UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020
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You may hear people mention full coverage car insurance, but may not exactly know what it is or what it covers. Full coverage refers to a group of policies tied together to cover most risks associated with your car. The actual definition and coverage will vary from state to state and between car insurance companies, but all full coverage car insurance policies will share certain basic traits.
What is Full Coverage Car Insurance?
Full coverage includes bodily injury and liability protection. This type of car insurance pays for the injuries or damages you cause to other people or their property. When you purchase full coverage car insurance, make sure that your liability limits are high enough to pay for serious medical injuries if the need arises.
Collision insurance is also a typical part of full coverage and pays for damage that is done to your car. Without collision, your policy will pay for someone else’s damages but not for your own. If you own an older car, it could be less expensive to replace the car after an accident than to carry collision coverage, but older cars are typically not insured with this type of car insurance.
Full coverage insurance is sometimes required as part of a purchase or lease from a dealership. This is so that the dealership does not suffer a loss if you are involved in an accident that totals the vehicle. Even with this type of car insurance, the insurance company may only pay a depreciated amount which means you will need an additional rider on the policy called GAP insurance to pay for the difference between cash value and the amount owed on the loan.
With car insurance, full coverage usually means the insurer will pay for auto glass replacement, but you may have to meet a deductible before you can do so. In some cases, the deductible may be most of the cost of replacement, and paying the remainder out of pocket could save filing an insurance claim that could potentially increase your rates.
Because not all full coverage car insurance policies are the same, it is a good idea to compare car insurance rates with online quotes. This lets you compare the premiums and different types of coverage offered by different companies, and helps you discover the discounts available to save money on your insurance policy. For example, a car with side airbags will earn you a discount, and if the car has a security system you can save even more. Make sure to ask an agent about how you can get the cheapest car insurance quotes.