Do I need to have full comprehensive car insurance?
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UPDATED: Feb 18, 2016
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Full comprehensive car insurance offers a great deal of protection for you and your vehicle, but it may be more coverage than you actually need. If you are looking for what coverage is right for you, try using a comparison tool. Compare car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above! Read this guide to find out if comprehensive coverage is right for you.
What is Full Comprehensive Car Insurance?
Full coverage car insurance is really a combination of three different types of coverage:
- Liability- Liability coverage, or no-fault coverage, is the most basic kind of car insurance coverage. Virtually every state requires this insurance in order to operate a vehicle. This kind of coverage will pay for the other driver’s damages and medical expenses in the event the policyholder is at fault in an accident.
- Collision- Collision coverage will pay for damages to your vehicle in the event that you hit another car or object or roll your vehicle over. It will even cover the cost incurred in replacing your vehicle if it is determined to be totaled. This kind of coverage is not required in many states, but if you find yourself without it, you may have some costly damages to pay out of pocket for.
- Comprehensive- Comprehensive coverage also covers damages or replacement of the policyholder’s vehicle, but only for non-auto related accidents. For instance, if someone comes and vandalizes your vehicle, the insurance company will pay for any damage that was caused. Other non-auto related accidents, may include, but are not limited to:
- Hitting an animal
- Natural disasters
The combination of liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage make up a pretty solid insurance policy, commonly known as “full coverage” insurance. The term “full coverage” can be a little misleading, though, as it does not encompass coverage of everything. With a full coverage policy, you will be covered up to a certain amount (stated in your policy).
Any damages that exceed the amount of coverage, you will be legally liable for.
Although this is a fairly thorough and accurate description of basic car insurance coverage, each company may differ slightly on what coverage they offer. Always be sure you carefully read through your policy before purchasing any insurance coverage.
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Which Type of Insurance is Best for Me?
You may ask, is it necessary that you get full coverage insurance? Well, there’s no yes or no answer for everyone. Because collision and comprehensive coverage are optional, you need to evaluate your needs and see if it’s really worth it.
- Car Value – Consider the value of your vehicle. This is an important area to look at when determining whether you need collision or comprehensive insurance. Is it old, rusty, and in bad condition? Chances are you probably don’t need the added coverage since the insurance company will only pay out the fair market value of the vehicle. If your car is newer and in good condition, you may want to look at purchasing a comprehensive policy, especially if you have a very expensive vehicle.
- Driving Tendencies – Do you use your vehicle for driving to and from the store and appointments or do you drive to and from work every day on the highway in a busy metropolitan area. These tendencies could easily create a need or lack of need for comprehensive insurance. If you are putting yourself at a greater risk for an accident, then it is a smart choice to purchase a comprehensive policy.
How can I Find Affordable Car Insurance?
Once you determine which kind of car insurance best suits your lifestyle, you can start shopping around for the best rates. One thing that will affect your premium is the amount of deductible you choose. A deductible is how much you pay out of pocket on a claim before your insurance company starts contributing on their end. The higher the deductible, the lower the insurance premium will be.
While a lower premium is what you are aiming for, keep in mind how much you will be paying out of pocket on the deductible.
For example, if you’re in an auto accident that produces $10,000 worth of damage to your car and your deductible is $500, you only are responsible for paying $500 and the insurance company will pay $9,500. If your deductible is $1,500, you will want to either make sure you can easily pay that in an emergency or have it saved somewhere for that purpose.
If you are only concerned with meeting your state’s minimum car insurance requirements, you may not be provided with enough protection. Whatever coverage you decide to choose, make sure that you have something good enough in the event that you need to make a claim. Compare car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool below!