How to find cheap full coverage car insurance

If you’re in the market for insurance, you’ve probably heard the term “full coverage.” While this isn't officially an insurance industry-approved term, most insurance agents use "full coverage" to refer to collision and comprehensive coverages. These insurance options, when paired with state-mandated liability coverage, comprise “full coverage.”

An upgrade to "full coverage" — with $500 collision and comprehensive deductibles — can double your monthly premium. On average in the US, upgrading from a liability-only policy to a full coverage policy increased the premium $414 or 115%. 

 

Coverage Level

6-Month Premium

50/100/50 Liability Only

$360

50/100/50 with 500 Comp-Coll

$774

With that in mind, let’s outline some ways to explore cheap full coverage car insurance. 

 

Full coverage car insurance: table of contents

  1. Cheap full coverage insurance
  2. How much does full coverage cost?
  3. When do you need full coverage?
  4. How to save
  5. FAQs
  6. Additional resources

 

How much does full coverage car insurance cost?

In order to estimate the cost of full coverage auto insurance, we created a sample user profile and gathered car insurance rates from every zip code in the US. We used two coverage levels — liability-only coverage (50/100/50 coverage limits) and full coverage (50/100/50 liability limits with $500 deductibles). The average rate for the top insurance companies in the US is $752 for a 6-month policy — or $125 per month.

 

Insurance Provider

Liability Only

Full Coverage

Allstate

$456

$1,011

Farmers

$357

$823

GEICO

$292

$602

Liberty Mutual

$356

$863

Nationwide

$366

$715

Progressive

$381

$810

State Farm

$309

$647

USAA

$221

$546

 

On average, the increase from adding full coverage is $410 — with the biggest insurance company increase being Allstate. As you can see with the data above, the best option for cheap car insurance is USAA followed by GEICO.

Bear in mind, this data is based on a very generalized profile: a single, 30-year-old man, with a 2016 Honda Civic. If you want rates based on your driving profile, enter your zipcode below. Unlike other car insurance quotes shopping sites, we do not collect your phone number — so it’s impossible for us to spam you. Get started below.

 

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What is full coverage insurance?

"Full coverage” is comprised of comprehensive and collision coverage. Unlike liability coverage, these coverages add physical protection to your vehicle. Here’s what is covered by full coverage auto insurance:

  • Collision coverage: protects your vehicle if you collide with another object
  • Comprehensive insurance: protects your vehicle from non-driving related incidents.
     

Collision coverage basics

Collision coverage provides insurance against damages sustained by a vehicle in a collision. Below are common scenarios in which collision claims are filed:

  • Rear-ending someone
  • Running into a fixed, inanimate object
  • Damage to your car via a hit and run

*If you have uninsured property damage coverage on your policy, you can use this coverage rather than collision. We recommend you carry underinsured and uninsured motorist protection.

Collision coverage includes a deductible — the amount owed by the insured. The remaining balance of the claim is covered by the insurance company. The amount of the deductible is variable, with most falling between $500 and $1,000.

As far as collision coverage is concerned, coverage will apply regardless of fault. Most collision claims are seen as an at-fault accident. This is why using your collision coverage will cause your premium to increase. Because insurance companies consider collision claims and at-fault accidents as very similar events, they tend to raise drivers' premiums after a collision claim of any kind. This rate penalty can last as long as three years.

 

6-Month Increase

12-Month Increase

36-Month Increase

$308.50

$617

$1,851

 

Comprehensive insurance basics

Another facet of full coverage car insurance is comprehensive. Comprehensive coverage, sometimes known as “other than collision” (OTC), covers non-collision related claims. The list of qualifying circumstances is lengthy. Comprehensive coverage covers damages resulting from:

  • Theft/vandalism
  • Weather
  • Collision with — or damage caused by — an animal


Deductibles also apply to comprehensive coverage. However, because many auto insurance companies don't see comprehensive claims as the result of driver error, rates typically don't undergo a hike after a comprehensive claim.

 

What isn’t covered by full coverage insurance

Insurance agents commonly refer to the combination of collision, comprehensive, and liability coverages as “full coverage." If you’re looking for additional coverage, you might be left empty-handed. Here are events not typically covered by full coverage auto insurance:

In order to have gap coverage, you need to have collision and comprehensive. Gap coverage could be a part of your lease agreement if you’re leasing a vehicle. Make sure your insurance covers this.

 

Do you need full coverage car insurance?

You need full coverage for the following reasons:

  • If you are leasing or financing your vehicle
  • If your vehicle is worth more than $4,000
  • If you plan on reselling your vehicle

 

Full coverage if you’re leasing or financing a vehicle

You need full coverage if you have a loaned or leased vehicle. With a lease, you do not own the vehicle and don't have the option of forgoing full protection. If you have a loan on a vehicle, you must ensure it’s protected to the lender's specifications.

 

Full coverage if your vehicle is worth more than $4,000

If your vehicle is worth more than $4,000, most insurance experts advise it is financially worth it to pay for full coverage. You can determine the value of your vehicle by using Kelley BlueBook.

 

Full coverage if you want to resell your vehicle

If you plan on reselling your vehicle in the future, make sure you have full coverage. If your vehicle were to be totaled — either by a car accident or weather conditions — you would have no insurance options for investment.

Consider if you have drivers included on your insurance policy that might be considered more likely to damage the vehicle. Although age does not always equate to driving skill, young drivers can sometimes necessitate the addition of collision coverage. Because of young drivers' propensity for risky driving, car insurance companies charge them nearly twice as much as the average client.

Long story short, full-coverage protection is intended to protect your car. If your vehicle isn’t worth that much, you might be wasting your money.

 

Other ways to find cheap car insurance with full coverage

If you need full protection but are still looking for ways to save, we have some suggestions.

 

Compare car insurance companies

At the end of the day, some ways to save car insurance simply aren’t that helpful. Your current company might just be too expensive. This is why it’s so important to compare car insurance quotes. Only by getting rates from multiple companies can you find the best rate for you. Our comparison model uses local and national companies using your driving profile to find your best rate. Enter your zip code below for spam and hassle-free quote!

 

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Raise your deductible

The average price difference between a $500 deductible and a $1,000 deductible is about $88 per six-month policy period. When you raise your deductible, you’re taking some of the financial burden from your insurance company — as the insurer would have to pay less in the event of a claim payout. The caveat is that you'd have to make up for that by paying a higher deductible before your insurer covers the rest.

 

Coverage Level

6-Month Premium

50/100/50 Liability Only

$360

50/100/50 with 1000 Comp-Coll

$687

50/100/50 with 500 Comp-Coll

$774

 

Use your insurance sparingly

Unless you have accident forgiveness coverage, your insurance company will most likely raise your rates if you file a collision claim. Only use your full coverage in the event the damage is greater than the deductible plus your rate increase over three years.

Need help deciding whether to file a claim or not? See our article regarding whether or not you should file a claim.

  • Get an estimate for the damages
  • Estimate your rate increase: Consult our State of Insurance guide to see how much an at-fault accident (what most car insurance companies would consider a collision claim) raises your premium based on your state. This varies by state. Consider the rate increase over 3 years — as that is how long insurance providers will rate you for your accident.
  • Which is more expensive? If the value of the rate increase is $1,200 over three years and you have a $500 deductible but it would only cost $900 to fix the vehicle, it makes sense to forgo a claim.

Generally, we don't recommend filing a claim if the damage is under $2,000. When you factor in your deductible and the rate increase, it simply doesn't make financial sense. This is an easy way to keep your insurance affordable and your driving record clean.

 

Full coverage FAQs

 

What is full coverage insurance?

Full coverage usually refers to the combination of collision and comprehensive coverage, both of which protect your vehicle from physical damage. Collision covers your car in the event you collide with another object or vehicle, while comprehensive basically takes care of damage other than collisions, such as a hailstorm.

How much does full coverage insurance cost?

Among major carriers, the average cost for a six-month full coverage policy is $752, which equals about $125 per month. However, the cost of your insurance depends on a number of factors, including your driving history, age, credit score, and address.

Who has the cheapest full coverage car insurance?

Among major U.S. car insurance companies, the cheapest average rates for “full coverage” come from USAA ($546), GEICO ($602), and State Farm ($647).

Do I need full coverage?

Full coverage might be required if you are financing your vehicle. It is also a good idea to have if your vehicle is worth a significant amount of money, usually any amount over $4,000. Furthermore, if you plan on reselling your vehicle, you will want it to be in good shape. As such, full coverage is a good way to keep your vehicle protected.

 

Additional resources

If you’re looking for more information on car insurance and related topics, see our articles:

Ava Lynch LinkedIn

Based in Austin, TX, Ava has been in the insurance industry as a licensed agent for 4-plus years. Ava is currently one of The Zebra’s resident property insurance experts and has been featured in publications such as US News Report, GasBuddy, and Yahoo! Finance.