There’s no better protection plan than the one that covers everything you might need. This type of policy is commonly known as full coverage car insurance. However, there’s no universal agreement on what this coverage includes.
That’s why we decided to explain every option you might add to your policy to have complete peace of mind when it comes to your car and your loved ones. Furthermore, we provided a detailed guide on the prices of full coverage, coupled with the rankings of the most reliable companies that offer this protection plan.
What Is Full Coverage Car Insurance?
There is no prevailing definition of full coverage. Instead, people use it to refer to a combination of standard auto insurance coverages that provide complete protection. For starters, they cover the damages and injuries that you inflict upon others in an accident.
Additionally, full coverage protects you from uninsured/underinsured drivers and covers your vehicle no matter who was at fault. Finally, it pays yours and your passengers’ medical expenses. It may even include roadside assistance and reimbursement for a rental car while your vehicle is in a repair shop.
What Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Cover?
The coverages commonly included in low-cost full coverage auto insurance are as follows:
This option is mandatory in almost every US state. It pays to the damage you’ve caused to others. It has two different limits. The first one is bodily injury, which covers medical payments, pain and suffering, lost wages, and similar expenses. This limit has a maximum payout per person and per accident. The second one is property damage, which pays the repairs of a vehicle you hit. Additionally, it may include personal belonging like a watch, smartphone, or tablet.
While every car insurance policy has to carry liability, full coverage insurance would typically have higher limits than the state minimum.
This insurance plan helps you pay repairs or replace your vehicle after a covered accident. Collision coverage always carries a deductible, and it pays up to the actual cash value of your vehicle, which is the cost of an equivalent car on the used car market. We recommend a deductible of $500 or $1000 for full coverage.
This coverage is a logical extension of collision insurance. It repays any damage to your vehicle that did not come from a car crash. Often, it includes natural disasters, fire, theft, vandalism, and collision with an animal. It pays up to the actual cash value of your car, and a deductible is optional. Car insurance that’s considered full coverage would typically include no deductible or a very low deductible here.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you were not at fault in a vehicle accident, it’s the other driver’s liability insurance that covers your medical and property expenses. But what if their limits are insufficient, or they don’t have car insurance at all? That’s where uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage jumps in. Depending on the state, it pays for the treatment for your injuries, your damaged vehicle, or both.
Since this coverage is inexpensive, full coverage car insurance would typically include very high limits. However, no insurer would let you carry limits higher than your liability.
Medical Payments and Personal Injury Protection
These two coverages pay your medical expenses regardless of who was at fault in the car crash. Personal injury protection is mandatory in some states, optional in others, and even unavailable in some. MedPay, on the other hand, is almost always an optional coverage. These coverages exclude one another, meaning you cannot add both to a full coverage car insurance policy.
The principal difference between MedPay and PIP is that the former includes expenses besides medical treatment, such as child care, lost wages, and similar outlays. Furthermore, you may choose to purchase MedPay without any deductibles or coinsurance.
In some instances, even your regular health insurance may help. However, you might want to check that first, since these policies sometimes carry an endorsement that excludes payouts for car accidents.
An even broader full coverage insurance may include these:
A lease agreement often requires this coverage. GAP coverage repays the difference between the amount that’s left on your loan and the actual cash value of your totaled vehicle. For example, if you have $20,000 left on your loan, and you total a car that’s worth $16,750, your GAP insurance payout would equal $3,250 minus your deductible.
Some customers looking for cheap full coverage car insurance may forego this coverage, but we strongly recommend adding it. Moreover, it’s quite cheap. Progressive, for example, charges only $10 annually according to our reference quote in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
For these ten bucks, you get roadside repairs, towing, oil/fuel delivery, locksmith assistance, and other similar services if your car breaks down by the road.
Rental Car Reimbursement
This coverage is a little bit more expensive than roadside assistance, costing $44 annually in the same Progressive quote. Nonetheless, it provides you with the comfort of knowing that you will have a car at your disposal no matter what happens. The amount covered per day is typically $30–$50, and the maximum period is usually 30 days. Despite its higher price, rental car reimbursement is a worthwhile addition to a full coverage auto insurance policy.
Who Needs Full Coverage?
A car lender often requires some options that constitute full coverage, like comprehensive, collision, and GAP. This means that those who recently bought a new car with a loan will have to get something similar to full protection.
Besides those customers, we advise every individual who can afford full coverage insurance to at least consider adding it to their policy. It protects you, your passengers, and your vehicle in a manner liability-only coverage does not even come close to. Furthermore, we would highly recommend the following drivers get full coverage:
Those Who Frequently Commute Through Dense Traffic
They have significantly higher chances of being involved in an accident, meaning they will benefit from collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages.
Those with a New or Expensive Car
Replacing or repairing such vehicles can be quite costly. Adding full coverage auto insurance means you can drive worry-free, knowing you’re covered even if an accident happens.
Those Who Live in Areas Prone to Natural Disasters
If your home state is notorious for frequent natural disasters, you can profit from comprehensive coverage. However, given that this protection plan is inexpensive compared to full coverage, it might be smarter to add just comprehensive instead of going for the full coverage insurance.
Those Living in States with a High Number of Uninsured Drivers, or with Very Low Liability Limits
If you live in Florida, New Mexico, or Mississippi, the chances of running into an uninsured driver are higher than average. Nonetheless, uninsured motorist coverage is quite cheap, meaning it is better to add just that protection plan.
How Much Is Full Coverage Car Insurance?
Roughly speaking, you can expect to pay twice as much for complete protection compared to just liability with decent limits. However, with a little bit of shopping around, you can find a full coverage plan that costs just a tad more than liability-only coverage from an expensive insurer. Check the table below to see how the monthly prices compare for different age categories in different cities.
How to Make Full Coverage More Affordable
Since full coverage includes so many different components, the price variation across the market is massive. Every insurer uses a different algorithm to determine a final price. That’s why slight variations in a driver’s profile can make a significant difference in the final premium. Given this, shopping around is the best route to the cheapest full coverage.
Start off by reading high-quality insurance reviews. They will tell you which companies are the best in customer service, financial strength, and other relevant departments. Once you’ve made your shortlist, request full coverage car insurance quotes from all those insurers. It won’t take more than one afternoon, and the savings can be massive.
Additionally, in states where price optimization is legal, you should repeat this at every renewal term.
Another thing to remember is to check which company has the highest discounts that you might qualify for. Sometimes, they can reduce your premium up to 50%. Finally, consider enrolling in a program that tracks your driving habits. It’s done by installing a GPS device or downloading a mobile app, such as Progressive’s Snapshot program. Nothing satisfies an insurance company more than hard evidence that you are a reliable driver. Be careful, though. Some insurers may raise your premium if your results are substandard.
The 17 Cheapest Full Coverage Options
We requested a full coverage auto insurance quote in California from all the major US insurance companies to see how much it would cost. We included a $50,000 limit for property damage liability and a $100,000 limit for bodily injury liability, together with the same limits for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Moreover, we added comprehensive and collision coverages, with $500 deductibles. Our PIP protection was basic, and we did not add roadside assistance or rental car reimbursement. The car model we used was a 2018 Honda Accord EX, 4D, with 10,000 miles covered annually.
Check the table below to see which companies offer the cheapest full coverage auto insurance:
Full coverage car insurance may be twice as expensive as liability only, but the security it provides makes it worth it. It protects your vehicle from almost any accident, and it reimburses your medical expenses as well as that of your passengers.
The only situation in which full coverage may not be worth it is if your car is cheap enough that it can be easily repaired or replaced. Nevertheless, we would still keep the medical portion of full coverage auto insurance.
Finally, at the risk of sounding like we’re stuck on repeat, we cannot stress the importance of exploring the market enough. In the end, you’re purchasing the most expensive coverage option available. It’s natural that there will be considerable variance in price.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is included in full coverage insurance?
There’s no universal full coverage car insurance definition. Nonetheless, almost everyone would agree that it includes comprehensive and collision coverages, either PIP or MedPay, and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection. Furthermore, it may incorporate roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and even GAP insurance. The purpose of all these coverages is to provide full security for the driver, vehicle, and passengers.
2. Is full coverage worth it?
Yes, full coverage insurance is absolutely worth it. It provides significantly more protection than just liability-only coverage. For instance, it repays your medical bills and the damage to your car, regardless of fault. Furthermore, it protects you against drivers with insufficient insurance or no insurance at all. There’s no high-quality auto insurance without protection plans that constitute full coverage.
The only situation where you should drop collision and comprehensive coverages is if your car is old enough that it is quite cheap to repair or replace.
3. Which state has cheap full coverage car insurance?
Ohio, Idaho, Maine, Iowa, and Indiana are the states where you can buy low-cost full coverage auto insurance. However, the champion of affordability is North Carolina, which has the cheapest full coverage in the US.
4. Does paying off your car lower your insurance?
Paying off your car loan gives you a chance to drop collision, comprehensive, and GAP coverages from your policy. If you do so, it’s reasonable to expect a 30–50% lower car insurance premium. Nonetheless, your vehicle will not be covered in an at-fault accident if you do so.
5. What is the difference between full coverage and liability insurance?
Liability coverage pays only for the property damage and bodily injuries you have inflicted on others.
Full coverage, in addition to what liability covers, protects you from uninsured/underinsured drivers and covers your vehicle no matter who was at fault. Moreover, it pays yours and your passengers’ medical expenses.
6. Do I need full coverage car insurance if my car loan is paid off?
No. You can drop full coverage once you’ve paid your loan. However, this doesn’t mean you should do so. You will be driving with considerably less protection if you switch to liability-only coverage.