Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Jun 4, 2019

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Full coverage is a generic term for an auto insurance policy with a variety of coverage options
  • This coverage helps provide you with protection in many different situations or incidents
  • A used car may need full coverage, depending on a number of factors
  • In some instances, a used car may still need to be financed through a lender
  • If there is a loan on your used vehicle, your lender may require full coverage

Buying a used car is a great option for many people. However, there may be factors that require you to carry more coverage than just state minimum requirements.

In these situations, your insurance needs may depend on different factors. Just because you buy a used car does not mean your insurance risk is lower than someone with a new car.

Enter your zip code into the FREE tool above to compare car insurance rates in your area!

Did you finance your used car with a vehicle loan?

 

Many people buy a new or pre-owned car that they may have to buy using a loan from a financial institution. In the scenario where a lender has a financial interest in the vehicle, there may be insurance requirements that you must meet as the borrower.

For example, if you purchase a used vehicle for $4,000, and get a vehicle loan for $3,000 of that, then your lender may require you to carry full coverage.

In most scenarios related to vehicle loans, full coverage means you carry comprehensive and collision coverage on your vehicle. This helps to reassure your lender that their financial interest in your vehicle is protected.

Remember that your insurance coverage normally only provides coverage for the market value of your car, not necessarily what you paid for it.

If you have questions about how this coverage will apply in the event of an accident, it’s important to speak to your insurance provider ahead of time to fully understand how your coverage options work.

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Will you be able to pay for repairs or a replacement vehicle easily?

Your insurance deductible is the amount that you have to pay before your policy limits take effect. If you file a claim for $600, for example, and carry a deductible of $500, then your policy limits will not take effect until you’ve paid $500 towards the repairs.

If you did not have to finance your vehicle through a loan, then you may not need full coverage.

As the owner of a used car, it may be more financially responsible for you to pay for any repairs to your vehicle on your own. If you can afford to pay for repairs to your used car due to an accident, or even the replacement of your used car, then full coverage may not be a necessity.

Does your used car have a high value compared to the purchase price?

 

Many vehicles start to depreciate as soon as they drive off the lot. Due to this, used cars may not have a high enough value to necessitate full coverage. However, some used cars may have a higher value if they are determined to be classic or unique cars.

Also, if aftermarket parts are used to make repairs or modifications, a used vehicle could be worth more than other cars of a similar age and model.

One suggestion is to take your car’s value and multiply it by ten. If that amount is still lower than your premium, then you may not need full coverage.

However, if your car’s value is above the amount, then it may make sense to continue to carry full coverage. Used vehicles that can appraise for a higher-than-normal market value may be more costly to repair or replace than normal.

When you are looking for insurance coverage, be sure to speak to any potential provider about the vehicle you are looking at.

Additionally, mention any aftermarket upgrades or modifications you plan to make. Insurance providers may offer unique coverage options that meet your used car’s needs in ways that a standard auto policy may not.

Is full coverage right for you?

Having a full coverage auto policy may be a good idea based on your needs and your exposure to different liability and property damage risks. However, you may not need full coverage insurance for your vehicle depending on some different factors.

If you have questions about your coverage needs, make sure to speak with your insurance provider to get help assessing your risks and your needs.

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