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What is full coverage?


There is no such thing as full coverage.

When you say “full coverage” car insurance, you likely mean that you’ve bought collision and comprehensive coverage -- which repair damage to your own car -- as well as state-required bodily injury and property damage liability insurance that pay if you hit another car or injure another person.

But even these four major coverages leave a lot of room for financial uncertainty.

For example, “full coverage” of collision, comprehensive and both types of liability would not pay for the injuries you or your passengers suffer in a car accident that’s your fault.  If you live in one of the 12 no-fault states you would be required to carry personal injury protection, elsewhere you need a separate health insurance policy or consider medical payments or first-party benefits to cover you and your passengers.

You would be vulnerable if you were hit by an uninsured motorist, too. Without their liability insurance, you would need uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage to pay your hospital bills. To repair your car, you would have to file a claim against your own collision insurance unless you had bought uninsured motorist property damage.

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If you are hit by an underinsured motorist, you would need to make up the difference between your bills and the other driver’s coverage yourself unless you have underinsured motorist property damage and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage.

You would not be covered if your car is totaled and you owe more than it is worth. You would need gap insurance in that instance.

You would not be covered for rental car reimbursement or towing.  And if you added expensive wheels or a fancy stereo to your vehicle then you would need custom parts and equipment coverage to cover them.

No insurance policy covers everything. If it did, the price might shock you.

See what each of the above mentioned types of coverage does, and what happens if you decide not to buy it, in our Coverage Definitions section.

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