Full coverage is a great way to keep your vehicle safe — but are you paying too much?
If you’re in the market for car 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 insurance premium. On average in the US, upgrading from a liability-only policy to a full coverage policy increased the premium $414 or 115%.
50/100/50 Liability Only
50/100/50 with 500 Comp-Coll
With that in mind, let’s outline some ways to find cheap full coverage car insurance.
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.
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 general profile: a single, 30-year-old man, driving a Honda Accord. If you want rates based on your driving profile, enter your ZIP code below. Unlike other car insurance quotes shopping sites, we do not collect your phone number — so we won't bother you with unwanted calls.
"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 provides insurance against damages sustained by a vehicle in a collision. Below are common scenarios in which collision claims are filed:
*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.
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:
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 much of a hike after a comprehensive claim — typically about $72 a year.
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.
You need full coverage for the following reasons:
You need full coverage if you have a financed 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.
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 or NADA online.
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 your 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 skills, young drivers and teens 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.
Full coverage offers more coverage — but it costs more. If you don't need comprehensive coverage, it might be worth considering basic state-minimum liability coverage. Let's dig into the differences.
You will be required to carry “full coverage” car insurance if you’re financing your vehicle. Since another entity — usually a bank or auto dealership — maintains an interest in the vehicle, they get to decide how the car is insured. Auto leasing and financing companies generally require collision and comprehensive coverage with low deductibles.
If you lease your car, you don't own the vehicle outright and you will be required to carry additional coverage to protect the asset. This often includes collision, comprehensive, and gap insurance.
If you own your vehicle, you have complete control over your insurance. If you’re unsure of what coverage to select, consider your vehicle's value. Use an estimator like the Kelley Blue Book to assess the value of your vehicle and determine how much coverage you need.
If your vehicle is worth more than $4,000, collision and comprehensive coverage are recommended. Without these coverages, you would not receive compensation if your vehicle was severely damaged or totaled.
If you opt to boost your coverage from the minimum amount to add comprehensive and collision, expect to pay over double what you were paying for just the state-required minimum amount of liability.
This disparity in pricing is less apparent if you already carry comp and collision coverage. Whether you have a $500 or $1000 deductible, the difference in premium between coverage levels maxes out at about 29%.
If you're looking to save the most on full coverage, USAA was the cheapest insurance company for our sample driver, with Liberty Mutual second. For state minimum liability coverage, consider State Farm and USAA. These values are estimates. Your location, vehicle, age, and driving record will impact your premium.
|Company||Full Coverage (6-Month Premium)||State Minimum (6-Month Premium)|
Each state has its own liability laws. Below are average six-month premiums for each state's minimum liability limit versus a "full coverage" policy. In this instance, full coverage refers to 50/100/50 liability limits and comprehensive and collision deductibles at $500 each — a fairly typical coverage level in the U.S.
|State||State Minimum Liability||% and $ Difference||Full Coverage|
|Alaska||$229.50||161% or $369||$599.00|
|Alabama||$322.65||200% or $646||$969.57|
|Arkansas||$316.32||275% or $871||$1,188.10|
|Arizona||$289.60||195% or $566||$855.95|
|California||$262.42||216% or $567||$830.24|
|Colorado||$318.50||164% or $522||$841.00|
|Connecticut||$368.50||110% or $406||$775.00|
|Washington, D.C.||$334.50||123% or $413||$748.00|
|Delaware||$505.50||81% or $408||$914.00|
|Florida||$622.39||105% or $657||$1,279.84|
|Georgia||$320.77||204% or $655||$975.77|
|Hawaii||$294.00||214% or $631||$925.30|
|Iowa||$179.81||346% or $621||$801.65|
|Idaho||$193.26||281% or $543||$735.95|
|Illinois||$319.75||178% or $570||$890.15|
|Indiana||$218.09||241% or $527||$745.02|
|Kansas||$275.41||287% or $790||$1,065.48|
|Kentucky||$399.57||198% or $793||$1,193.24|
|Louisiana||$581.97||146% or $851||$1,433.70|
|Massachusetts||$258.03||193% or $497||$755.63|
|Maryland||$447.82||129% or $576||$1,024.61|
|Maine||$191.29||220% or $421||$612.95|
|Michigan||$987.26||68% or $676||$1,663.28|
|Minnesota||$312.00||208% or $650||$962.22|
|Missouri||$275.15||240% or $660||$935.63|
|Mississippi||$255.72||224% or $574||$830.26|
|Montana||$239.60||274% or $657||$896.85|
|North Carolina||$218.54||185% or $405||$623.54|
|North Dakota||$216.48||459% or $994||$1,210.91|
|Nebraska||$199.44||330% or $657||$857.15|
|New Hampshire||$228.50||142% or $324||$552.50|
|New Jersey||$601.05||95% or $572||$1,173.66|
|New Mexico||$296.97||204% or $606||$902.84|
|Nevada||$399.77||132% or $529||$928.50|
|New York||$442.46||176% or $779||$1,221.30|
|Ohio||$200.08||202% or $404||$604.69|
|Oklahoma||$260.60||283% or $737||$997.68|
|Oregon||$401.41||138% or $553||$954.69|
|Pennsylvania||$210.87||337% or $710||$921.12|
|Rhode Island||$515.00||105% or $540||$1,055.00|
|South Carolina||$314.33||171% or $539||$853.12|
|South Dakota||$130.50||414% or $540||$671.00|
|Tennessee||$247.55||269% or $665||$912.80|
|Texas||$404.40||194% or $787||$1,191.55|
|Utah||$400.74||121% or $484||$884.84|
|Virginia||$250.10||201% or $503||$753.20|
|Vermont||$210.89||245% or $517||$727.96|
|Washington||$285.74||176% or $502||$788.25|
|Wisconsin||$190.87||283% or $541||$731.95|
|West Virginia||$358.85||248% or $890||$1,248.85|
|Wyoming||$168.34||437% or $735||$904.03|
From the data above, you can see that where you live is an important factor in what you pay for auto insurance. In the table below, we've gathered and analyzed rates from top insurance companies to see which provide the cheapest full coverage for each state.
|State||Insurance Company||6-Month Premium|
|Georgia||Georgia Farm Bureau||$505|
|Kansas||Iowa Farm Bureau||$589|
|Kentucky||Kentucky Farm Bureau||$617|
|Louisiana||Southern Farm Bureau||$817|
|North Dakota||Nodak Mutual||$530|
|New Jersey||New Jersey Manufacturers||$642|
|South Dakota||State Farm||$545|
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.
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.
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.
If you’re looking for more information on car insurance and related topics, see our articles: