How to find the best cheap full coverage car insurance

If you’re in the market for a car insurance policy, 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 the combination of collision and comprehensive coverages. These coverage options, when paired with state-mandated liability coverage, comprise full coverage insurance.

An upgrade to "full coverage" — with $500 collision and comprehensive deductibles — can double your monthly insurance premium. Upgrading from a liability-only policy to a full coverage policy increases the typical U.S. driver's auto insurance premium by $414, or 115%.

 

Insurance Coverage Level

6-Month Premium

50/100/50 Liability Only

$360

50/100/50 with 500 Comp-Coll

$774

Let’s outline some ways to find 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 is full coverage necessary?
  4. Full coverage vs. state minimum liability coverage
  5. What are the cheapest insurance companies by state for full coverage?
  6. FAQs
  7. 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 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). The average rate for the top insurance companies in the U.S. is $752 for a six-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, insurers charge $410 per six-month policy when you upgrade to full coverage, with Allstate levying the largest rate hike. The best options for cheap full coverage car insurance are USAA and 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 quote shopping sites, The Zebra does not collect your phone number — so we won't bother you with unwanted calls.

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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 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 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 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 an at-fault accident. This is why using your collision coverage will cause your premium to increase. Because insurers consider collision claims and at-fault accidents as very similar events, the companies 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

$384

$767

$2,301

 

Comprehensive insurance coverage 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:

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.

 

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.

Below are events not typically covered by the full coverage combination of coverages:

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.

 

Do I 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 for a leased or financed vehicle

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.

 

Full coverage for a vehicle worth more than $4,000

If your vehicle is worth more than $4,000, most insurance experts advise it is worth paying for full coverage. Determine the value of your vehicle by using the Kelley Blue Book or NADA online.

 

Full coverage if I want to resell my vehicle

If you plan on reselling your vehicle in the future, make sure you have full coverage insurance. If your vehicle were totaled — either in a collision or due to adverse weather — 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.

Full-coverage protection is intended to protect your car. If your vehicle isn’t worth much, full coverage might be a waste of money.

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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 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 these coverages, you would not receive compensation if your vehicle was severely damaged or totaled.

 

Which is more expensive: full coverage car insurance vs. state minimum auto insurance?

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 $1,000 deductible, the difference in premium between coverage levels maxes out at about 29%.

Premiums by Coverage Level.png

Insurance company comparison — full coverage vs. state minimum liability insurance

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.

RATES BY INSURANCE COMPANY — FULL COVERAGE VS. STATE MINIMUM COVERAGE
CompanyFull Coverage (6-Month Premium)State Minimum (6-Month Premium) 
Allstate$1,337$320
GEICO$1,013$255
Farmers$1,013$237
Liberty Mutual$736$438
Nationwide$886$300
Progressive$855$301
State Farm$766$164
USAA$619$171

 

State minimum vs. full coverage: state-by-state cost analysis

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. 

RATES BY STATE — FULL COVERAGE VS. STATE MINIMUM COVERAGE
StateState Minimum Liability% and $ DifferenceFull Coverage
Alaska$229.50161% or $369$599.00
Alabama$322.65200% or $646$969.57
Arkansas$316.32275% or $871$1,188.10
Arizona$289.60195% or $566$855.95
California$262.42216% or $567$830.24
Colorado$318.50164% or $522$841.00
Connecticut$368.50110% or $406$775.00
Washington, D.C.$334.50123% or $413$748.00
Delaware$505.5081% or $408$914.00
Florida$622.39105% or $657$1,279.84
Georgia$320.77204% or $655$975.77
Hawaii$294.00214% or $631$925.30
Iowa$179.81346% or $621$801.65
Idaho$193.26281% or $543$735.95
Illinois$319.75178% or $570$890.15
Indiana$218.09241% or $527$745.02
Kansas$275.41287% or $790$1,065.48
Kentucky$399.57198% or $793$1,193.24
Louisiana$581.97146% or $851$1,433.70
Massachusetts$258.03193% or $497$755.63
Maryland$447.82129% or $576$1,024.61
Maine$191.29220% or $421$612.95
Michigan$987.2668% or $676$1,663.28
Minnesota$312.00208% or $650$962.22
Missouri$275.15240% or $660$935.63
Mississippi$255.72224% or $574$830.26
Montana$239.60274% or $657$896.85
North Carolina$218.54185% or $405$623.54
North Dakota$216.48459% or $994$1,210.91
Nebraska$199.44330% or $657$857.15
New Hampshire$228.50142% or $324$552.50
New Jersey$601.0595% or $572$1,173.66
New Mexico$296.97204% or $606$902.84
Nevada$399.77132% or $529$928.50
New York$442.46176% or $779$1,221.30
Ohio$200.08202% or $404$604.69
Oklahoma$260.60283% or $737$997.68
Oregon$401.41138% or $553$954.69
Pennsylvania$210.87337% or $710$921.12
Rhode Island$515.00105% or $540$1,055.00
South Carolina$314.33171% or $539$853.12
South Dakota$130.50414% or $540$671.00
Tennessee$247.55269% or $665$912.80
Texas$404.40194% or $787$1,191.55
Utah$400.74121% or $484$884.84
Virginia$250.10201% or $503$753.20
Vermont$210.89245% or $517$727.96
Washington$285.74176% or $502$788.25
Wisconsin$190.87283% or $541$731.95
West Virginia$358.85248% or $890$1,248.85
Wyoming$168.34437% or $735$904.03

 

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Cheapest insurance companies for full coverage by state

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 insurers offer the cheapest full coverage in each U.S. state.

RATES BY STATE — CHEAPEST FULL COVERAGE BY INSURANCE PROVIDER
StateInsurance Company6-Month Premium
AlaskaUSAA$498
AlabamaUSAA$480
ArkansasState Farm$572
ArizonaGEICO$379
CaliforniaGEICO$641
ColoradoUSAA$572
ConnecticutGEICO$528
Washington, D.C.GEICO$383
DelawareGEICO$566
FloridaState Farm$844
GeorgiaGeorgia Farm Bureau$505
HawaiiGEICO$386
IowaState Farm$451
IdahoState Farm$389
IllinoisGEICO$396
IndianaErie$382
KansasIowa Farm Bureau$589
KentuckyKentucky Farm Bureau$617
LouisianaSouthern Farm Bureau$817
MassachusettsGEICO$505
MarylandGEICO$475
MaineConcord$333
MichiganMeemic$829
MinnesotaGEICO$513
MissouriState Farm$593
MississippiGEICO$489
MontanaSafeco$398
North CarolinaGEICO$270
North DakotaNodak Mutual$530
NebraskaState Farm$537
New HampshireGEICO$351
New JerseyNew Jersey Manufacturers$642
New MexicoGEICO$405
NevadaGEICO$569
New YorkGEICO$742
OhioGEICO$336
OklahomaState Farm$623
OregonState Farm$535
PennsylvaniaGEICO$428
Rhode IslandGEICO$697
South CarolinaUSAA$563
South DakotaState Farm$545
TennesseeGEICO$437
TexasGEICO$614
UtahBear River$289
VirginiaUSAA$413
VermontGEICO$446
WashingtonUSAA$461
WisconsinErie$433
West VirginiaErie$525
WyomingSafeco$495

 

 

Full coverage insurance FAQs

 

What is considered full coverage car 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 insurance companies, the average cost for a six-month full coverage auto insurance policy is $752, which equals about $125 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 and home 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).

Can I drop full coverage auto insurance?

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. If you plan on reselling your vehicle, you will want it to be in good shape. Full coverage is a good way to keep your vehicle protected.

 

Additional resources

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

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Ava Lynch LinkedIn

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years. Currently providing insights and analysis as one of The Zebra’s resident property insurance experts, Ava has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, and Yahoo! Finance.