Posted inInsurance

What is full coverage car insurance?

Silver car with front bumper and hood smashed in.

Having a robust car insurance policy can save you a lot of money and stress if you’re ever in a car accident. But what is full coverage insurance, exactly? While there’s no official definition, it is typically used to describe state-mandated insurance plus comprehensive and collision insurance. This type of insurance covers you in the event that you have to pay to repair your own vehicle. Nationwide, the average annual cost of a full coverage policy is $2,014, while minimum coverage car insurance is $622.

Savings

Compare rates and save on auto insurance today!

ZIP code

Close X

Advertising Disclosure

This advertisement is powered by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Coverage.com in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what offers and links appear, and how, where and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available. Our goal is to keep information accurate and timely, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer from an advertiser may be different from the offer on this advertisement. All offers are subject to additional terms and conditions.

Compare auto insurance rates

Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.

Caret DownCaret Up


Please select age

Location-Icon
Badge
No spam. No fees. No surprises.

Save on auto insurance with quotes from trusted providers like:

Progressive

Drivers switch & save an average of $750+/year

Liberty Mutual

Are you overpaying for auto insurance?

Allstate

Safe drivers choose Allstate®

Powered by Coverage.com (NPN: 19966249)

Insurance Disclosure

Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

See more providers in
Choose from insurers in
View rateArrow Right

What is full coverage car insurance?

Full coverage car insurance means that you have coverage for damage to your vehicle. Should you cause an accident, the minimum insurance mandated by your state does not serve this purpose.

Most states require you to purchase at least minimum levels of liability coverage, and some also require you to carry additional coverage types like personal injury protection (PIP) or uninsured motorist coverage. Liability insurance is designed to cover damage and injuries others incur in an accident you cause.

Although full coverage isn’t an official term, it generally means that you have these coverage types on your policy:

  • Bodily injury liability: When you are at fault for an accident and the driver or passengers in the other vehicle sustain injuries, your bodily injury liability coverage could help pay their medical expenses.
  • Property damage liability: If you cause an auto accident, your property damage liability coverage is designed to help pay to repair or replace the driver’s vehicle. Damage that you cause to other property — like road signs, fences or buildings — is also typically covered.
  • Collision: If you collide with something like another vehicle, a tree or a pole, your collision coverage will help pay to repair or replace your vehicle.
  • Comprehensive: Often called “other-than-collision,” this section of your policy covers damage to your vehicle caused by a wide array of situations, including theft, vandalism, storm damage and animal damage.

These are the basic coverage types included in a full coverage auto policy. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that “full coverage” is not an industry-standard term. This means that the definition of full coverage may vary. Each car insurance company — and even different agencies — could have a different definition of what’s included in a full coverage policy. Some companies will automatically include one or more of the coverage types listed below in a full coverage policy, or even a minimum coverage policy if required by state law:

  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist: If you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages, these options could help pay for your injuries and the injuries of a passenger. Depending on the state you live in, you might also be able to add uninsured motorist property damage, which will cover damage to your car caused by uninsured motorists. Some states require one or both of these coverage types.
  • Medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP): Both of these coverage types help to pay for your medical bills and those of your passengers if you are injured in an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault. PIP also helps pay for lost wages and the cost of certain household services if you are unable to perform them. In some states, you will be required to purchase medical payments or PIP by law. In others, one or both of these may be available as an option.
  • Roadside assistance: This optional coverage is often considered part of a full coverage package. It provides coverage for towing, lockout services, tire changes, battery jump starts for gas-powered vehicles, battery charges for electric vehicles and other situations that could leave you stranded on the side of the road.
  • Car rental reimbursement: If your vehicle is not driveable due to a covered loss, this optional coverage could help to pay for the cost of a rental vehicle.

How much does full coverage insurance cost?

The average cost of a full coverage auto policy in the United States is $2,014 per year. Because of the additional protections that full coverage adds, it is typically much more expensive than minimum coverage car insurance, which is $622 per year on average. However, full coverage provides a greater degree of protection to your finances because it covers damage to both the other party and to your own vehicle. This means that, although your premium might be more expensive, your financial health is better protected with full coverage.

If you are looking for cheap full coverage insurance, there are several factors that you should be aware of. The company you choose, the state you live in, your driving history, the type of vehicle you drive and the coverage limits and deductibles you choose will all impact how much you pay.

Learn more: Cheapest car insurance companies

Average cost by insurance company

Car insurance companies evaluate a number of personalized factors to determine how much you will pay for car insurance. These include your driving history and the type of vehicle you drive, among other things. Not surprisingly, rates for full coverage car insurance are more than those for minimum coverage car insurance, but the price for full coverage varies greatly between companies. This is why getting quotes from multiple car insurance carriers is one of the best ways to make sure you are paying a competitive price.

Company Average annual premium for full coverage Average annual premium for minimum coverage Difference
Allstate $2,630 $545 $2,085
American Family $1,700 $606 $1,094
Amica $1,467 $429 $1,038
Auto-Owners $1,361 $325 $1,036
Erie $1,356 $486 $870
Farmers $1,598 $534 $1,064
Geico $1,353 $373 $980
Nationwide $1,422 $567 $855
Progressive $1,642 $553 $1,089
State Farm $1,480 $464 $1,016
USAA $1,361 $371 $990

Average insurance cost by state

The average auto insurance rates for full coverage in your state may be dramatically different than the national average of $2,014. For instance, the average cost in Florida is $3,183 while residents of Vermont pay an average annual premium of just $1,061. Comparing your current policy against the average in your state may be a better measurement of whether or not you’re getting the best deal.

State Average annual premium for full coverage Average annual premium for minimum coverage Difference
Alabama $1,843 $441 $1,402
Alaska $1,946 $421 $1,525
Arizona $1810 $587 $1,223
Arkansas $1,907 $443 $1,464
California $2,291 $636 $1,655
Colorado $2,121 $500 $1,621
Connecticut $1,553 $620 $933
Delaware $2,103 $801 $1,302
Florida $3,183 $1,128 $2,055
Georgia $2,085 $639 $1,446
Hawaii $1,275 $344 $931
Idaho $1,133 $267 $866
Illinois $1,806 $552 $1,254
Indiana $1,295 $327 $968
Iowa $1,315 $223 $1,092
Kansas $1,878 $416 $1,462
Kentucky $2,124 $678 $1,446
Louisiana $2,909 $805 $2,104
Maine $941 $225 $716
Maryland $1,971 $815 $1,156
Massachusetts $1,262 $429 $833
Michigan $2,691 $1,104 $1,587
Minnesota $1,760 $585 $1,175
Mississippi $1,771 $446 $1,325
Missouri $1,943 $490 $1,453
Montana $1,889 $310 $1,579
Nebraska $1,624 $359 $1,283
Nevada $2,779 $973 $1,806
New Hampshire $1,262 $319 $943
New Jersey $1,754 $782 $972
New Mexico $1,591 $346 $1,245
New York $3,139 $1,371 $1,768
North Carolina $1,446 $432 $1,014
North Dakota $1,302 $269 $1,033
Ohio $1,266 $338 $928
Oklahoma $1,998 $406 $1,592
Oregon $1,415 $616 $799
Pennsylvania $2,040 $428 $1,612
Rhode Island $1,886 $551 $1,335
South Carolina $1,532 $524 $1,008
South Dakota $1,553 $276 $1,277
Tennessee $1,429 $371 $1,058
Texas $2,019 $565 $1,454
Utah $1,510 $539 $971
Vermont $1,061 $238 $823
Virginia $1,439 $494 $945
Washington $1,410 $515 $895
Washington, D.C. $2,072 $607 $1,465
West Virginia $1,580 $421 $1,159
Wisconsin $1,292 $358 $934
Wyoming $1,582 $263 $1,319

Is full coverage insurance worth it?

Everyone’s financial situation is different, but in many cases, full coverage car insurance is worth it. Full coverage is generally recommended if your vehicle is new or relatively expensive, if you do not have the finances to repair or replace your damaged or totaled vehicle or if the likelihood of damage is higher than average, as it could be with a teen driver.

And if you have a loan or lease, the terms of your financial agreement will likely stipulate that you carry full coverage. Financial institutions require full coverage because when purchasing a car with a loan or leasing a vehicle, you do not fully own it — a bank or other financial institution owns at least part of the car (until you pay off the loan or buy out the lease). Because of this, lenders require full coverage to ensure that you will be able to pay off the balance of your lien if the vehicle is totaled.

Frequently asked questions

    • No. Most states require drivers to carry at least minimum levels of liability coverage, and some states also require additional coverage types like personal injury protection (PIP) or uninsured motorist coverage. Full coverage is only required if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle. However, even if you own your car outright, full coverage could still be a good idea to better protect your finances.
    • That depends on your financial situation, your tolerance for risk and the requirements of your lender (if you have a car loan). Most insurance professionals recommend you carry auto coverage limits well above the state minimum requirements to ensure you are financially protected from potentially substantial losses following an at-fault accident. Liability-only coverage can be a good option if your vehicle is paid off and you have the finances to repair or replace it if it is damaged or totaled. Full coverage adds better financial protection from a wider variety of situations, including damage to your own car. Otherwise optional add-on coverage selections — like rental car reimbursement and roadside assistance — might be included in a full coverage policy, too. Talking to a licensed agent about your situation could help you choose coverage that is right for you.
    • This is a matter of personal preference. If you have financed your vehicle and your lender requires full coverage, you must keep it on your vehicle until you have paid off your loan (or until you buy out your lease, if you decide to). Once you own your vehicle outright, you have the option to remove both comprehensive and collision. Some insurance professionals recommend that when the annual cost of comprehensive and collision equals more than 10 percent of your vehicle’s value, it is time to switch to liability only. However, if you still do not have the savings to repair vehicle damage or to buy a new car if yours is totaled, you might want to keep full coverage. The increasing values of used vehicles might also be a determining factor in how much coverage you should carry.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2021 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

[wpcc-script type=”application/ld+json”]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *