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What is Full Coverage Car Insurance?

insurance adjuster looks over damaged car

When at the counter at any insurance broker, you’ll have some options to choose from. Naturally, they’ll set you up with a liability coverage plan as is the state’s minimum required insurance. This covers you in the event you cause an auto accident with another driver and must pay their damages. As they’re putting your quote together, they’ll ask you if you want to add on collision and comprehensive coverage for what is known as the full coverage. Just going with liability insurance can limit your coverage. For example, you wouldn’t be covered for your own damage or injuries in an accident you caused without collision insurance. Or, if a storm were to damage your car, you’d be on the line for any repairs without comprehensive insurance. Full coverage brings all these types of insurance together in one packaged plan.

What Are The Different Types of Car Insurance on Full Coverage?

We’ve just mentioned some types of insurance policies that make up full coverage since it isn’t a policy itself but rather a combination of three -auto liability, comprehensive, and collision.

Here is what each one provides coverage for:

  • Liability coverage - This is what people often refer to when they talk about car insurance. Liability auto insurance is a mandatory practice so that damage and injuries in an accident you cause can’t go unpaid. The coverage limits are predetermined.
  • Collision coverage - Liability insurance won’t cover damage done to your car in an accident that was your fault. You would have to cover it unless you carry collision insurance. If your car is damaged while driving, then you would be covered. It can be because of a crash with another driver, guardrail, or anything else along the road.
  • Comprehensive coverage - Outside of accident damage, there’s situational damage like nature or crime-related. You may find a tree branch has fallen and cracked your windshield, or your car was keyed. Comprehensive insurance covers these types of damages.
  • Uninsured motorist - There is a possibility of getting into an accident with a driver with no insurance. Since they can’t cover the damages and injuries they caused, it would be best to carry an uninsured motorist policy that covers their injuries. There is also an uninsured motorist policy for property damage -which isn’t available in some states.
  • Additional coverage - There are additional types of auto insurance that can make up the full coverage. There’s rental reimbursement for rental vehicles and roadside assistance for breakdowns.
  • Medical coverage - MedPay or PIP in some states is a great way to insure yourself and others in your car for injuries sustained in the accident. The exact medical insurance you will get depends on your state since it may offer one and not the other.

What Does Full Coverage Insurance Cover?

Depending on your state, you may not be able to buy some of the policies previously mentioned. The textbook definition of full coverage is liability, comprehensive, and collision. So if you add on a policy like medical or uninsured motorist, you won’t be compromising the full coverage but rather strengthen it. Regardless of how you build it, the end result and goal of full coverage remains the same -to financially protect you against damages and injuries in an auto accident for yourself and other drivers. Full coverage specializes in covering car damage up to its market value and even passengers involved in the accident, as opposed to partial coverage, where you would be responsible for covering everything except damage and injuries that aren’t your own.

What Does Full Coverage Not Provide Insurance For?

As vast as full coverage is, there are some damages that it doesn’t provide insurance against. Some are purely circumstantial, while others are avoidable.

Full coverage won’t protect you against damages and injuries from:

  • Illegal/high-risk driving - Any damage or injury sustained from prohibited driving like street racing or off-road driving.
  • Car-sharing - Car2go and Zipcar are a couple of examples of car-sharing companies where your insurance won’t cover any damages. Rather the company itself would have to provide insurance.
  • Business use - Using your car for work like transporting equipment or deliveries often requires business insurance not included in full coverage insurance.
  • Government-related destruction - Damage to your car during a civil confiscation or collateral damage from war isn’t covered by any insurance policy.
  • Fraud - There’s almost no need to mention that insurance fraud is illegal and intentionally damaging your car to get an insurance payout won’t result in such.

What Does Collision and Comprehensive Insurance Not Cover?

While on the topic of when you’re not covered even with full coverage, let’s get specific on what collision and comprehensive insurance don’t provide for. After all, the two are part of full coverage.

Damages and injuries not covered by either insurance policy are:

  • Car freezing - In the winter, it’s best to have your gas tank filled more than 50 miles before empty since the fuel can freeze in its tank, causing severe damage to the system.
  • Aging - Machinery deteriorates over time, and cars are no exception. There’s no insurance policy for growing old. If you feel your car of more than 10 years has value and is usable at times, you could consider giving collector’s car insurance a look.
  • Tire damage - Tire replacements are often something you are on your own for. Changing a tire is viewed as getting your oil changed or refilling on gas -it’s your job to keep your car running.
  • Stolen items - An auto insurance policy doesn’t cover personal belongings or items stolen from your car. Those can be insured with homeowners or rental insurance.
  • Rental car - Rental vehicles for those who are waiting for their own car to get out of the repair shops aren’t covered by standard auto insurance. The rental company may vend their own insurance. Some insurance companies may sell auto insurance designed for rentals.
  • Extra parts/attachments - There are electronic and other types of extra parts that can be bought or added to your car. Unless they’re for safety measures, they wouldn’t be insured by full coverage.

How Much Does Full Coverage Cost?

The short answer is that full coverage car insurance varies by state. The most expensive car insurance states have an average annual cost of $2,100 to $2,800 for full coverage. The average goes down in some states to $1,000 to $1,800. Typically, the price difference is that full coverage has double the monthly rates of partial coverage with a liability policy. Full coverage rates can range anywhere between $110 to $200 a month. Whenever a claim is filed, you would have to pay a deductible of $100, $250, or $500. There are some brokers who may offer $0 deductibles. As is a common practice of insurance companies, they base their quotes and rates on driving history, driver age, and car make and model. When shopping around for auto insurance, it helps to receive quotes from multiple agencies and do some comparing and contrasting.

What Determines Your Full Coverage Premiums?

Sometimes finding the cheapest full coverage insurance depends on you and not the search engine you use. All across the board, insurance companies look at the same things when quoting a potential policyholder. Naturally, your insurance rates will depend on things like your car, driving record, age, and location. However, the insurers can also look at your credit score and even gender (men pay more for insurance than women). Smart insurance shoppers always look for discounts and bundles to lessen their quote amounts.

What Are The Coverage Limits of Comprehensive And Collision Insurance?

Insurance coverage limits refer to the dollar amount that the insurance company will pay for when a damage or injury claim is filed. Many insurance companies will allow their policyholders to adjust the limits to their liking so long as they are greater than the required coverage limit. From there, many let their budgets guide them.

However, here is a guide of our own when it comes to comprehensive and collision insurance and your auto insurance policy limits:

  • Liability coverage - Limits for your liability coverage are required and determined by the state. A good way to remember the average is “15/30/5,” which refers to the $15,000 per person injury, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 per property damage. Another good rule of thumb is to double your per-person injury limit and set it as the per accident limit.
  • Comprehensive coverage - The comprehensive insurance limit is based on the vehicle’s actual cash value at the present moment. It’s the deductible that you can set. Again, this is the amount you pay your insurer when a claim is filed before they handle the rest of the damage.
  • Collision coverage - Collision insurance functions the same as comprehensive in that the limit is the car’s actual cash value, and the deductible is what the policyholder sets to their liking. Many choose from $500 to $1,000.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage - A good way to remember the limits for uninsured motorist coverage is “100/300” -as in $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. This is to make up for the other driver’s lack of auto insurance.
  • Roadside assistance - Roadside assistance can play a role in making up full coverage. While it has no coverage limits since you’re paying for a service, policyholders can expect to pay $5 to $100 annually for this coverage.

What Are The Coverage Limits of Full Coverage Car Insurance?

The insurance limits covered in the previous section are on their own. Since we are talking about full coverage, let’s take a look at the average insurance limits that it entails. When it comes to liability coverage for the full package, it increases from 15/30/5 to 100/300/100. That is $100,000 per injury, $300,000 per accident, and $100,000 per property damage. Many policyholders opt to set their collision and comprehensive deductible at $500. Rates for this type of coverage run at least $1,150 more than partial coverage rates, with an average monthly premium of $97 for those who wish to upgrade.

Concluding with the topic of limits, full coverage has very little as we’ve just gone over. In fact, the whole point of full coverage is to eliminate insurance limitations. Nearly 90% of drivers upgrade to full coverage by buying collision and comprehensive policies as their time on the road goes on, and more hazards present themselves. What’s more, dropping full coverage when it no longer becomes economic as your car grows older is no trouble at all.