Is full coverage really full?

Full coverage car insurance includes liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage. While full coverage is likely to cover most damages and injuries, it may not cover you if they occur due to criminal activity, acts of war, or business use of a personal vehicle.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

UPDATED: Apr 15, 2022

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Things to Know

  • Full coverage car insurance includes liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage
  • While full coverage will cover most damages and injuries, there are some instances in which it won’t cover expenses, such as in the case of criminal activity, acts of war, or business use of a personal vehicle
  • Full coverage may be required for drivers who finance their vehicle, but drivers who are not required to carry full coverage should still consider doing so

If you’re considering upgrading your car insurance, you may be wondering if full coverage is a good option. Is full coverage really full? Will it cover any type of damage that occurs to your vehicle? What about injuries? Most people know that full coverage is more expensive than other types of coverage, so understanding what it covers will help you determine whether the cost is worth it.

Keep reading below to learn what full coverage does and doesn’t cover, how much it costs, and more.

If you would like to compare full coverage car insurance quotes, enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool above.

What does full coverage car insurance cover?

What is full coverage insurance? It is a car insurance policy that combines liability insurance with other types of coverage to give you a wide range of coverage. A full coverage auto insurance policy generally includes liability insurance, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage.

Liability car insurance is meant to cover expenses for damage that you cause to another person or their vehicle. Each state has a requirement for how much liability insurance its drivers must carry. Liability coverage is split into property damage (PD) liability and bodily injury (BI) liability. PD liability covers damage that you cause to another person’s property, while BI liability covers injuries that you cause to another person.

Liability insurance does not cover damage to your own property or your injuries. Liability coverage limits are expressed as a series of three numbers, such as 25/50/25. This number means that you have $25,000 of BI per person, $50,000 of BI per accident, and $25,000 of PD per accident. Most states have a minimum liability requirement between $10,000 and $50,000.

Full coverage also includes uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, which would cover your injuries or damage to your vehicle if another driver causes the damages. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you can file a claim with your insurance company. If they don’t have enough insurance, you would file a claim with their insurance company up to their coverage limits and then file a claim with your insurance company for the rest.

The main difference between liability vs. full coverage is that full coverage includes other types of coverage that will cover your own injuries and property. For example, full coverage includes personal injury protection (PIP) coverage that will cover your medical expenses after an accident, regardless of fault. PIP coverage is required in 12 states.

Finally, full coverage includes collision and comprehensive insurance. Collision coverage will cover damage to your vehicle after an accident, regardless of fault. In contrast, comprehensive insurance will cover damage to your vehicle for events other than an accident that are generally outside your control, such as theft or natural disasters.

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What does full coverage not cover?

Full coverage insurance offers a very wide range of coverage, so there are very few instances in which your full coverage car insurance wouldn’t cover you. However, some instances do still exist. For example, if you are injured or your car is damaged during any illegal activity, such as street racing, full coverage will not pay. Your policy is also unlikely to provide coverage if you are driving off-road or you cause intentional damage to your vehicle.

Other instances in which your full coverage insurance may not cover you include acts of war or if your property is damaged by government authorities. In addition, your personal car insurance policy will not cover you if you are driving your car for business purposes, unless it is explicitly included in your policy.

How much is full coverage insurance?

Let’s take a look at the average collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and full coverage car insurance rates in each state:

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates By Coverage Type
StatesAverage Annual Comprehensive Car Insurance RatesAverage Annual Collision Car Insurance RatesAverage Annual Full Coverage Car Insurance Rates
Oklahoma$93.87$226.83$904.83
California$100.54$396.55$986.75
Georgia$101.56$313.17$873.28
Louisiana$104.98$259.98$703.82
Washington$106.38$265.74$968.80
Utah$109.50$265.90$872.93
Nevada$110.77$307.42$818.75
South Dakota$116.53$282.96$1,257.13
Hawaii$116.55$219.05$679.89
Nebraska$117.63$303.86$1,103.05
North Dakota$121.61$269.84$788.56
Illinois$122.06$250.29$755.03
Delaware$122.49$318.77$1,240.57
Vermont$125.48$295.42$764.02
Idaho$128.13$309.71$884.56
New Hampshire$131.35$381.86$1,382.79
Connecticut$131.62$368.51$1,151.07
Pennsylvania$132.19$411.51$1,303.50
Maryland$134.96$388.28$1,129.29
New York$136.08$293.59$789.09
Virginia$136.54$280.52$842.67
Wisconsin$136.81$226.00$737.18
Alaska$137.26$350.81$1,027.75
Kansas$141.39$267.91$938.51
Oregon$144.21$327.24$970.51
Tennessee$148.45$309.07$871.43
Maine$152.72$353.99$1,116.45
Massachusetts$154.85$413.83$1,364.00
Alabama$156.31$317.96$868.48
Florida$159.18$331.83$1,048.40
New Mexico$171.12$385.02$1,360.66
New Jersey$172.57$276.98$937.59
Colorado$174.61$287.00$981.64
Rhode Island$180.94$265.07$973.10
Mississippi$181.27$275.28$872.43
Indiana$183.53$219.75$702.46
Michigan$184.27$234.40$875.49
Arizona$186.12$277.96$972.85
Arkansas$190.41$321.80$906.34
West Virginia$204.28$329.67$1,025.78
Texas$206.42$374.49$1,109.66
Minnesota$210.33$323.22$994.05
Missouri$211.91$265.32$863.52
Kentucky$215.17$414.36$1,405.36
Ohio$225.84$318.47$1,005.32
Montana$229.25$237.13$831.02
North Carolina$231.04$244.09$773.30
District of Columbia$233.24$468.67$1,330.73
Wyoming$247.57$278.83$847.44
South Carolina$258.11$208.58$766.91
Iowa$267.91$263.33$862.93
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As you can see, getting full coverage is the most expensive type of coverage you can buy. In general, the most expensive portion of a full coverage policy is the collision portion. However, full coverage includes all the main types of car insurance to make sure you’re covered in most instances.

The collision and comprehensive portions of your policy also include a deductible, which you must pay for every claim before your insurance company will cover any claims. Deductibles are typically $500 each, but they can range between $100 and $1,000. If you choose to have a higher deductible, your monthly rates will decrease, and vice versa.

Should I buy full coverage car insurance?

If you financed your vehicle, either with a loan or lease, your financing company most likely requires you to have full coverage insurance. This is to ensure the financing company will receive the rest of their money even if your car is damaged.

If you are not one of the drivers who’s required to have full coverage insurance, you should still consider purchasing it. If you don’t purchase full coverage, you may be left to pay expenses out of your own pocket or having to deal with someone else’s insurance company. If you have to file a claim with another at-fault driver’s insurance company, you may have a longer claims process or be paid less than what you would like.

On the other hand, having full coverage eliminates the need to wait on another person’s insurance company, since you could file a claim under your collision coverage. In addition, you would also have liability to pay for expenses that you cause. Therefore, you would be left to pay only your deductible or any expenses that exceed your liability limits.

If you’d like to compare companies that provide car insurance with full coverage, enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool to find affordable full coverage car insurance.

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