What is full coverage car insurance?

There is no industry-standard full coverage car insurance definition. But full coverage auto insurance policies usually include your state’s minimum required levels of coverage, plus comprehensive and collision insurance, and rates vary widely by state. The national average full coverage auto insurance cost is $100.30 per month or $1,203 annually.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

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What You Should Know

  • While there is no standard full coverage auto insurance definition, these policies typically include collision and comprehensive coverage.
  • Full coverage auto insurance costs $100.30 per month or $1,203 annually on average.
  • Where you live impacts the price of your full coverage auto policy.

We have all heard the term full coverage car insurance, but there is technically no standardized definition of what full coverage means in the insurance world.

However, these policies typically include your state’s minimum required auto insurance limits, plus additional comprehensive and collision insurance.

For most drivers, knowing how full coverage auto insurance works is vital to understanding auto insurance.

Below, discover what full coverage auto insurance covers, how much it costs based on where you live, if you need it, and what companies offer the cheapest full coverage policies.

After learning how to get cheap full coverage auto insurance below, remember to enter your ZIP code into our free rate tool above to compare quotes from the top companies in your region.

What is full coverage car insurance?

You might come across the term “full coverage” when shopping for auto insurance. But what does full coverage mean?

There is no standardized definition for full coverage auto policies in the insurance industry.

Some companies use the phrase to refer to all available coverages offered in a given state.

But the most common interpretation is that it refers to carrying a combination of insurance coverages on top of your state auto insurance requirements, notably liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance.

Collision or comprehensive insurance are optional coverages, as state laws do not require drivers to carry either.

However, if you loan or lease a vehicle, you may need to purchase both coverages as part of your loan or lease agreement.

Besides liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance, full coverage policies from some companies might also include under-insured/uninsured motorist (UM/UIM) protection and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.

In some states, UM/UIM and PIP insurance are legally required. In other states, they are optional or may be unavailable.

It is okay that companies do not necessarily agree on an exact definition for full coverage insurance. It is more important to secure suitable types of coverage for your individual needs.

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What does full coverage auto insurance cover?

What does full coverage cover? Each insurance type protects you or your vehicle in different scenarios.

Bodily injury liability insurance covers the medical expenses for the other party involved in an accident you cause. While property damage liability insurance pays for damage to their vehicle. But your liability insurance never pays for your own medical costs or vehicle repairs.

Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle while in motion, like an accident involving another car, tree, or telephone pole, regardless of fault.

Comprehensive auto insurance protects your car from damage while parked and from acts of nature, including auto theft, flooding, fires, animal damage, and vandalism.

Under-insured and uninsured motorist protection covers bodily injury and property damage if someone hits you who does not carry enough insurance or does not have insurance.

If you live in a state where personal injury protection or PIP insurance is available, it pays for medical costs, hospitalizations, and additional bodily injury expenses regardless of fault and may assist with lost wages, childcare expenses, and more.

Depending on what company you use, full coverage may also refer to higher liability limits than what is required by your state laws.

Check with your insurance company to determine what is considered a full coverage auto policy. But, ultimately, you should choose the insurance types and levels you require, regardless of if it’s full coverage or not.

How much does full coverage auto insurance cost?

You now know what makes up a full coverage auto policy, but how much is full coverage insurance on average?

Nationally, based on the most recent Auto Insurance Database Report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), full coverage auto insurance costs $100.30 per month or $1,203 annually, on average.

The average full coverage auto insurance costs also vary widely by state and company.

Compare the average monthly and annual full coverage auto insurance rates by state in the table below.

Average Full Coverage Auto Insurance Rates by State
StateAverage Monthly Full Coverage Auto Insurance RatesAverage Annual Full Coverage Auto Insurance Rates
District of Columbia$131.73$1,580.78
New Hampshire$74.76$897.15
New Jersey$125.88$1,510.57
New Mexico$93.55$1,122.56
New York$131.26$1,575.13
North Carolina$72.88$874.53
North Dakota$71.78$861.37
Rhode Island$129.21$1,550.52
South Carolina$103.71$1,244.50
South Dakota$77.73$932.81
West Virginia$91.14$1,093.67
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Because you are paying for additional protection, full coverage policies always cost more than basic or liability-only policies.

Other factors like your age, driving record, ZIP code, and the type of car you drive impact your auto insurance rates.

You are also responsible for paying the auto insurance deductibles associated with the different coverages that make up a full coverage policy. This can include collision, comprehensive, uninsured/under insured property damage, and sometimes PIP insurance include deductibles.

The price ranges anywhere from $100 to $2,000, and you can typically select different levels for the various coverage types.

What are the best full coverage auto insurance companies?

The best full coverage auto insurance company should provide you with well-rounded coverage for an affordable price.

Nationally, State Farm auto insurance company offers some of the cheapest rates for full coverage policies. It is also available in all 50 states.

GEICO auto insurance company is often the next cheapest option for full coverage policies in most states.

But if you live in one of the 12 states where Erie auto insurance company operates, consider adding it to your comparison shopping list.

The insurance prices are comparable to State Farm, plus it is one of the highest-rated companies by real customers.

However, if you are active or retired military personnel, consider USAA auto insurance company. Civilians cannot use this company, but USAA provides the lowest average rates, even for full coverage policies.

To find your best full coverage auto insurance company, compare rates online from multiple insurers active where you live. Choose the cheapest policy that meets your full coverage needs.

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Do I need full coverage auto insurance?

No state law requires you to purchase full coverage auto insurance. However, it is a worthwhile investment for many drivers.

Specifically, if the car you drive is worth more than the price of paying for full coverage auto insurance, then it is worthwhile.

Determine this by taking the cost of your annual full coverage quote and adding any deductibles to the total. Then, subtract that amount from the actual cash value of your vehicle.

Higher-value vehicles typically benefit from full coverage insurance protections. It is also worthwhile coverage if you often drive in heavy traffic or regularly park your car in a place with extreme weather or high vehicle theft rates.

If you take out an auto loan or lease a vehicle, you may be required to invest in full coverage insurance as part of the loan or lease agreement.

But if you drive a low-cost vehicle, adding the additional coverages may cost you more than simply saving up money to pay for any potential repairs out of pocket.

How do I get cheap full coverage auto insurance?

To reduce the cost of your full coverage auto policy, consider shopping around and comparing rates from multiple insurance companies. You may find a company offering you the same coverage limits for a lower price.

Additionally, you can reduce your coverage levels to lower your monthly or annual costs. Pick the coverage you are least likely to use.

For example, if you’re a low-mileage driver with a new car, reduce your collision levels but maintain higher comprehensive insurance limits.

Just be aware of the risks involved with lowering your insurance levels.

You can also increase your deductible, which typically lowers your monthly costs. However, you will be responsible for paying the deductible out of pocket if you ever need to file a claim. Be careful not to select limits that are too high.

Full Coverage Car Insurance: The Bottom Line

Investing in full coverage auto insurance is worthwhile if you drive a new or valuable car, loan or lease a vehicle, or if you need financial assistance replacing your vehicle if it’s ever totaled or stolen.

To secure the right full coverage insurance policy for you, compare rates from the best auto insurance companies active where you live. Pick your policy based on both price and coverage levels.

However, if you drive an older, less valuable car, full coverage may not be worth the cost.

You have learned about the average full coverage auto insurance cost, now compare quotes from the top insurance companies near you by entering your ZIP code into our free rate tool below.

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