Full coverage auto insurance means you have coverage for your own car, not just the other guy’s. It typically combines collision and comprehensive insurance, which pay out if your vehicle is damaged, plus liability coverage, which pays for injuries and damage you cause to others.
Since it covers more situations, full coverage car insurance is pricier than liability coverage alone. To find cheap full coverage insurance, it’s important to shop around for the best rates.
What is full coverage car insurance?
Full coverage car insurance isn’t a specific type of policy, but typically a combination of required and optional coverages:
- Collision coverage pays for repairs to your car if you cause a crash with another vehicle or run into an object, such as a tree or a telephone pole.
- Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace your car if it’s stolen or damaged by a covered cause, such as an animal collision, extreme weather, theft, a falling object, fire or vandalism.
- Liability coverage helps pay to treat other people’s injuries and repair their property if you cause a crash.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are also sometimes considered part of full coverage insurance because they’re required in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage pays out if another driver hits you but doesn’t have enough (or any) insurance to cover the medical costs. You can also purchase uninsured motorist coverage for property damage, which is required in seven states and D.C.
But full coverage auto insurance doesn’t cover everything. If you want extras like new-car replacement insurance, emergency roadside assistance or custom parts and equipment coverage, you may need to add these options separately.
How much is full coverage insurance?
The national average cost of full coverage auto insurance in 2020 is $1,427 per year for a 40-year-old good driver with good credit, according to a NerdWallet analysis of rates.
The cost of full coverage climbs for drivers with blemishes on their record or multiple cars to insure. National average rates for full coverage car insurance are:
- $1,427 for a good driver with good credit.
- $1,781 after a speeding ticket.
- $2,146 after an at-fault wreck.
- $2,506 for a good driver with poor credit.
- $2,531 after a DUI.
Those are rates for singles, but policies with more drivers and cars aren’t always more expensive. Here are national average rates for full coverage car insurance for a 50-year-old married couple, with and without a teen.
- $2,106 for a married couple with two cars.
- $3,906 for a married couple plus a teen driver, with two cars.
» MORE: Compare car insurance rates
How to find cheap full coverage car insurance
Full coverage auto insurance gives you much better protection than state-mandated minimums — especially for wrecks that aren’t your fault — but it also means higher rates.
To find the cheapest full coverage auto insurance, it’s important to shop around. The price you pay for full coverage depends partly on personal factors, such as your credit and accident history.
Another important factor is the company you choose. On average, you can save $650 a year or more by picking the cheapest company available to you instead of the most expensive — and that’s only considering the nation’s seven biggest auto insurers. In many cases, going with a small, regional insurer can save you even more.
Nationwide, here are average annual prices for full coverage policies from the seven largest car insurance companies.
- Geico: $1,198.
- State Farm: $1,511.
- Progressive: $1,766.
- Liberty Mutual: $1,778.
- Allstate: $1,834.
- Farmers: $1,865.
- USAA*: $1,023.
*USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families.
Average rates reflect a policy with liability, collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist coverage, and other state-required coverage where needed. The sample driver is 40 years old with no moving violations and credit in the “good” tier.
Minimum vs. full coverage insurance: 2020 rates
NerdWallet compared 2020 rates for minimum and full coverage auto policies across the country. Among the largest companies, we found that full coverage auto insurance costs more than twice as much as minimum coverage, on average.
Minimum vs. full coverage average annual rates by company
|Company||Full coverage||Minimum coverage||Annual difference|
|*USAA is only available to military members, veterans and their families.|
» MORE: Average Car Insurance Costs
Minimum vs. full coverage average annual rates by state
Prices vary even more by state. Compare average rates below for minimum and full coverage car insurance in each state.
|State||Full coverage||Minimum coverage||Annual difference|
|District of Columbia||$1,527||$755||$772|
These average rates can help you know what to expect, but to get the cheapest full coverage insurance possible, you’ll want to compare car insurance quotes.
Full coverage insurance rates in your state
Click on your state in the table below to see which companies offer the cheapest full coverage car insurance there for several types of drivers.
Who needs full coverage insurance?
Full coverage insurance isn’t required by law. Many states mandate only a small amount of auto liability insurance. But that won’t cover your injuries or car repairs — only damage or injuries you cause others.
If you have an auto loan or lease, your lender likely requires you to buy collision and comprehensive coverage. The vast majority of companies offer them, but some insurers don’t let you purchase one without the other.
Buying full coverage auto insurance may be a sound investment if:
- You have a new or expensive car.
- You regularly commute in heavy traffic.
- You live in a place with extreme weather, high car theft rates or a high risk of animal collisions.
- You can’t afford to repair or replace your car if it’s wrecked or stolen.
For an older vehicle, however, full coverage may not be worth the cost. Comprehensive and collision insurance reimburse you only up to the cash value of your car at the time it’s damaged or stolen. And they usually have a deductible — an amount you’re expected to pay out of pocket toward repair or replacement.
Imagine it costs you $600 per year for comprehensive and collision and you have a $1,000 deductible. If your car is worth $2,000, a claim check would be $1,000 at most — only $400 more than you paid for the coverage. Checking your car’s current value here can help you decide whether full coverage makes sense.
Even with full coverage, there are other policy options you might need. For example, uninsured motorist coverage, gap insurance and medical payments insurance all pay for expenses full coverage car insurance won’t. If you’re on the fence, play with the coverage options you see online when shopping for car insurance quotes.
Comparing full coverage insurance quotes
When you shop for car insurance from different carriers, it’s important to compare quotes for the same coverage. Otherwise, you might think you got a good price, only to find that your coverage is lacking when it’s time to file a claim.
When comparing quotes for full coverage car insurance, be sure to:
- Use the same deductibles and liability limits across quotes. This way, you’re comparing prices for the same coverage. And when choosing collision and comprehensive deductibles, stick to an amount you could come up with for repairs after a crash.
- Compare add-on coverage details. Options like gap insurance, accident forgiveness and pet injury coverage vary from one insurer to the next. Be sure to check each company’s website for details and restrictions.
- Provide the same information every time. If you’re using multiple tools to get quotes, make sure the drivers, cars, address and driving history all match.
MethodologyNerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women for all ZIP codes in any of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., in which the insurer was one of the largest insurance companies (by premiums written). “Good drivers” had no moving violations on record and an insurance credit score considered “good” by each insurer; a “good driving” discount was included for this profile. Sample drivers had the following coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
- $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.
- $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.
- Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
- Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.
- For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect only the minimum coverage required by law in the state.
- We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit.
- For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.
- For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
- For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.