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The cheapest companies for full coverage car insurance
According to The Zebra's analysis, the following insurance companies offered the cheapest rates for policies with full coverage added.
How to find the best cheap full coverage car insurance
While Nationwideand GEICO were the cheapest according to our rate analysis, many other companies offered affordable full coverage. To get a sense of where to start your search, review the cheapest full coverage auto insurance companies.
To find the cheapest insurance company for full coverage, we created a sample driver profile and gathered car insurance rates from every ZIP code in the U.S. We used two coverage levels — liability-only coverage (50/100/50 coverage limits) and full coverage (50/100/50 liability limits with $500 deductibles).
Because we used a standardized profile to determine these rates, they may not match your unique driving profile. Rates vary depending on a number of factors such as vehicle type, driving history, and the state you live in.
How much does full coverage car insurance cost?
The average cost of full coverage auto insurance is $124 per month (with liability coverage limits of 50/100/50), which is exactly what the nationwide average is in the United States.
In general, upgrading from a liability-only policy to a full coverage policy — with $500 collision and comprehensive deductibles — will however increase the typical driver's monthly auto insurance premium by about $68.
Insurance Coverage Level
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What is full coverage car insurance?
While the phrase is common in the insurance industry, there's actually no definition for full coverage insurance. Unlike liability coverage (which covers and property damage that you cause), full coverage also provides physical protection for your car.
When looking for full coverage auto insurance quotes, remember that the term full coverage refers to the combination of two types of physical damage coverage:
- Collision coverage: Protects your vehicle if you collide with another object.
- Comprehensive coverage: Protects your vehicle from non-driving-related incidents and animal collisions.
Check out The Zebra's video on full coverage car insurance to learn more.
Collision insurance coverage basics
Collision coverage insures 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/underinsured motorist coverage to cover collisions involving uninsured drivers. on your policy, you can use the property damage portion of this rather than collision. We recommend you carry
Collision coverage includes a deductible — the amount owed by the insured. The remaining balance of the claim is covered by the car insurance company. The amount of the deductible is variable, with most deductibles 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 at-fault accidents. This is why using your collision coverage will cause your insurance premium to increase. Because insurance companies consider collision claims and at-fault accidents as very similar events, insurers tend to raise drivers' premiums after a collision claim of any kind. This rate penalty can last as long as three years.
Comprehensive insurance coverage basics
Another facet of full coverage car insurance is comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive coverage, sometimes known as “other than collision” (OTC), covers non-collision-related insurance claims. The list of qualifying circumstances is lengthy.
Comprehensive coverage covers damages resulting from:
Deductibles also apply to comprehensive auto 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 $66 a year.
What doesn't full coverage car insurance cover?
While "full coverage" may sound like it covers you in every situation, that's simply not the case. Full coverage only includes collision and comprehensive coverages. Below you'll find a selection of other types of car insurance that are typically available from most insurers. Some coverages — such as PIP in no-fault states — may be required depending on your state's insurance laws.
Below are incidents that full coverage auto insurance does not cover:
How to get gap insurance
Gap insurance covers the difference between what your totaled vehicle is worth and what you still owe on a loan. It is a particularly helpful coverage if your vehicle is new or especially valuable. In order to carry gap coverage, you need collision and comprehensive. Gap coverage can be a part of your lease agreement if you’re leasing a vehicle. Make sure your insurance covers this.
Is full coverage auto insurance required?
Unlike liability coverage, full coverage is not legally required by states. However, there are situations when full coverage auto insurance is recommended or — in some cases — required, as you'll find listed below.
Full coverage requirements for a leased or financed vehicle
Full coverage is required for drivers of financed or leased vehicles. With a lease, the driver does not own the vehicle outright and doesn't have the option of forgoing full protection. If a driver has a loan on a vehicle, they must ensure it’s protected to the lender's specifications. Drivers financing a vehicle who forgo full coverage can find themselves at odds with their lender, who can add "force place" or "collateral protection" insurance to loan payments to protect their investment.
Full coverage insurance is recommended when:
- A vehicle is leased or financed
- A vehicle is worth more than $4,000
- A vehicle will be eventually resold
Full coverage requirements for a vehicle worth more than $4,000
If a vehicle is worth more than $4,000, insurance experts advise purchasing full coverage insurance. Determine the value of your vehicle by using the Kelley Blue Book or NADA online.
Full coverage recommendations for vehicle resale
If the vehicle will be resold in the future, full coverage insurance is a wise investment. If the vehicle were totaled — either in a collision or in adverse weather — the insured party would have no recourse.
Consider whether drivers included on the insurance policy might be considered more likely than usual 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.
Full-coverage protection is intended to protect a car. If the vehicle isn’t worth much, full coverage might be a waste of money.
Full coverage insurance vs. state-minimum insurance — which is better?
Full coverage offers extra 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.
For leased and financed vehicles: full coverage is required
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 auto insurance coverage to protect the asset. This often includes collision, comprehensive, and gap insurance.
For owned vehicles: full coverage is optional
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 physical damage coverage, you would not receive compensation if your vehicle were severely damaged or totaled.
Which is more expensive: full coverage vs. basic liability auto insurance?
If you opt to boost your coverage from the minimum amount to add collision and comprehensive insurance, expect to pay over double what you were paying for just the state-required minimum amount of liability insurance.
This disparity in pricing is less apparent if you already carry comp and collision coverage. Whether you have a $500 or $1,000 deductible, the difference in premium between coverage levels maxes out at about 28%.
Insurance rate comparison
If you're looking to save the most on full coverage, consider lowering your liability limits to your state's minimum required amount to offset the cost of comp and collision. Nationwide was the cheapest insurance company for this level of coverage, with GEICO second. These values are estimates. Keep in mind: your location, vehicle, age and driving record will impact your car insurance rate.
MONTHLY RATES BY INSURANCE COMPANY — FULL COVERAGE VS. STATE MINIMUM COVERAGE
State-by-state cost analysis
Below are average monthly premiums for basic liability coverage versus full coverage.
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.
RATES BY STATE — FULL COVERAGE VS. STATE MINIMUM COVERAGE
|State||State Minimum Liability||Full Coverage|
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Full coverage insurance FAQs
- What does full coverage insurance cover?
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 insurance companies, the average cost for a six-month full coverage auto insurance policy is $741, which equals about $124 per month. However, the cost of the auto insurance quotes you receive depends on a number of factors, including your driving history, age, credit score, home address and insurance provider.
- Is full coverage auto insurance mandatory?
Full coverage might be required if you are financing your vehicle. It is also a good idea if the insured vehicle is worth a significant amount of money (usually any amount over $4,000). If the vehicle will be resold, full coverage is a good way to keep the vehicle protected in the meantime.
Protect your car with the right coverage at the best value.
About The Zebra
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.
The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.