Full coverage is a commonly used term among auto insurance buyers. It usually refers to a combination of liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance, along with any other coverage that a vehicle owner may want. The combination of policies and coverage that your insurance carrier offers will vary by state, and it’s up to you to determine what level of coverage you need. Does full coverage car insurance cover theft? Continue reading below as we answer every question below.
What Is Full Coverage Insurance?
There is no car insurance policy called “full coverage” that will cover every conceivable situation that happens to or with your car. Be wary of any insurance agent who claims otherwise.
Generally, full coverage is a combination of different kinds of auto insurance coverage as required by your state or circumstances. This usually includes, at a minimum:
- Liability coverage: This covers your liability to the other driver or their passengers for bodily injury and property damage. It’s required in nearly every state.
- Collision coverage: Physical damage that occurs to your car during a crash is covered by collision.
- Comprehensive coverage: Things that happen to your car outside of a collision fall under comprehensive coverage.
Every state in the U.S. can set its state minimum requirements for auto insurance. These typically include bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Some states also require insurance for uninsured or underinsured motorists, and some require medical payments coverage. When financing a car, your lender may require only that you meet your state’s minimum requirements, or it may require collision and comprehensive as well.
How Does Full Coverage Insurance Work?
Your coverage depends on which policy you choose. Beyond liability coverage, your carrier may offer several options.
Medical Payments and Personal Injury Protection
Medical Payments and Personal Injury Protection are provided at the level set by the states that require it. These coverages help pay the medical costs of you or others who are in the vehicle with you. It may also cover lost wages and other personal expenses related to injuries from the accident.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Some states require coverage to protect you in the event you collide with an uninsured or underinsured driver, or if the other driver flees the scene. If that happens, their insurance, if any, may not be enough to pay for medical expenses. Check with your state to see what it requires.
Collision coverage covers damage to your car if you are at fault in an accident, whether your car strikes another vehicle or an object such as a guardrail. It doesn’t cover damage to the other person’s car.
This coverage isn’t infinite. You will choose your coverage limits and the amount you must pay with your deductible, and these amounts will affect your premium. If you bought your car with a loan, your lienholder may require this coverage; otherwise, it’s usually optional.
Comprehensive coverage covers damage to your car that wasn’t caused by a crash, such as fire, theft, vandalism, storm damage, animal damage, or falling objects. Paired with collision coverage, comprehensive insurance helps pay for damage to your car that is outside of your control.
Does full coverage car insurance cover theft?
Typically comprehensive coverage (which is a separate coverage from collision coverage) will pay to replace a vehicle when it is verified as stolen. You may have a deductible for a comprehensive coverage claim. I highly recommend to people to add comprehensive coverage to a liability only policy as it is usually very inexpensive per month. Being in north Texas, we had a recent hail storm and comprehensive coverage will pay for repairs.
This is a great question. Honestly it depends on what you mean exactly by “Full Coverage.”
Often Full Coverage means auto coverage with comprehensive and collision. If you mean this, than more than likely you will be covered. However there could be exclusions to this so the best way to find out is to contact your insurance agent and ask them directly about your policy.
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Do I Need Full Coverage?
Although some auto insurance policies are required by law or by lenders, many of them come down to personal preference. If you don’t have much money saved up, it may be smart to protect yourself from a major liability in the event of an accident. In that case, you should purchase coverage that covers most situations and grants you a low deductible. Keep in mind, though, you’ll pay for that coverage in high premiums.
If you have plenty of money in savings and could absorb much of the cost of an accident, you might elect to choose less coverage or higher deductibles. Be careful, though: Medical expenses from an accident can be far more expensive than a new vehicle. Your agent can help you think through the risks involved and help you decide what full coverage auto insurance looks like for you.