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Compare full coverage car insurance

Combine liability, collision and comprehensive for full protection.


Fact checked

You’ll come across full coverage when comparing car insurance, but you won’t find any full coverage policies. And for good reason: They don’t exist. Full coverage is a term used to describe a combination of policies that provide comprehensive, collision and liability coverage.

What is full coverage car insurance?

Full coverage car insurance isn’t a specific type of insurance. Rather, it refers to policies that include liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. By bundling these types of coverage, your policy provides solid protection in case of an accident.

Note that some insurers interpret full coverage insurance differently. To avoid overpaying for insurance you don’t need, ask for a policy breakdown, and make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for.

What’s included with full coverage car insurance?

Full coverage typically refers to these three types of coverage:

  1. Liability insurance is legally required in most states. It covers injuries and damage you cause to other people and their property in an accident. It’s also called bodily injury and property damage liability.
  2. Collision insurance pays to repair or replace your car if you collide with another car or object, like a tree or telephone pole. It covers you regardless of who’s at fault.
  3. Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace your car if it’s stolen or damaged by an incident beyond your control, like vandalism, flooding, a falling object or an animal.

Together, these three types of coverage check a bunch of boxes: They protect your car and take care of any damage you cause to other people and their property. But the term full coverage is misleading, because most car insurance companies offer a long list of other coverage.

What’s not included in full coverage car insurance?

Full coverage typically doesn’t include:

  • Medical payments coverage. Covers postaccident expenses for you and your passengers, and it can supplement your health insurance.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Kicks in to help pay for the bills if you’re in an accident with someone who has little to no insurance.
  • Emergency road service coverage. Provides towing, labor and other roadside assistance after an accident or collision.
  • Customized parts and equipment coverage. Have you updated your car with a top-of-the-line sound system or special rims? Full coverage insurance won’t replace or repair those features after an accident, but this policy add-on will.
  • Rental car coverage. Reimburses you for rental car costs after an accident.
  • Gap coverage. If you finance your car, this helps pay off your auto loan if your car is totaled.

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How much does full coverage car insurance cost?

Because full coverage combines the costs of liability insurance with comprehensive and collision coverage, it tends to be on the pricey side. Price hikes for full coverage are steep in select states with difficult driving conditions, heavy traffic or lots of cars on the road.

StateAverage annual premium for liability onlyAverage annual premium for full coverage
New Hampshire$4951,041
New Jersey$1,095$2,069
North Carolina$527$1,027
Rhode Island$977$2,017

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How to determine if you need full coverage

In general, if your car is old and you can financially deal with a stolen, damaged or totaled car, your standard liability insurance may be enough. The same goes if you hardly drive or live in an area where theft and vandalism are rare.

On the other hand, if you have a new or expensive car, it may be worth protecting it with full coverage. Again, it’s all about risk. Say you buy a $50,000 car outright. You might be able to pay the cash to replace it, but that’s a risky move when full coverage insurance might set you back just a couple thousand dollars a year.

The goal is to find the sweet spot between the coverage you need and what you can afford to pay for your premium and in the worst-case scenario.

Who should consider full coverage car insurance?

If these situations apply to you, it may be worth investing in full coverage car insurance:

  • You have a new car.
  • You have a luxury, classic or expensive car.
  • You own a car with a high theft rate.
  • You live in a place where car theft, vandalism or animal collisions are common.
  • You live in a place that’s often hit with extreme weather, like heavy snow, hail or storms.
  • You commute long distances or in heavy traffic daily.
  • You have an outstanding loan on your car.
  • You can afford the extra coverage.

Why do I need extra coverage with a car loan or lease?

To protect their own interests, most lenders require you to maintain full coverage insurance if you’re still paying off a loan. The insurance covers the asset they still technically own. After you’ve paid off your car, it’s all yours, and lenders won’t care how you choose to cover it.

Who should avoid full coverage car insurance?

It depends on how much risk you’re willing to take on. While full coverage insurance is expensive, it offers extensive protection.

But it may not make sense to buy full coverage if:

  • Your car’s value doesn’t outweigh the cost of coverage.
  • You own your car in full and aren’t required to carry the extra coverage.
  • Your savings could cover the cost of repairing or replacing your car.
  • You don’t drive often.
  • You’re on a tight budget.

How to compare full coverage car insurance quotes

To compare quotes for full coverage auto insurance from several companies, you’ll want to take a few steps to guarantee you’re getting the right information. Because you’re not just checking one coverage type, you’ll need to be extra careful about being consistent about answering questions during the quoting process.

Get the most accurate read on full coverage rates by having the following written down so you give the same answers every time:

  • Coverage amounts and deductibles.
  • Add-ons and extras you want.
  • Driving history and personal information.
  • Any figures you’re estimating rather than giving exact answers for, like yearly miles driven or credit score.

Bottom line

For car insurance shoppers, full coverage is a term that can cause confusion. What it encompasses varies by insurer, but typically it refers to policies that include liability, collision and comprehensive protection.

To figure out if full coverage is for you, consider your budget, car and driving style. It suits some people, but it’s not worth the cost for others.

Shop around and compare car insurance quotes to find the best coverage for you.

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Frequently asked questions about full coverage car insurance

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