Full Coverage Car Insurance
Car Insurance

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What Exactly Is Full Coverage Car Insurance & How To Get Started?

If you want to get a complete complement of insurance coverage for your vehicle, then you’ll definitely want to consider full coverage car insurance. As the name suggests, full coverage car insurance includes a spectrum of coverages, including liability, comprehensive and collision, and also often medical and uninsured/underinsured motorist. 

This said, there is actually no type of policy called “full coverage insurance”. Rather, you can request this combination of plans to get full coverage from a single provider. 

And another thing: The name “full coverage” is doubly misleading because the coverage is not really full. There will always be something that your insurance provider can’t cover under the terms of the policy. 

But for now, let’s focus on what full coverage car insurance does include. 

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What's Included In Full Coverage Car Insurance?

There are three different coverages included in standard full coverage car insurance (liability, comprehensive, and collision) and then two other coverages that are sometimes included as well (medical and uninsured/underinsured motorist). 

  • Liability. Liability coverage pays for damages caused by you to another’s property or person when you’re deemed at fault in an accident. All states except New Hampshire require you to have liability insurance and the majority of US states have a minimum requirement of coverage you must have, though this minimum varies from state to state.
  • Comprehensive. Comprehensive insurance pays for damages that happen to your vehicle when your vehicle is not moving. For instance, if your car is vandalized or if something flies through your parked car’s windshield in a storm, then comprehensive insurance will kick in.
  • Collision. Collision insurance covers accidents that happen when your vehicle is in action, like if you hit a fence or parking meter.
  • Medical or Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Remember that liability insurance will pay for medical bills associated with physical harm to another person (or people) as a result of you being found at fault in an accident. It will not, however, pay for your medical bills. Medical or PIP insurance will, making it an important addition to your full coverage car insurance.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist. This coverage will financially protect you if you’re in an accident with an individual who does not have liability insurance or does not have enough liability insurance to cover the damages done to yourself, your passengers, or your property.

So, full coverage of car insurance will protect you if you’re in an accident and you are at fault if you’re in an accident and you’re not at fault, and if your car is damaged while not moving due to theft, vandalism, or inclement weather. Your car is protected, as is your person as well as the car and persons of others involved in the accident. 

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What's the Deductible of Full Coverage Car Insurance?

That depends on your plan and how much of a deductible you want. A deductible is an amount you have to pay toward any damage before the insurance starts paying out. The deductible only has to be paid once every year, but it can have a big impact on the cost of your full coverage car insurance. 

Low deductibles, like $100, may sound enticing at first, but just keep in mind the lower your deductible, the higher your premiums (i.e. the more you have to pay every year). 

To determine the best deductible for you, consider how much you can comfortably afford to pay out-of-pocket. $100? $250? $500? Some companies will offer a $0 deductible, but again, that’s going to increase your premiums. 

However, if you can’t afford to pay much out-of-pocket in the event of an accident, then a $0 deductible may make financial sense.

How Much Does Standard Full Coverage Car Insurance Cost?

While best full coverage car insurance rates will be considerably more than liability coverage alone, liability coverage does nothing to protect you and your car. Indeed, if you are buying a new car or leasing one the lender will require you to protect their interest with a full coverage car insurance policy. 

How much that policy will cost depends on factors like the year, make, and model, as well as the location, your driving record, deductible, and even your credit score. Currently, the average cost of full coverage car insurance in the U.S. is $1,427 per year (so $118.92/month). 

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How to Save Money on Full Coverage Car Insurance?

There are several ways you can save on your full coverage car insurance premiums. 

  • Take a safe driving course. Some auto insurance providers will offer you a discount for showing your commitment to staying safe on the road.
  • Use your good driving record. People with clean driving records cost insurance companies less money, and they’ll often pass the savings back in the form of good driver discounts for these individuals.
  • Bundle your insurance. Many insurance providers will offer discounts if you bundle your home, auto, RV, and other types of insurance all with that company.
  • Be a good student. If you’re a young driver, maintaining a B+ average can pay off when it comes to getting car insurance by earning you a discount for being responsible and taking your commitments seriously.
  • Loyalty discounts. Staying with the same insurance provider for an extended period can result in substantial savings to your auto insurance thanks to loyalty discounts.
  • Low mileage discounts. If you don’t drive your car often, you can also save money on your full coverage car insurance since many providers offer low mileage discounts for people who drive under 7,500 miles a year. Keep in mind that the exact mileage qualification for this discount can vary.
  • Safety features. Cars with existing safety features like warning sensors, backup cameras, and anti-theft devices may be eligible for car insurance discounts.

The only way to know exactly what full coverage car insurance discounts you may be eligible for is to talk with your insurance agent. It’s also a good idea to get quotes from other providers to see if you can get a better rate—and better discounts—on your insurance elsewhere.

Is Full Coverage Car Insurance Worth It?

Absolutely. If you have a vehicle, full coverage car insurance is worth it. While you won’t find a car insurance company that truly covers everything under a combined full coverage plan (for example, it won’t cover intentional damage to your vehicle), full coverage insurance will give you substantial protection against vehicular incidents and accidents. 

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FAQs

Full coverage insurance is not actually a type of insurance. Rather, it's a term used to describe the combining of multiple types of car insurance into one "full" policy. Typically, these types of insurance include liability, collision, comprehensive, medical or personal injury protection, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
The cost of standard full coverage insurance will depend on numerous factors including your age, driving record, where you live and your credit score. This variability makes it difficult to give an exact cost. However, the average is around $118/month.
There are a few enticing ways to save money on your full coverage insurance. You can bundle your auto insurance with your home insurance and any other insurance you may have. You can also take advantage of good driver discounts, low mileage discounts, loyalty discounts and discounts for people who take safe driving lessons.