If you commute regularly, have a new car, have an expensive car or live in an area with a high risk of damage via animal collisions, weather situations or vandalism, opting for a comprehensive car insurance policy with a full roster of optional coverage makes sound financial sense. Although there’s no real cheap full coverage insurance, shopping around and reconfiguring the deductible on your policy provides car insurance quotes that work within your budget while also offering peace of mind.
What Is Full Coverage Auto Insurance?
Before you can find the ideal full coverage policy, you need to know what you’re looking for. After all, there’s no named “full coverage” insurance policy. Instead, this term describes insurance policies with a combination of options, including the following:
- Auto Liability Insurance coverage protects you from the cost of the damage you cause to people, property or other vehicles in an accident for which you’re at fault.
- Comprehensive and Collision coverage are sometimes optional, but if you’re looking for full coverage, you definitely want to include these types of coverage. Both types pay to have the damage your vehicle sustains repaired. Collision pays for the damage caused in an accident, while comprehensive provides non-collision-related coverage.
- Medical Payments coverage pays for the medical payments for you, your passengers or your family members who drive your vehicle at the time of an accident. Limits vary, but if you want maximum coverage, look for policies with as much of this as possible.
- Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage takes care of the damage caused by an accident with a motorist who doesn’t have insurance or has only bare-bones coverage.
- Personal Injury Protection covers some of the medical expenses caused by an eligible accident and some of your other expenses, such as childcare, while you heal.
- Rental Reimbursement isn’t automatically included in most policies, but it helps balance the costs of renting a car while yours is in the shop for repairs after an accident.
- Additional Coverages, such as towing, labor costs and sound system coverage, are available from many insurers to protect you and your vehicle fully.
What Does Full Coverage Insurance Cover?
Full coverage car insurance pays for the medical expenses and vehicle repairs of injured parties in an accident for which you’re at fault, and it also pays to repair your vehicle. Full coverage insurance also pays to replace or repair your vehicle in circumstances other than a car collision, including theft or damage caused by a covered cause, which commonly includes weather, fire, vandalism and collision with an animal.
Is Full Coverage Worth the Cost?
Deciding on the exact amount of coverage you need depends on a variety of factors. For example, most states set a minimum amount of liability insurance that each driver needs to carry, but full coverage policies should exceed that minimum to protect against the unexpected. Additionally, opting for comprehensive and collision insurance may not be worth it if you have an older vehicle that’s worth less than $5,000, but if you have a new or high-value car, you should add this to your policy. If you have a car loan, your lender may require you to purchase comprehensive and collision insurance. To illustrate the importance of full coverage, consider the following two scenarios:
Scenario A: Opting for Minimum Coverage
Brenda wanted to save money on car insurance, so she chose the state-mandated minimum, which in her state of Arizona meant $15,000 bodily injury liability per person, $30,000 per accident and $10,000 property damage liability per accident. She’s at fault for an accident in which she collides with a van carrying eight passengers who are seriously injured. Her policy pays up to $30,000 toward the passengers’ injuries and $10,000 for the damage, but Brenda is responsible for any costs that exceed these amounts.
Scenario B: Opting for Full Coverage
Brenda opts for full coverage instead of the minimum. She chooses a 100/300 policy, which pays up to $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident in bodily injuries, along with $100,000 in property damage. Although she pays a higher insurance premium, when she causes an accident with a van of eight passengers, her insurance policy covers all the damage and medical expenses for the injured parties. Because she has medical payments and collision coverage, her vehicle is repaired and her medical expenses are also covered.
How Much is Full Coverage Insurance?
The costs of full coverage insurance policies vary depending on a variety of factors, including your credit score, driving history and the state where you live. For example, adding full coverage to a policy raises annual New Jersey car insurance rates by approximately $606, while the price difference for Ohio car insurance rates averages only $362 per year. In California, adding full coverage costs about $582.
Finding the cheapest full coverage car insurance can be challenging, but shopping around with different insurance companies makes it easy to pick the company with the right price for your needs. Expect to pay higher premiums in exchange for the peace of mind associated with the knowledge that you’re covered if your car is stolen or needs repairs after a crash. Without the right type of insurance policy, you could be liable for thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket expenses.
Where to Buy Full Coverage Insurance Quotes
All car insurance companies provide the option to maximize coverage. Search online for an easy, fast way to get quotes based on your personal information and location. The following table provides an idea of what to expect based on a few average annual full coverage insurance quotes from four popular providers:
|Average Annual Premium (Full Coverage)
Is full coverage for you? Consider your budget, the value of your vehicle and the vandalism, theft and uninsured driver rates in your area. Full coverage insurance provides optimal protection at a higher monthly cost.