A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

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, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: May 18, 2022

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Important Facts to Know

  • Full coverage auto insurance includes liability, plus optional or other required coverages
  • Whereas liability only covers costs concerning the other driver, full coverage offers wide car-related protections for you, even outside of car accidents
  • You may need full coverage car insurance if your vehicle has high monetary value

Does full coverage car insurance cover everything? In short, no insurance policy will cover you 100% in all situations because you will have out-of-pocket costs in many scenarios. That said, you might need full coverage depending on your state and car insurance needs.

To start, you need to know what full coverage car insurance means. The definition differs depending on who you ask, but many car insurance companies will tell you that it includes two types of car insurance coverage.

Read on to know more about full coverage car insurance and how it compares to liability insurance coverage. But if you need to see rates from top car insurance companies in your area right now, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool above.

What is full coverage insurance?

In most cases, full coverage refers to a car insurance policy that include collision and comprehensive coverage.

Depending on your state, full coverage may mean that you carry the required levels of liability insurance along with the following coverages:

  • personal injury protection (PIP)
  • medical payments insurance (MedPay)
  • uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage

Liability insurance is mandatory in 49 states and the District of Columbia. (New Hampshire only requires drivers to have proof of financial responsibility.) We will discuss liability insurance later, but let’s focus on the others basic types of car insurance.

Collision Car Insurance Coverage

If you’re wondering, “Does my car insurance cover repairs?” comprehensive car insurance will in certain cases.

Collision car insurance coverage will help you pay for repairs to your car if you or any driver who’s listed on your policy gets into a crash with another vehicle. It does not matter who’s at fault.

Comprehensive Car Insurance Coverage

Comprehensive car insurance coverage is referred to “other than collision coverage.” It will help you pay for damage to your vehicle outside of a car crash involving another vehicle and come into effect under the following circumstances:

  • You crash into a tree.
  • An animal runs into your car and damages it.
  • A fire, flood, hail, or some other recognized act of nature damages your car.
  • Any part of your car takes on damage due to vandalism.
  • Rioters cause damage to your car.

You may need to contact a car insurance representative or agent to expand the covered events for comprehensive car insurance.

Personal Injury Protection and Medical Payments Coverage

Personal injury protection and medical payments coverage will help cover health care costs for you or your passengers if you suffer injuries because of a car accident. PIP usually covers more than MedPay when both are available, but they serve pretty much the same purpose.

Either type of coverage reimburses you for out-of-pocket expenses and may serve as a secondary form of health insurance in some states. Also, depending on the coverage you have, PIP or MedPay may cover lost wages, partial disability costs, and funeral costs.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Despite state car insurance requirements, many people will drive a car without car insurance. Also, there are many drivers who only carry the state minimum requirement when damage stemming from an accident may surpass those limits in costs.

You will have an extra layer of protection with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage since it will make up the difference if the other driver’s insurance falls short.

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How does full coverage car insurance differ from liability insurance?

Given what we have already discussed, the difference between liability and full coverage auto insurance is clear: Full coverage offers far more protection. Liability does protect you, but it will not cover your car damage or personal injuries. Full coverage might do all the above depending on the types of coverage you have.

Also, if you have full coverage, that includes liability insurance since you are required to carry state minimum levels in most states.

What is another difference between full coverage and liability car insurance? Read on to compare the costs between liability vs. full coverage car insurance.

Should you buy full coverage car insurance?

Whether you should buy full coverage car insurance depends on a few factors. Besides meeting state requirements, consider the following:

  • How many vehicles do you have? Full coverage with collision and comprehensive coverage might not be the best option for cheaper cars.
  • How old is each vehicle you own? As the Insurance Information Institute reminds us, you might not need collision or comprehensive insurance for older cars since they tend to depreciate and will have less value than your yearly insurance rates.
  • Are your vehicles likely to take on damage where you live? If you live in a high-traffic area, collision and comprehensive coverage are worthy investments.
  • How safe of a driver are you? This also applies to any driver you list on your policy. Having full coverage may be a worthy investment for drivers who are more likely to get into accidents.

Of course, you need to regularly assess your situation and car insurance needs. If you are thinking about expanding your coverage, get some full coverage car insurance quotes and talk to an insurance agent to weigh your options. You can find affordable full coverage car insurance when you need it.

Now that you know more about full coverage car insurance, are you ready to find the right full coverage car insurance company? Enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool below to see rates from top car insurance companies near you.