When searching high and low for car insurance, remember that what may work for others may not be the best fit for you and your unique driving needs. That’s when full coverage car insurance kicks in — it allows drivers to customize the desired coverage to protect them and their vehicle from all the odds and potential hazards while on the road. Let’s explore the basics of full coverage car insurance, including its definition, functions, benefits, drawbacks, and average costs by state.
All You Need to Know About Full Coverage Car Insurance
What Is Full Coverage Car Insurance?
Full coverage car insurance is a package of multiple coverages for anyone who wants more protection beyond the state’s minimum liability coverage requirements. In other words, when combined, these coverages provide the highest level of safety to drivers and their vehicles and other parties and properties involved in the accident.
It is essential to clarify that “full coverage” is not an actual term but a popular coverage option that can be modified to best meet each driver’s needs. In other words, drivers can custom-make a policy with desired coverage levels and deductibles that align with their unique needs, preferences, lifestyle, and budgets.
While it is not mandatory on a state level, this type of auto coverage can be incredibly useful in certain circumstances. For instance, people leasing or financing a car are compliant to carry such coverage by money lenders or banks as a part of loan agreements. It is especially advantageous for people having expensive cars.
How Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Work?
When buying car insurance, don’t expect to see full coverage as an available-to-purchase option in the catalog. Instead, it is offered separately in the event traditional policies can’t satisfy drivers’ extensive needs.
Most insurance companies, agents, lenders, and car dealerships use the industry term “full coverage” to describe the act of carrying out various auto coverages all at once.
It usually includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, alongside add-ons chosen by drivers. While liability coverage is legally required in most states, drivers have greater flexibility to add optional coverage that works best in their favor.
Like other policies, you will be responsible for deductibles and monthly premiums to keep the collective coverage in effect. When filing a claim, you must pay a predetermined deductible before your insurance company reimburses the remaining costs.
It should be noted that having full coverage car insurance in hand doesn’t equate to virtually 100% security against all odds and risks, as the policy has maximum benefits and limits and certain restrictions in place to avoid false claims and fraud. Be sure to review the policy with your insurer and clearly understand what is covered and what is not.
What Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Cover?
While insurance policies were created to avoid unexpected events, they may not always offer adequate protection in all situations.
With worst-case scenarios exceeding maximum policy benefits, drivers may be forced to deal with repercussions out of their pockets, potentially leading to financial hardships or even bankruptcy.
This is why customizing full coverage car insurance is strongly recommended, as it minimizes the financial burden drivers may face following at-fault accidents.
Common Full Coverage Inclusions
|Insurance Coverage Options||Required?||What It Covers|
|Collision||Not required, but a car loan or lease may require it||Collision coverage covers damage to your car following many traffic collisions, whether you are at fault or not. It covers both collision and non-collision damage, such as hitting another vehicle, crashing into a fence or a lamp post, and driving over potholes.|
|Comprehensive||Not required, but a car loan or lease may require it||Comprehensive coverage covers repair costs for damages when your car is not operated on the road, such as break-ins, weather, hitting animals, falling objects, and natural hazards — anything but collision-related damages.|
|Bodily Injury Liability||Required in all states except for Florida||Bodily injury liability covers medical expenses and related costs for other parties if you are found liable.|
|Property Damage Liability||Often required in all states||Property damage liability covers damages to another driver’s car or property (fences, gates, walls) at the scene of the accident.|
Additional Full Coverage Options
The table includes complimentary options that can be added to full coverage car insurance.
|Insurance Coverage Options||Required?||What It Covers|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||Required in the following states: Arkansas,|
Minnesota, New Jersey,
New York, North Dakota,
Texas and Utah.
|Personal injury protection covers medical expenses for policyholders and their passengers in the event of an accident.|
|Medical Payments (MedPay)||Optional but required in the following states: Maine, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.||MedPay coverage covers related medical costs in addition to standard covered services by PIP. It follows policyholders, even if they drive a friend’s car or ride a bike and get injured by another vehicle or pedestrian.|
|Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist||Required in the following states: Kentucky,|
Nebraska, New Jersey,
New York, North Carolina,
North Dakota, Oregon,
South Carolina, South
Dakota, West Virginia
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage covers damages caused to the policyholders and their passengers when getting in an accident with a motorist without insurance or adequate coverage.|
|Roadside Assistance||Not required||Roadside assistance helps pay for emergency services when your vehicle is broken down while operating on public roads, such as battery jump-start, oil or gas delivery, or towing.|
|Guaranteed Asset Protection Insurance (GAP)||Not required||In the event of total loss or car theft, guaranteed asset protection insurance helps pay for the difference between the market value and the car’s market price or car loan.|
How Much Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Cost?
Like other types of standard policies, the cost of full coverage is determined by various deciding factors and types of preferred coverages. Since full coverage covers more scenarios and offers extra protection, expect to pay more than single-purpose policies.
With a combination of four crucial aspects, including bodily injury liability, property damage liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, the average total cost of a full coverage policy comes to around $1,810 per month.
Average State-by-State Full Coverage Car Insurance Costs
|State||Annual Average Cost|
Who Is Likely to Need Full Coverage Car Insurance?
Although full coverage is not mandated in every state, having full coverage in place is helpful if:
- You own a car-leasing business or are a car lessor.
- You have a high-value or luxurious car(s).
- You usually operate your car in high-traffic areas.
- You reside in a location with extreme weather conditions.
- You don’t have the funds to repair or replace your car.
- You live in a neighborhood with high car theft rates.
Full Coverage Car Insurance: Advantages & Disadvantages
If you want to keep yourself safe from all the unfortunate possibilities while driving with full coverage car insurance, consider its benefits and downsides to determine whether it is the right choice.
Advantages of Full Coverage Car Insurance
- It provides better coverage, financial protection, and peace of mind.
- It helps you meet specific requirements by law or when leasing a car.
- It may cover non-accident damages, such as auto theft, vandalism, and natural hazards.
- It helps you avoid paying out of pocket after reaching maximum benefits.
- It protects you if the other driver is at fault but doesn’t have coverage in hand.
Disadvantages of Full Coverage Car Insurance
- It is more expensive than policies with minimum coverage levels.
- It doesn’t provide coverage if you use your car for commercial purposes (ride-sharing or delivery).
- It doesn’t provide coverage for minor dings and dents.
Full coverage will give you more protection than standard policies while on the go, knowing that any damages will be taken care of — regardless of whose fault it is. Despite higher policy premiums, full coverage car insurance might help you save money in the long run, mainly if you are at high risk of accidents due to living in high-traffic areas.
No full coverage policy fits seamlessly into your unique circumstances. That is why it is essential to get multiple quotes and work closely with reliable agents to get the right combination of coverage for your needs and budgets.
If you have any questions about full coverage car insurance, please contact us for a free consultation.
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