Is full coverage really full?

While most people have heard of full coverage insurance, what the term actually means can be confusing. Full coverage is typically a combination of liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist. While full coverage car insurance covers a lot, there are a few holes. You can purchase additional add-ons to protect your car.

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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

  • Full coverage typically consists of liability, comprehensive, collision, and underinsured/uninsured motorist
  • While full coverage doesn’t completely cover your vehicle, you can purchase add-ons for your policy to fill in the gaps
  • Full coverage costs more than liability-only, but it can save you thousands if you ever need to make a claim

When you hear conversations about car insurance, the topic of full coverage inevitably emerges. Insurance agents insist that full coverage is the best option for you no matter what type of car you drive.

Full coverage isn’t necessarily the best choice for you when it comes to insurance, especially if you’re on a budget. However, full coverage auto insurance does give you the best protection against any damage that can occur to your car.

However, the term “full coverage” might be confusing. Does it actually mean that your entire car is covered from all damage?

If you want to purchase full coverage insurance, comparing quotes can help you save money and find the best product for you. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to discover what rates might look like for you.

What is full coverage insurance?

The typical full coverage policy combines comprehensive and collision with liability to give your car as much protection as possible. Extended coverage accompanies higher rates — full coverage costs considerably more than state-required liability coverage.

Full coverage doesn’t cover everything, but it does offer a lot of protection:

  • Bodily injury liability – Nearly every state requires liability coverage, and bodily injury is half of it. If you cause an accident and a driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian is injured, bodily liability will cover their medical expenses.
  • Property damage liability – The other half of minimum coverage protects you from paying for damage you cause to buildings, cars, and other property resulting from an accident.
  • Collision – While not required, collision will pay for your car repairs after an accident, no matter who is at fault.
  • Comprehensive – Collision protects you from hitting things, and comprehensive covers almost everything else. Comprehensive pays for repairs if your car is damaged by animal contact, vandalism, theft, or weather.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist – Although most states require insurance, not every driver has it. This coverage protects you from drivers with inadequate insurance.

While this list seems like it offers complete coverage, there are gaps. However, you can buy add-ons to your policy to protect your car, such as roadside assistance, new car replacement, and custom equipment coverage.

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Who needs full coverage car insurance?

Full coverage is not a state requirement, but you might still need it. Even if you don’t, full coverage can protect you from expensive bills and repairs that liability alone can’t.

If you’ve financed or leased a car, you’ll likely need to obtain full coverage on the vehicle. Lenders want to protect their automobile until you’ve either paid for it or traded it back in, and full coverage is the best way to do that.

While it’s true that full coverage costs more, you should consider it if any of the following applies to you:

  • Your car is new or of high-value.
  • You need to regularly commute through heavy traffic.
  • Replacing or repairing a totaled or stolen car is not within your budget.
  • You have a loan or a lease.
  • You live in an area with an increased risk that you’ll have to make a claim, such as extreme weather patterns or high car theft rates.

If your car is more than ten years old, full coverage might not be worth the price. If you need to make a claim, your insurance company will pay you for whatever your car is currently worth. You’ll also need to meet your deductible — if your car is only worth a few thousand dollars, you can likely avoid full coverage.

How much is full coverage insurance?

There are many factors that affect the price of your insurance:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Driving record
  • Credit score
  • Make, model, and year of your car
  • Marital status
  • Location

While all these factors comprise the price of your insurance, you can still compare by state to gain an idea of what the average driver pays.

StateMonthly price for full coverageMonthly price for minimum coverage
New Hampshire$97$35
New Jersey$155$70
New Mexico$118$32
New York$177$89
North Carolina$101$34
North Dakota$99$29
Rhode Island$170$70
South Carolina$137$50
South Dakota$121$25
West Virginia$133$43
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Considering that the average price is a good starting point, keep in mind that your rates will alter with your circumstances.

Best Companies for Full Coverage

Another place to begin looking for insurance is at some of the biggest insurance providers in the country. Again, rates will change based on your circumstances, but you might get an idea of where to look for quotes.

CompanyMonthly price of full coverageMonthly price of minimum coverage
State Farm$124$45
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In general, GEICO and USAA are some of the most affordable options on the market. While USAA has affordable full coverage options, they only sell to active or retired military members and their families.

When you decide which company to use for your insurance needs, talk with your agent about discounts. Most insurance providers have discounts you can take advantage of to save money. Some of the most common discounts include the following:

  • Good driver
  • Good student
  • Paid-in-full
  • Anti-theft devices
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Claim-free
  • New car
  • Policy bundling
  • Multi-car

Ideally, you’ll be able to accumulate a few discounts to receive deeper savings on your insurance.

Some insurance companies, such as Progressive, have programs you can join that track your driving. After the company gathers sufficient data regarding your driving habits, you can save additional money.

Find the Best Full Coverage Rates Today

Even though full coverage insurance is more expensive than state minimum requirements, it can be well worth the price if something happens to your car. While it doesn’t protect your car completely, it can save you thousands of dollars.

If you’re ready to review full coverage quotes, comparing rates with as many companies as possible is integral to finding an affordable price. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to determine what rates might look like for you.

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