Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Mar 7, 2022

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

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Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

The Short of It

  • Full coverage auto insurance is actually a combination of liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages
  • Full coverage is most expensive because it offers the most protection
  • Save money on full coverage insurance by taking advantage of discounts and raising deductibles

Although most states require auto insurance, a single auto insurance plan usually isn’t enough to offer complete protection. Full coverage insurance provides the most protection for you and your vehicle.

But, what does full coverage car insurance cover? It might surprise you to learn that full coverage isn’t one coverage but a combination that offers complete coverage.

When considering coverages, your vehicle and how you use it will determine which coverages are right for you. Although full coverage is highly recommended, not every driver needs it.

Keep reading to learn more about exactly what full coverage car insurance covers and if it’s right for you.

What does full coverage car insurance cover?

Most car insurance companies use full coverage to refer to a collection of individual coverages that offer the most protection when combined. So what is full coverage insurance?

First, full coverage auto insurance consists of liability coverage. Liability provides property damage and bodily injury protection if you cause an accident. Liability insurance does not cover you or your vehicle. However, most states require drivers to carry liability coverage to protect others.

Next, collision insurance covers damages to your vehicle from an accident. Collision protects your car, whether you hit a tree, fence, or another vehicle.

Finally, comprehensive coverage is included. Comprehensive insurance pays for damages to your vehicle unrelated to an accident. These damages include fire, theft, vandalism, falling debris like tree limbs, and acts of nature such as floods, hail, and tornados.

Other auto insurance coverages can be required or encouraged, depending on your state.

Other auto insurance coverages sometimes required include:

  • Medical payments. Coverage pays for bodily injuries of you and your passengers after an accident, such as hospital visits, X-rays, and surgery.
  • Personal injury protection. Like medical payments, coverage also helps pay for bodily injuries and covers loss of income and child care.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. Coverage pays for damages if a driver hits you with little or no liability coverage.

In addition, car insurance companies usually offer roadside assistance and rental car coverage.

Keep in mind some damages aren’t covered even with full coverage. For example, damages from racing, off-road driving, rideshare, or business use aren’t covered.

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How much is full coverage insurance?

It makes sense that full coverage rates are the highest because more coverage is offered. However, a variety of auto insurance companies provide affordable full coverage insurance.

This table shows average annual coverage rates from top insurance companies for comparison.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates Based on Coverage Type
CompanyAverage Annual Rates for Low CoverageAverage Annual Rates for Medium CoverageAverage Annual Rates for High Coverage
American Family$3,368.49$3,544.37$3,416.40
Liberty Mutual$5,805.75$6,058.57$6,356.04
State Farm$3,055.40$3,269.80$3,454.80
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While full coverage averages about $30 a month more, you and your vehicle are more protected. Otherwise, you will pay out of pocket for damages to your car.

Who needs full coverage car insurance?

While recommended, not everyone needs full coverage car insurance. If your car is older or not worth much money, you might come out cheaper paying for repairs yourself. However, full coverage is a must for other drivers.

Consider adding full coverage car insurance if:

  • Your car is new or expensive. New or expensive cars are also costly to repair or replace.
  • You have a car loan or lease. Lenders require full coverage to protect their investment. In addition, GAP coverage may also be necessary until what you owe is equal to the vehicle’s value.
  • You live in an area with high traffic volume, extreme weather conditions, or thefts. Collision and comprehensive covers damages from any of those events.
  • You can’t afford to repair your vehicle yourself. Repairs can be very expensive. If you don’t have enough money set aside, you may be unable to get your car back on the road.

Note that you will still have to pay a deductible, even if you have full coverage. The deductible amount depends on your specific policy and how much you want to pay out of pocket.

How can you save on full coverage car insurance?

If you want full coverage without the higher rates, there are easy ways to save money.

First, take advantage of car insurance discounts. Most insurers offer discounts based on the driver, policy, and vehicle. Bundle available discounts for the most significant savings.

This table shows typical car insurance discounts from top companies. The savings amount is listed if available.

Auto Insurance Discounts By Company
Auto Insurance DiscountsAllstate (%)American Family (%)Farmers (%)GEICO (%)Liberty Mutual (%)Nationwide (%)Progressive (%)State Farm (%)Travelers (%)USAA (%)
Adaptive Cruise ControlN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Adaptive HeadlightsN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Anti-lock Brakesxxx555x5xx
Claim Freexxx26x10x152312
Continuous CoveragexxxxN/AN/AxN/A15N/A
Daytime Running Lightsxxx155xN/Axx
Defensive Driverxxxx105105103
Distant StudentxxxxN/A10xx7x
Driver's Edxxxx10N/A101583
Driving Device/AppxxN/Ax30402050305
Early SigningxxxxN/A8xN/A1012
Electronic Stability ControlxxxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Family LegacyN/AxN/AxN/AN/AxN/AN/A10
Family PlanN/AxxN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/A
Farm VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Federal EmployeeN/AN/Ax810N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Forward Collision WarningN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Full PaymentN/Axxx$5N/AxN/A7.5N/A
Further EducationN/AN/AN/Ax1015N/AN/AxN/A
Good CreditxxN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/A
Good Studentxxx1522.510x2583
Green VehiclexN/A5N/A10N/AN/AN/A10N/A
Lane Departure WarningN/AN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/AN/A
Life InsurancexN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/A
Low Mileagexxxxxxx30xx
Military GaragingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15
Multiple Policies1029x102010121713x
Multiple Vehiclesxxx25102010208x
New Customer/New PlanN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New GraduateN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Newer VehiclexN/AxxN/Axx401012
Newly LicensedN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Occasional OperatorN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
On-Time PaymentsxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15N/A
Online ShopperN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A7N/AN/AN/A
Paperless DocumentsxxxN/AN/A5$50N/AN/AN/A
Paperless/Auto BillingxxxN/Ax$30x$233
Passive Restraintxxx40x20x40xx
Recent RetireesN/AN/AN/AN/A4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Safe DriverN/AN/Ax15N/A3531152312
Seat Belt UseN/AN/AN/A15N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Senior DriverxN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
Stable ResidenceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AxxN/AN/AN/A
Students & AlumniN/AxN/Ax107N/AN/AN/AN/A
Switching ProviderN/AxxN/A10N/AxN/AN/AN/A
Utility VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Vehicle Recoveryxxx153525x5xx
VIN EtchingN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/Axx
Young DriverN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AxN/AN/A$75
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Next, raise deductibles. While higher deductibles mean you pay more yourself, rates are also lower.

Finally, shop around for lower rates. Every auto insurance company will weigh your personal factors that affect rates differently. Compare multiple companies to find full coverage with low rates.

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What Full Coverage car Insurance Covers: the Bottom Line

Full coverage doesn’t actually exist on its own. Instead, full coverage combines liability, collision, and comprehensive to protect you and your vehicle more thoroughly.

Drivers with a new or expensive vehicle, car loan, or leased vehicle should consider full coverage to keep out-of-pocket costs low. However, drivers with an older or inexpensive car may not need full coverage.

Save money on full coverage car insurance by adding discounts, raising deductibles, and shopping around for the lowest rates.