What is full coverage car insurance?


Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes
Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly
ZIP Code must be filled out!
 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
writter logo
Written by
Freelance Writer
reviewer logo
Reviewed by
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent
UPDATED: 2020-07-06T18:50:47.645Z
Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.
A man on the phone calling his car insurance company after a minor car accident.

It’s important to understand what your auto insurance will and won’t cover. It is always essential to find an insurance company in your area that will best fit your lifestyle and needs. Some people choose to purchase full coverage car insurance to be protected in a wide range of accident situations.

Your auto insurance is critical, as accidents or damage to cars happen every day. It is important to know how much or little is covered by your insurance so that you will be prepared. So, what is full coverage car insurance?

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes

Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly

ZIP Code must be filled out!

Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is full coverage car insurance?

Contrary to popular belief, full coverage car insurance doesn’t actually exist. Drivers often refer to their car insurance coverage as “full coverage,” but insurance companies do not refer to their services as “full coverage.” If you hear someone say they have full coverage car insurance, it’s likely that they have liability, comprehensive, and collision car insurance coverage.

The phrase, "full coverage car insurance" can be misleading because it doesn’t actually cover everything. There are still situations that may not be covered and your policy most likely has coverage limits. For this blog, we will use the term "full coverage" since it's widely used

Full coverage car insurance is typically optional, unless you have a car loan or lease a car. In those cases, the lender may require you to have it.

You can learn more about the difference between liability and full coverage by reading our blog that is based on the differences amongst car insurance policies and what is covered.

What does full coverage car insurance cover?

The three main car insurance coverages are liability, comprehensive, and collision. Full coverage car insurance includes coverage for damages to your car as well as liability protection in the event that you get into a car accident that causes property damage or injuries.

There are a number of coverages that car insurance companies offer. See an outline below of some of the most popular.

Liability coverage: This is usually covered by all auto insurers. This helps pay for medical expenses both of the driver and their passengers and the other car hit in an accident. Liability car insurance coverage is required in almost every state.

Comprehensive insurance protection: This will help repair or replace your automobile if it gets damaged (e.g. car accident, weather conditions, car is stolen, etc.). Comprehensive insurance protection is usually optional coverage, but you may be required to have it if you have a car loan or lease a car.

Collision coverage: If your automobile gets damaged or totaled in a car wreck, your collision coverage covers this. The collision coverage helps protect your personal vehicle, not the other person’s, as property liability would cover that. Similar to comprehensive coverage, collision coverage may also be optional.

Rental Reimbursement coverage: This helps cover the costs of a rental vehicle while your personal automobile is getting fixed. The coverage is typically set at a certain amount of days being used and is set to a specific amount per day.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Typically, if you are injured in an accident caused by another driver, their insurance will cover your medical bills. However, if the other driver does not have liability coverage on their insurance plan (or does not have enough coverage), then your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will cover your medical bills.

Medical Payment coverage: This will help pay for your passengers’ medical expenses if they are injured in an accident. The entire bill will not be paid for, but surgeries or X-Rays could be covered.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Although this is not available or required in all states, it may be required in the state you live in. Contact your agent if you are not sure if you have this coverage. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) not only will help cover medical expenses, but it may also help cover you while you are in the healing process, which can include child care and lost income if you are out of work due to your injury. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers the medical expenses of your passengers no matter who was at fault for the accident. It may be required if you live in a no-fault state.

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes

Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly

ZIP Code must be filled out!

Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What does full coverage car insurance not cover?

Although full coverage car insurance does provide a wide range of protection, there are exceptions to what is not covered. Full coverage car insurance does not cover everything, so it is important to keep in mind what may or may not be covered as there are limits on every car insurance policy.

Even if you have full coverage car insurance, your policy has limits. You will not be covered once the damage exceeds your limits. Additionally, it won’t cover you in certain situations listed below.

Street racing: Street racing is not permitted under full coverage insurance. If you or your car is injured/damaged while in a street racing accident, it is very unlikely that it will be covered.

Wear and tear: Maintaining your vehicle is important as most insurance providers will not cover repairs due to anything that isn’t caused by an accident covered by comprehensive or collision insurance. If your car is starting to make a strange noise, don’t hesitate to bring it in to a mechanic that way to prevent any long term damage to the vehicle.

Ridesharing: Ridesharing programs have become incredibly popular over the years. However, if you get into an accident while driving for a ridesharing company, your personal car insurance may not cover the damages. It’s important to read the fine print of your insurance policy and find the right coverage for this specific ridesharing scenario.

If you are unsure of what your car insurance does or does not cover, reach out to your agent for more information!

How much is full coverage car insurance?

Depending on your insurance provider and the state you live in, the cost of car insurance will vary. Additionally, the price of full coverage car insurance also varies based on credit score, the number of speeding tickets, presence/absence of DUIs, at-fault car accident(s), if there are teenager(s) in the household, and marriage status.

All of these factors matter to calculate the cost of someone’s car insurance policy. Also, these factors vary based on the state in which you live given that each state views certain factors differently.

Contact your insurance agent to get a complete overview of how much your auto insurance will cost you.

Do I need full coverage car insurance?

Full coverage is not always required. You may be required to have it if you lease your car or if you have a car loan on your car.

You should always consider purchasing full coverage car insurance since it will give you the best protection. Consider it especially if you have a high-end car, drive your car every day for long commutes, or live in an area where poor weather conditions (e.g. frequent snow, hail, or hurricanes, etc.).

If none of those are applicable to you, then it is up to your discretion to buy full coverage insurance. If you still are not sure if full coverage is the right decision, reach out to your insurance agent for advice on the best type of auto insurance coverage specifically for you.

If you’re shopping for car insurance, be sure to visit Clearsurance’s car insurance rankings page where you can find car insurance rankings and prices from some of the companies that consumers say are the best in your area.

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes

Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly

ZIP Code must be filled out!

Secured with SHA-256 Encryption


The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes
Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly
ZIP Code must be filled out!
 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption