Do I Need Full Coverage Insurance?
Full coverage auto insurance gives you one of the highest levels of protection you can get when driving. But the answer will depend on how much financial protection you need to feel safe when driving. When you are considering which car insurance policy to purchase, you’ll want to make sure you have the best plan to fit your needs and budget.
People toss around the phrase “full coverage” when talking about car insurance. What it actually means is a combination of comprehensive, collision and liability. If you finance your vehicle, your lender will almost certainly require you to carry full coverage until you have paid off the car.
If your car is fully paid off, you can choose to carry comprehensive car insurance or collision car insurance – or both or neither. When it isn’t required by a lender, these basic types of insurance become optional.
The other part of full coverage is liability car insurance. Almost every state requires a minimum level of liability in order to be legal when driving on its roads. So, you won’t have a choice when it comes to liability – unless you live in New Hampshire, which doesn’t require its residents to carry car insurance.
Let’s take a closer look at the three components of full coverage auto insurance.
1. Liability Coverage
Most states require a minimum amount of liability coverage. Essentially, if you cause an accident in an at-fault state, it covers the injuries and/or damages to the other driver(s), their vehicle and their passengers. If an accident happens in a no-fault state, your liability kicks in to help pay for your injuries and damages, regardless of who is at fault. In an at-fault state, your liability insurance will never pay for your injuries and damages even if you are not at fault, which means you will be paying for those costs out of pocket if you only carry the basic required liability and the other driver either has no insurance or not enough insurance.
Given the costs of car repairs and hospital bills today, many drivers feel that the minimum state-required liability is not enough to protect them in the event of an accident. You have the choice to increase those amounts or add additional coverage, such as collision, comprehensive and other optional car insurance types.
2. Comprehensive Coverage
Comprehensive car insurance covers almost anything that happens to your vehicle other than a collision. It provides protection against things like weather events, natural disasters or damage caused by falling objects, such as rocks and tree branches. Comprehensive coverage may also pay for damages resulting from fires, broken windshield, vandalism and may even cover you if your vehicle is stolen.
3. Collision Coverage
Collision coverage pays for damages to your car if you are involved in an accident due to a collision with another vehicle or an object. Because the state-required minimum liability coverage may not be enough to cover the damage to your vehicle, collision can kick in to help – especially in an at-fault state where you won’t get any money from your liability for your damages. Collision insurance will not cover damage to someone else’s vehicle, theft or vandalism, damage caused by hitting an animal, floods or other weather-related events and falling objects, such as a tree limb.
How Much Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Cost?
The national average is $1,655 per year – or about $138 per month. This figure varies widely based on the state you live in (and even what zip code you live in), and personal factors including your driving history (most important) and your age.
In Nevada, the average cost for full coverage is $2,246. In Georgia, it is $1,982. So where you live has an influence, but if you’ve had dings on your driving record, you’ll most likely be paying more than someone with a clean driving record and no claims.
Finding Affordable Car Insurance Online is Easy
Knowing that full coverage means different things to different people, understanding the various types of coverage offered will help you explore your options as you create your own full coverage policy for your specific needs and budget. A Freeway Insurance agent can help you decide what’s best for you.
Now that you have a better understanding of full coverage auto insurance, maybe it’s time to upgrade or replace your current insurance plan. Freeway Insurance offers the best car insurance quotes from a wide assortment of policies from the top insurers of the nation. Get a free car insurance quote online or call us at (800) 777-5620 to save big on quality coverage. You are also welcome to stop in one of our convenient locations.