundling your auto insurance with other policies, like home or renter’s insurance
Taking advantage of these discounts can help you save significantly on your premiums, sometimes up to 20% annually.
Raise Your Deductible
The lower your deductible (the amount you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in) on collision and comprehensive coverage, the more you’ll pay every month.
That’s why raising your deductible can help you save on your monthly premium. Car insurance companies see a higher deductible as a way to reduce claims since the financial burden falls more on the driver, so they reward that with cheaper rates.
If you’re nervous about how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket, consider putting a small amount away each month to go toward potential deductibles. That way, you can save each month on your premium and still have a little money stashed away in case you need to pay out of pocket for coverage.
Get a Less Expensive Car
More expensive vehicles cost more to insure, so if you want to get the cheapest full coverage auto insurance, consider getting a less expensive car.
Also, some vehicles with higher miles or those that are a bit older might qualify for cheaper rates, so be sure to ask about those options when shopping around for insurance.
Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Replace Your Car?
As long as your policy includes collision coverage, it should cover the total repair cost of your vehicle in the event of an accident.
If someone else causes the accident, their insurance should cover the cost of repairs, regardless of if you have full coverage or just liability only.
Is a Full Coverage Policy Worth it?
Whether a full coverage policy is worth it will depend on several factors, including:
- The area you live in
- The cost and value of your vehicle
- Whether you can afford to repair or replace your car without insurance payouts
You might choose to drop your full coverage auto insurance if the value of your car is older and the value is low. On the other hand, if your vehicle is newer and expensive or being financed, you want to maintain your full coverage insurance policy since repair costs will be higher.
What’s the Average Cost of Full Coverage Car Insurance?
We crunched the numbers on hundreds of thousands of quotes on Compare.com to find out how much you should expect to pay for full coverage insurance. We discovered that the average full coverage auto insurance policy is $154/mo.
That being said, car insurance costs can vary wildly depending on what kind of car you drive, where you live, your driving record, and a bunch of other factors, so if you leave in a cheap state for car insurance, you might pay a lot less. On the other hand, if you have a couple of tickets or accidents on your record, your quotes might end up being a lot more. The only way to know exactly what you can expect to pay is to get free quotes from insurance companies. The good news is, with Compare.com, it only takes a few minutes. Just enter your ZIP below to get started.
What’s the Cheapest Full Coverage Auto Insurance?
If you’re on the hunt for cheap full coverage insurance, you’re probably wondering which company offers the cheapest rates. After analyzing thousands of real-life quotes through Compare.com, we found that Motion Auto carries the cheapest average full coverage auto insurance, with premiums starting at $118/mo.
But again, that doesn’t mean it’s what you’ll pay, or that Motion Auto will even be the cheapest company for you. The best way to guarantee you get the cheapest rates is to compare quotes from multiple companies.
What’s the Cheapest Full Coverage Auto Insurance by State?
|State||Insurance Company||Monthly Premium|
|Connecticut||Plymouth Rock NJ||$162/mo|
|Washington DC||Liberty Mutual||$229/mo|
|North Carolina||Direct General||$105/mo|
|New Hampshire||Liberty Mutual||$127/mo|
|West Virginia||Liberty Mutual||$134/mo|
The cheapest full coverage auto insurance varies greatly as this data shows. The state with the most affordable full coverage insurance is Illinois, with monthly premiums starting at just $79/mo. On the other end, Delaware has the most expensive full coverage insurance, with monthly premiums starting at $251/mo. This is a substantial 217% difference in monthly insurance premiums. So, whether you’re in California, Florida, or any state in between, it’s crucial that you compare insurance rates to find the most affordable and best carrier for you
What’s the Cheapest Full Coverage Auto Insurance for Military Families?
A lot of car insurance companies will offer discounts for military members (and sometimes even their families). For military families, we found that Metromile offers the cheapest full coverage auto insurance averaging $100/mo.
Cheap Full Coverage Insurance FAQs
What’s the average cost of car insurance?
The average cost of car insurance varies greatly depending on the level of coverage.
Liability only insurance averages $81/mo, while full coverage insurance averages $154/mo.
However, when you look at the overall cost of auto insurance in general, it averages around $106/mo.
Is full coverage better than liability-only?
Liability insurance will only cover you for accidents you cause. In contrast, full coverage insurance will protect you in other situations that can be costly. You want to consider your risk tolerance, the value of your vehicle, whether your car is being financed, the area you live in, your driving habits, and more to determine whether you should choose full coverage or liability-only insurance.
Should I drop full coverage after I pay off my car loan?
Once you pay off your car loan, a good rule of thumb is to maintain full coverage insurance unless you can afford to repair and/or replace your vehicle without the assistance of an insurance payout. Another consideration is the condition, age, and value of your car. If it’s on its last leg or has a low overall value, you might choose not to maintain full coverage insurance.
Do I need full coverage on a financed car?
In most cases, you’ll want full coverage on a vehicle with financing. Most lenders will require you to have full coverage insurance with collision and comprehensive coverage if you still have a loan on your car to protect their investment.