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How to find the best full coverage car insurance

Car insurance is a legal requirement in almost every state. You must carry a minimum amount of coverage to register your vehicle and get behind the wheel. However, most car insurance companies offer a variety of optional policies, including full coverage car insurance, which provide much higher levels of protection.

The average cost for a standard full coverage car insurance policy is around $1,300; however the price you’ll pay depends on where you live, your driving record, vehicle, and more.

Here’s what you should know about full coverage car insurance, including how much it costs in your state and who should consider it.

What does full coverage mean for auto insurance?

Full coverage car insurance is optional. A full coverage car insurance policy generally combines comprehensive physical damage coverage for your vehicle and personal liability and medical payments insurance. If you get into an accident, full coverage car insurance will pay for your vehicle’s repairs, usually up to the actual cash value (ACV) of your vehicle.

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Written by Elizabeth Rivelli

Reviewed by Alyssa DiCrasto

Last updated: January 30, 2023

What are the three types of car insurance?

Full coverage car insurance is a package that includes several individual policies. So, what does full coverage car insurance consist of? Here are the main components of this policy:

  • Liability insurance: Liability insurance provides bodily injury and property damage coverage when you cause an accident. If the other driver sustains injuries, or if their vehicle is damaged, this policy compensates them for their losses. It doesn’t cover your medical expenses or vehicle repairs in an accident you are responsible for.
  • Collision insurance: Collision insurance pays for your vehicle’s repairs after an accident that you cause. It typically pays out based on your car’s ACV, minus a deductible. It also covers damage related to accidents with stationary objects, like a fence or storefront, as well as rollover crashes.
  • Comprehensive insurance: Comprehensive insurance pays for repairs if your vehicle sustains damage from a non-collision incident. For example, comprehensive insurance covers theft, vandalism, weather-related damage, and damage from falling objects, fires, and floods. Like collision insurance, it pays out based on your car’s ACV, less a deductible.

While these are the three main types of car insurance included with a full coverage policy, it also can include medical payments coverage. This policy pays for your and your passenger’s medical expenses after an accident, regardless of which driver was at fault. Medical payments coverage limits are usually relatively low, so it’s still important to have a robust health insurance policy to cover injuries or rehab expenses.

Understanding the difference between full coverage and liability insurance

The biggest differences between full coverage insurance and liability car insurance are what is covered and who it covers.

Full coverage

What it includes: With a full coverage policy, you typically get collision, comprehensive, medical payments, and liability insurance.

What it covers: It provides physical damage for your vehicle if you cause an accident, or if your vehicle is damaged in a non-collision incident. You also get liability coverage and reimbursement for medical payments.

Who it covers: You and your passengers are covered in the case of an accident, and other drivers or vehicle are covered if you cause an accident.

Liability coverage

What it includes: With a minimum coverage policy, you only get liability insurance, which protects you financially if you cause an accident.

What it covers: If the other driver gets injured or their vehicle sustains damage, this policy compensates them for their losses, so you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket.

Who it covers: If you cause an accident, the other party is covered by this insurance policy.

Full coverage vs liability coverage

Liability insurance does not provide any protection for your losses, whereas a full coverage policy provides coverage for your vehicle, your medical bills, and your financial responsibility after an at-fault accident.

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How much does full coverage car insurance cost?

Full coverage car insurance provides significantly more protection than minimum coverage policies. Therefore, the cost of full coverage insurance is more expensive. The national average for full coverage insurance is around $1,300 per year.

Here is the average cost for a standard full coverage policy in each state.

However, car insurance rates are personalized to each driver based on a variety of factors. For example, your zip code, credit score, claim history, age, driving record, and vehicle can all impact your premium. To find the cheapest full coverage car insurance, you should shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurers. You can also look for insurance companies that offer discounts you can qualify for.

Is full coverage worth it?

The right type of car insurance is different for every driver. However, full coverage car insurance is generally worth it, and it’s recommended by many insurance agents.

Even though full coverage is more expensive, it provides significantly more protection than minimum coverage. Having a full coverage policy can also help you avoid paying out-of-pocket to repair your vehicle after an accident or other claim. If you drive a new car or a car that holds its value, full coverage insurance is often worth the added cost.

To find the best full coverage car insurance, take our short online survey. Based on your responses, you’ll get matched with a handful of insurance carriers in your area that offer full coverage policies.

Is it worth getting full coverage on an old car?

If you drive an older vehicle, you might be wondering if it makes sense to purchase a full coverage car insurance policy. Ultimately, it really depends on the ACV of the vehicle, as this determines how much money you can get from the insurance company after a covered loss.

In general, having full coverage insurance is still a good investment on a car that’s 10 years old or newer. But if you drive a car that’s older than that, the higher cost of a full coverage policy might not be worth it. To figure out whether you should get (or keep) full coverage insurance on an older car, you can do a simple calculation.

First, get an estimate of the ACV or fair market value of your vehicle and compare it to your annual premium. If your annual premium is close to or exceeds the ACV estimate, it no longer makes sense to have a full coverage policy. You wouldn’t receive much money to repair the vehicle in the event of a claim, especially when you factor in the deductible.

In addition, you should also consider cost when deciding to get full coverage insurance on an older car. Full coverage insurance is more expensive than minimum coverage and depending on the age and condition of the car, it might make more sense to pay for any repairs out-of-pocket, if you can afford it. You could potentially save a lot of money by having liability coverage only.

Methodology

The rates on this page are estimated based on the rating plans insurance carriers have submitted to each state’s department of insurance. An insurance carrier’s rating plan details how the company uses certain characteristics to assign different rates to different people. We use the same data sources to power our comparison tools.

For the data on this page, we made the following assumptions: a single male with a clean driving record and Good credit score, driving a 2022 RAV4. We adjusted this profile by age to determine the rates you see on this page. 

These rates should only be used for comparative purposes. Your rates can vary significantly based on your unique driver profile.