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What is full coverage car insurance?


What most drivers and insurance agents refer to as full coverage is a car insurance policy that includes state-mandated car insurance coverages (this usually is bodily injury liability and property damage liability but also may include uninsured motorist and personal injury protection), along with physical damage coverages of collision and comprehensive.

Bodily injury liability covers other people’s medical costs for injuries and death for which you are responsible. Property damage liability covers you if your car damages someone else’s property. These coverages come with maximum limits that you choose at the inception of your policy.

Liability coverages don’t protect your car in any way, so that is why you purchase physical damage coverages. 

Collision insurance covers damage to your automobile caused by a collision with another object or by upset. Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle for damages caused by things other than collision, such as vandalism, theft, fire, flooding, hail or glass breakage.

Most lienholders require physical damage coverage if you are financing or leasing your vehicle. These coverages each come with a deductible, an amount due before your insurance benefits kick in.  

Whatever car insurance coverages you have are subject to the guidelines and terms of your policy, especially with regard to the payment of claims.  It is important to note that the term full coverage can be misleading, as no insurance policy covers every possible situation that could damage your car or cause injuries while in a car.

Learn more about the various types of coverages that you can get on your car insurance policy, including medical ones such as personal injury protection and medical payments, by reading through our types of car insurance page.

If you want to see how much it will cost to add collision coverage or the cost of adding comprehensive insurance to protect your vehicle, then get started with car insurance quotes and comparison shop the price of your policy with and without these coverages.

How much does full coverage car insurance cost?

The term full coverage is also used to refer to liability limits beyond the state minimum liability insurance required to drive legally. Usually full coverage is considered to have the following:

  • Full coverage liability of $100,000 per person injured in an accident you cause, up to $300,000 per accident, and $100,000 for property damage you cause, with a $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision. This is commonly written as 100/300/100.

The chart shows average annual rates for full coverage of 100/300/100 as outlined above. Enter your state in the search field in the chart below to see the average rate for where you live, as well as the highest and lowest rate fielded from major insurers. You'll see that you can save by comparing rates, as insurers price policies according to their unique risk assessment calculations.


    StateAverage annual rateHighest rateLowest rate
    North Carolina$960$1,640$481
    North Dakota$1,315$3,120$662
    New Hampshire$1,101$2,012$498
    New Jersey$1,346$2,734$566
    New Mexico$1,253$2,222$776
    New York$1,759$7,898$604
    Rhode Island$1,688$4,132$939
    South Carolina$1,260$1,837$808
    South Dakota$1,059$1,661$586
    West Virginia$1,375$2,415$941


    CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average auto insurance rates for a 2016 Honda Accord for nearly every ZIP code in the United States. We calculated rates using data for up to six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm).

    Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/100 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $100,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.

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    18 Responses to "What is full coverage car insurance?"
    1. Emilychristina

      You should suggest what insurance companies have better customer satisfaction in the specific category of insurance policy.

    2. sandy

      If someone else is driving your car she gets into a bad accident I am glad to know it is covered by my insurance because I have full coverage.

    3. sandra

      Does full coverage cover someone if driving car for emergency?

    4. Visitor

      Wow! Full coverage is not always full coverage, good to know!

    5. Visitor

      My roommate just got his second vehicle and because he has "full coverage" on his truck he states that I can drive the vehicle alone, despite the fact that I'm not on his insurance policy. My argument with him is that this is illegal or at least it be so in the state of Arkansas. Is this true... who's right?

      1. sandra June 05, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        Will full coverage cover other family members with a license?

          Reply »  
        1. Taylor December 28, 2016 at 10:03 PM

          You should only go with the definition of full coverage that the company you have your policy with gives you.

            Reply »  
    6. Visitor

      Was easy to understand.

    7. Anonymous

      I got what I was looking for, but not how I needed it.

    8. Anonymous

      i have a 2005 car full coverag if a other car hits me with out insurance is my car still coverd

    9. Anonymous

      my car got broken into and it is financed so i have full coverage, but since I have never gotten into an accident or had to use my insurance for anything I didnt really know what "full coverage" included. This answered my questions by 100%.

    10. Anonymous

      legal stealing like MADOFF!

    11. Anonymous

      No medical information? All ethics went out the window years ago.

    12. Anonymous

      I totaled my car on July 3, 2008. It was my fault so they say. My question is why did my passenger get paid, but not me. I dont understand. I thought thats why you have full coverage. I have a scar on my left forearm and I also have whip lash. Why is it that I dont get paid for my pain and suffering?

    13. Anonymous

      Got what I was looking for!

    14. Anonymous

      It excplained the types of coverage, it did not answer what "full coverage" means, and whether "full coverage", subject to the deducible and policy limits, covers the true loss suffered to your vehicle as a result of an accident. Most insurance companies, as I understand it, only covers partial loss you sustained, even if they advertise their coverage as "full coverage".

    15. Anonymous

      Do most people believe that? Subject to perhaps a deductible and up to the policy limits, "full coverage" means you are subject to full coverage for the loss to your vehicle if it is caused by an accident? After all, the term "full coverage" should not mean "partial coverage" for our loss. I would like the answer and if there are any stactics on the meaning.

    16. Anonymous

      You should suggest what insurance companies have better customer satisfaction in the specific category of insurance policy. For example which insurance company offers more protection, or more extras in comprehensive coverage. Thank you. LG

    Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided are for information purposes. They are not intended to substitute informed professional advice. These responses should not be interpreted as a recommendation to buy or sell any insurance product, or to provide financial or legal advice. Please refer to your insurance policy for specific coverage and exclusion information. Please read our Terms of Service.

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