Full Coverage Car Insurance

What Is Full Coverage Car Insurance?

Hint: it's a combination of important coverages for your vehicle

Full coverage insurance header

No matter how often you use your car, you want to make sure it’s protected as much as possible before you hit the road. You may have heard the term “full coverage” in association with car insurance before, and it can be tempting to ask for this option. However, “full coverage” really isn’t a standard industry term.

Fortunately an independent insurance agent can help you get your vehicle fully protected regardless. They’ll work with you to find the best coverage for your needs, and make sure you walk away with all the car insurance required to keep your ride safe. But first, here’s a closer look at what really constitutes as full coverage.

What Is Full Coverage Car Insurance? 

"Full coverage” car insurance in is actually just a slang term used by the public, not officially by the insurance industry. Since asking for “full coverage” is essentially meaningless, it’s important to address what would actually constitute complete protection for your vehicle. 

You'll want to consider liability protection against lawsuits, physical damage protection for your car, and coverage for injuries to others and possibly yourself and passengers in case of an accident. An independent insurance agent can help recommend the essential coverages you'll need.

Who Sells Full Coverage Car Insurance?

Car insurance is available from many different insurance companies, and the best way to find the right carrier for you is through working with an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents know which insurance companies to recommend to meet your needs, and can provide informed suggestions based on company reliability, rates, and more.

While many insurance companies could help you assemble a "full coverage" car insurance package, finding coverage could also depend on the area you live in. Here are a few of our top picks for full coverage car insurance.

Top Full Coverage Insurance Companies Star Ratings
Liberty Mutual
4.5/5 star rating
Erie Insurance
4.5/5 star rating
Progressive
5 star rating
Allstate
Nationwide
5 star rating
Farmers Insurance
4.5/5 star rating
USAA
4.5/5 star rating

One full coverage car insurance company outshines its competitors.

  • Best overall full coverage car insurance company:  Nationwide

Nationwide is a leading insurer with an "A+" rating from AM Best. The carrier is on the Fortune 100 list and currently provides more than half a million customers across the US with quality coverage. Aside from their outstanding insurance catalogue, Nationwide offers superior customer service and 24/7 claims reporting. 

Nationwide is upfront about "full coverage" car insurance not being a standard product. Instead, the carrier works together with customers to assemble a comprehensive policy that considers every angle of desired protection. Nationwide offers the following car insurance policies to choose from:

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability
  • Personal injury protection
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist
  • Medical payments coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Towing and labor coverage
  • Rental car expense coverage
  • Gap coverage

Nationwide also offers several perks for customers, including accident forgiveness and vanishing deductibles. With all their car coverage options, Nationwide is our top pick for full coverage insurance. An independent insurance agent can further help you decide if Nationwide is the right insurance company for your car insurance needs.

What Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Cover?

Most likely, if you’re asking for “full coverage” car insurance, what you’re really referring to is a package of a few of the most important and commonly purchased protections for your vehicle. A policy like this would probably include:

Car Insurance Coverage
  • Liability: The legal minimum for coverage—the other types are recommended, but not required. It covers your medical expenses (to a point). If you’re at fault for an accident, it also covers the other driver’s medical expenses and car repairs, but not repairs to your car.
  • Collision: Covers repairs to your car in case of a collision with another vehicle or inanimate object, like a mailbox.
  • Comprehensive: Covers everything else that can happen to your car: fire, wild animal collisions, riots and even missiles. It’s more accurately called “other than collision.”
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist: Covers medical or repair expenses that exceeds the other person’s insurance. If the other driver is uninsured or carries only the cheapest coverage, you'll be protected.

An independent insurance agent can help you determine which car insurance coverages are most important to meet your needs.

What Other Policies Are Included in Full Coverage Car Insurance? 

You'll need to work with your independent insurance agent to assemble a coverage package that creates your ideal of "full coverage." But many folks choose to also add these policies to their full coverage car insurance:

  • Medical payments: Covers medical bills that go over what your liability insurance covers. If you don’t have health insurance, this is especially important.
  • Personal injury protection: Covers medical expenses regardless of who's at fault in the accident.
  • Accident death benefit: A payment that is made if a person dies as the result of an auto accident.
  • Rental car: Covers rental car costs while your car is being repaired after an accident.
  • Road service/Roadside assistance: Covers emergency tows, battery jump starts and other roadside mishaps.

You'll know your "full coverage" package is complete when you feel you're set up with a full picture of protection. It's always worth it to review your existing coverage and decide if you'd feel comfortable adding more, as well.

Liability-Only vs. Full Coverage

Liability-only insurance will protect you from damage or injuries you cause to other drivers or individuals with your vehicle. This type of policy does not cover damage to your own vehicle, or many other aspects covered by a "full coverage" policy. 

If you seek full coverage, you'll likely walk away with at least liability insurance, comprehensive insurance, and collision insurance for your vehicle.

Liability Only Coverage vs. Full Coverage

Liability Only Coverage

  • Property damage caused to other drivers or individuals with your vehicle
  • Bodily injury caused to other drivers or individuals with your vehicle

Full Coverage

  • Damage to your own vehicle in case of an accident
  • Bodily injuries to you or your passengers in case of an accident that you cause
  • Damage to your vehicle due to natural disasters
  • Theft of your vehicle
  • Windshield breakage
  • Collisions with large animals
  • Coverage for your vehicle and injuries if you get hit by an uninsured/underinsured driver

An independent insurance agent can further illustrate the many differences in having liability-only coverage vs. "full coverage" car insurance.

What Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Pay For?

Depending on the exact coverages you select for your policy, full coverage car insurance pays for numerous disasters. This often includes:

  • Damage you cause to others and their property.
  • Damage to your own vehicle, even if you cause the accident. 
  • Damage to your vehicle from a natural disaster.
  • Expenses from medical treatments to you and your passengers if you cause an accident.
  • Expenses from medical treatments to you and your passengers if you're hit by an uninsured/underinsured driver.
  • Damage to your own vehicle if you collide with a large animal, like a deer.
  • Costs of repairing a cracked or shattered windshield. 

Full coverage car insurance covers costs for all kinds of threats to drivers, their passengers, and their vehicles. If you're still unsure of whether full coverage is the best choice for you, an independent insurance agent can help you decide.

What Doesn't Full Coverage Car Insurance Pay For?

Though you might expect full coverage to cover absolutely everything, the truth is it doesn't. Even full coverage car insurance has exclusions, such as:

  • Intentional acts 
  • Business use of a personal vehicle
  • Ridesharing use of a personal vehicle
  • Street racing accidents
  • Off-roading accidents
  • Government confiscation of a vehicle

An independent insurance agent can help review your car insurance policy with you to determine its exact exclusions.

Should I Add Optional Coverages?

Though it may be tempting to purchase only your state's legal minimum requirements for car insurance, it's important to consider adding additional policies to cover yourself, your vehicle, and others more completely. Without this extra coverage, you could end up paying thousands of dollars out of your own pocket in case of disaster.

However, if you have an older vehicle or one that's otherwise considered to have a very low value (typically less than $2,000), having full coverage might not make sense. Just be prepared to cover the full cost of the vehicle in case of an extreme accident, if you choose to only purchase the minimum coverage required.

The Most Common Car Insurance Claims

  • Collisions with other vehicles
  • Whiplash
  • Back injuries
  • Windshield damage
  • Theft 
  • Vandalism
  • Collisions with animals

Having full coverage car insurance can help to cover many of the most common car insurance claims. For example, collisions with animals, windshield damage, and theft would only be covered if you had comprehensive insurance, which is often a big component of full coverage car insurance.

How Much Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Cost?

The cost of your full coverage car insurance package will depend on a number of factors, including your driving history, age, and location. However, there are average coverage rates by state to give you a better idea.

State Full coverage Minimum coverage Annual difference
Alabama $1,501  $474  $1,027 
Alaska $1,521  $417  $1,104 
Arizona $1,536  $567  $968 
Arkansas $1,883  $495  $1,388 
California $1,911  $617  $1,294 
Colorado $2,012  $528  $1,484 
Connecticut $1,791  $841  $950 
Delaware $1,733  $823  $910 
Florida $2,321  $685  $1,636 
Georgia $1,820  $757  $1,063 
Hawaii $1,049  $326  $723 
Idaho $998  $320  $678 
Illinois $1,397  $468  $929 
Indiana $1,179  $383  $796 
Iowa $1,151  $255  $896 
Kansas $1,600  $464  $1,136 
Kentucky $2,363  $790  $1,574 
Louisiana $2,762  $895  $1,867 
Maine $963  $372  $591 
Maryland $1,872  $860  $1,011 
Massachusetts $1,100  $431  $669 
Michigan $2,387  $1,128  $1,259 
Minnesota $1,418  $559  $859 
Mississippi $1,636  $498  $1,138 
Missouri $1,526  $484  $1,043 
Montana $1,726  $362  $1,364 
Nebraska $1,376  $365  $1,010 
Nevada $2,161  $839  $1,322 
New Hampshire $1,169  $429  $740 
New Jersey $1,860  $851  $1,009 
New Mexico $1,418  $390  $1,028 
New York $2,131  $1,070  $1,061 
North Carolina $1,212  $410  $801 
North Dakota $1,195  $352  $843 
Ohio $989  $351  $638 
Oklahoma $1,748  $451  $1,297 
Oregon $1,358  $670  $688 
Pennsylvania $1,406  $431  $974 
Rhode Island $2,043  $842  $1,201 
South Carolina $1,652  $606  $1,046 
South Dakota $1,455  $301  $1,154 
Tennessee $1,298  $400  $898 
Texas $1,610  $560  $1,050 
Utah $1,390  $577  $813 
Vermont $1,123  $338  $785 
Virginia $1,248  $478  $771 
Washington $1,234  $457  $777 
Washington, D.C. $1,880  $736  $1,144 
West Virginia $1,605  $517  $1,088 
Wisconsin $1,160  $361  $799 
Wyoming $1,369  $335  $1,035 

Frequently Asked Questions about Full Coverage Car Insurance

Full coverage car insurance is not an actual policy by industry standards, but it is a helpful term for consumers. When customers ask an agent for full coverage, the agent knows that the customer is looking for a complete picture of protection for themselves, their passengers, and their vehicle. 

From there, the agent can work to assemble the right package of coverage for the customer, including comprehensive and collision insurance, and more.

Full coverage car insurance isn't a standard policy, so the coverages included can vary greatly. However, full coverage car insurance usually consists of at least:

  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Medical payments coverage
  • Liability coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage

Your full coverage car insurance package may include even more types of coverage than this, or your coverages may differ.

You need full coverage car insurance to fully protect yourself, your assets, and your passengers while on the road. If you purchase only the state minimum requirements of coverage, you may not be able to pay for repairs to your car, or for the medical treatment of your passengers or yourself in case of an accident.

Over the state's minimum insurance requirements, full coverage will grant you the following additional protection:

  • Damage to your own vehicle, even if you cause the accident. 
  • Damage to your vehicle from a natural disaster.
  • Expenses from medical treatments to you and your passengers if you cause an accident.
  • Expenses from medical treatments to you and your passengers if you're hit by an uninsured/underinsured driver.
  • Damage to your own vehicle if you collide with a large animal, like a deer.
  • Costs of repairing a cracked or shattered windshield. 

An independent insurance agent can further explain the additional coverage provided by full coverage policies.

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TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

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