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Cheap Full Coverage Car Insurance: What It Is and How to Find It

Full coverage auto insurance can pay out for theft, natural disasters and more, but it costs more than twice as much as minimum coverage, so it’s best to price shop.
Sept. 4, 2020
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Full coverage auto insurance means you have coverage for your own car, not just the other driver’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.

» MORE: Compare car insurance 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.

Full coverage car insurance may include:

Coverage typeWhat it pays forRequired?
Bodily injury liabilityMedical costs due to injuries or deaths from an accident you caused.Generally required.
Property damage liabilityRepair costs for property you damaged in an accident.Generally required.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury liability Medical costs after an accident with an uninsured driver.Required in 20 states and Washington, D.C.
Uninsured motorist property damage coverageRepair costs after an accident with an uninsured driver.Required in 7 states and Washington, D.C.
Collision coverageRepair costs to your car if you cause a crash with another vehicle or run into an object, such as a tree or a telephone pole.Typically optional. A car loan or lease may require it.
Comprehensive coverageRepair costs from events outside your control — including weather, hitting an animal while driving, theft and vandalism.Typically optional. A car loan or lease may require it.

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 them separately.

» MORE: Roadside assistance: Where to get it, what to ask

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. Insurers use a credit-based insurance score that looks at such factors as payment history and outstanding debt, and is different from your regular credit score. 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.

Broken down by gender, average full coverage car insurance rates are:

  • $2,020 for a 40-year-old female driver.
  • $1,986 for a 40-year-old male driver.

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: Average car insurance costs

How to find cheap full coverage 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 cheap 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 considering only 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 insurance from the seven largest car insurance companies:

*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 a good insurance credit score.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s auto insurance reviews for 2020

Full coverage insurance vs. minimum: 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.

Full coverage vs. minimum average annual rates by company

CompanyFull coverageMinimum coverageAnnual difference
*USAA is only available to military members, veterans and their families.
Geico$1,198$478$720
State Farm$1,511$624$887
Progressive$1,766$774$992
Liberty Mutual$1,778$900$878
Allstate$1,834$784$1,050
Farmers$1,865$926$939
USAA*$1,023$415$608

» MORE: Comparing Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm car insurance

Full coverage vs. minimum 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.

StateFull coverageMinimum coverageAnnual difference
National average$1427$606$821
Alabama$1,401$558$843
Alaska$1,180$456$724
Arizona$1,409$581$828
Arkansas$1,427$558$869
California$1,627$636$991
Colorado$1,570$636$934
Connecticut$1,683$854$829
Delaware$1,559$839$720
Florida$1,594$690$904
Georgia$1,176$487$689
Hawaii$937$362$575
Idaho$1,163$437$726
Illinois$994$409$585
Indiana$997$309$688
Iowa$1,306$434$872
Kansas$2,161$983$1,178
Kentucky$2,971$1,150$1,821
Louisiana$916$367$549
Maine$1,595$800$795
Maryland$1,299$550$749
Massachusetts$2,331$1,285$1,046
Michigan$1,280$579$701
Minnesota$1,385$513$872
Mississippi$1,339$505$834
Missouri$1,252$395$857
Montana$1,181$420$761
Nebraska$1,881$902$979
Nevada$1,056$415$641
New Hampshire$1,759$994$765
New Jersey$1,241$484$757
New Mexico$1,962$1,026$936
New York$1,075$411$664
North Carolina$1,235$400$835
North Dakota$1,051$463$588
Ohio$1,595$583$1,012
Oklahoma$1,228$639$589
Oregon$1,167$413$754
Pennsylvania$1,684$820$864
Rhode Island$1,458$656$802
South Carolina$1,245$312$933
South Dakota$1,170$426$744
Tennessee$1,471$664$807
Texas$1,248$607$641
Utah$993$327$666
Vermont$960$381$579
Virginia$1,261$652$609
Washington$1,527$755$772
Washington, D.C.$2,352$1,188$1,164
West Virginia$1,307$504$803
Wisconsin$1,005$359$646
Wyoming$1,184$333$851

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.

Cheap full coverage insurance by state

Use the calculator below to see which companies offer cheap full coverage car insurance near you.

Cheap full coverage insurance by age

Age will also have an impact on your full coverage insurance quotes. In a separate 2020 rates analysis, NerdWallet found teen drivers have higher car insurance rates than any other age group on average. Rates for full coverage auto insurance generally start to decrease as you age and gain more driving experience, until you reach your 70s.

To find these rates, we looked at 2020 average car insurance rates for young drivers from the five largest auto insurance companies in every ZIP code in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The top five car insurers in the country are State Farm, Geico, Progressive, Allstate and USAA. See the rates by age methodology for more details.

Average full coverage vs. minimum insurance by age

AgeFullMinimumAnnual difference
16$6,457$2,497$3,960
17$5,216$1,979$3,237
18$4,532$1,667$2,865
19$3,327$1,185$2,142
20$2,982$1,040$1,942
21$2,454$852$1,602
22$2,265$790$1,475
23$2,104$727$1,377
24$1,982$684$1,298
25$1,760$615$1,145
30$1,584$563$1,021
35$1,564$559$1,005
40$1,536$554$982
45$1,522$551$971
50$1,448$535$913
55$1,420$525$895
60$1,415$526$889
65$1,457$550$907
70$1,536$588$948
75$1,701$661$1,040
80$1,894$748$1,146

Cheap full coverage insurance companies by age

Across all ages, Geico had the cheapest average annual rates for widely available full coverage insurance. USAA, which is offered only to active military, veterans and their families, was often cheapest or second-cheapest for all ages.

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.

» MORE: Minimum car insurance requirements by state

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 these policies, 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 an insurance deductible, an amount you’re expected to pay out of pocket toward repair or replacement.

» MORE: Understanding comprehensive and collision insurance

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 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.

METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet 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.

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • 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.

We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE in all cases and assumed 12,000 annual miles driven. In all cases, a paperless discount, e-signature discount and electronic funds transfer discount were automatically applied. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

RATES BY AGE METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet averaged insurance estimates from the largest insurers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., for single male and female drivers with good credit and no tickets or violations. For full coverage policies, we used the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. Some policies include additional coverages at the insurer’s discretion.

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • We used a 2017 Toyota Camry LE for all drivers and assumed 12,000 annual miles driven.
  • We analyzed rates for drivers of the following ages: 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75 and 80.

These are rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

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