Full Coverage in Auto Insurance: A Misleading Term

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February 29, 2024

Decoding The Misleading Nature of Full Coverage in Auto Insurance

You’ve probably heard the term “full coverage” regarding auto insurance. It sounds great – who wouldn’t want every possible scenario covered by their policy? But what exactly does full coverage car insurance consist of, and what are its components?

The phrase full coverage is misleading. Bottom line, full coverage does not exist. This article will focus on auto insurance coverage explained in detail.

The Myth of Full Coverage Auto Insurance

Full coverage describes a policy that combines three car insurance coverage types: liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage.

Liability coverage pays for personal injuries or property damage you cause to others in an accident. Under state law, liability coverage has a minimum threshold, known as the state minimum coverage. Comprehensive and collision coverage pay for damage to your own vehicle from theft, vandalism, car accidents, and other mishaps.

A full coverage insurance policy gives you more protection than the minimum, required by law. But there are still substantial gaps in your coverages and options. For example, typical full coverage insurance policies do not include additional types of car insurance add-ons like:

  • Roadside Assistance – covers services like towing or tire changes
  • Rental Reimbursement – will cover the cost for a rental car if your vehicle is in the shop after an accident
  • Gap Insurance – If your car is totaled, the policy will cover the difference between your car’s value and the balance of your loan.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – The policy will pay if the at fault driver has no insurance or not enough.

You never have ‘full protection’ with just liability, comprehensive and collision insurance. In certain situations, you might have to pay out of pocket for certain expenses.

Cost of car insurance is major factor, obviously. However, protecting yourself, you family and your assets might be a bigger priority. Going for the cheapest full coverage auto insurance could cause problems in the future. The true costs of full coverage are more than just monetary.

What Full Coverage Does and Doesn’t Include

All of this leads us to the key question: What is considered full coverage insurance? To better understand what full coverage insurance does and does not cover, let’s take a deeper look. Included in ‘full coverage’ car insurance is:

  • Bodily injury liability – covers person injuries to others caused by you up to the coverage limits you choose
  • Property damage liability – covers damage you cause to others’ property up to the coverage limits you select
  • Collision – does full coverage cover at fault accidents? Yes, it pays for damage to your car after an accident with another car or object
  • Comprehensive – covers damage from non-crash events like theft, vandalism, fire, weather, animals

However, full coverage insurance does NOT include:

  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury – covers your medical costs if hit by an uninsured driver
  • Uninsured motorist property damage – pays for car repairs if hit by an uninsured driver
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) or Medical payments coverage – covers medical expenses regardless of fault
  • Roadside assistance
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • Gap insurance
  • Coverage for damage to custom parts or equipment beyond factory installed features
  • New car replacement – pays to replace a new car if totaled

The problem is that the term “full coverage” implies you’re getting every type of coverage imaginable. This situation should lead to frequently asked questions about what full coverage entails. However, most auto insurance sales people fail to properly explain the limitations of full coverage insurance to their customers.

These major gaps that could leave you paying hefty bills if you file a claim after an accident. Full coverage insurance provides important protections. Yet it does not truly provide comprehensive coverage.

When Full Coverage Auto Insurance Makes Sense

Despite not being truly all-encompassing, full coverage auto insurance is still a smart choice in many situations.

You’ll generally want full coverage insurance if:

  1. You have an auto loan – lenders often require both collision and comprehensive coverage to protect their investment
  2. You lease a car – leasing companies require full coverage auto insurance
  3. Your car is worth more than the average cost of a car – it makes sense to have coverage to pay for repairs or replacement
  4. You can’t afford major car repairs – gives you peace of mind
  5. You have assets to protect – prevents you from paying medical bills or lawsuit settlements

As personal injury attorneys, we frequently see gaps in auto insurance coverage that leave accident victims vulnerable. In our experience, the protection that most drivers expect from “full coverage” is actually insufficient.

We recommend: liability coverage, collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist coverage, and medical payments coverage. Adding an umbrella policy on top provides the true comprehensive protection that drivers should seek when purchasing auto insurance.

How Much Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Cost?

Wondering how much is full coverage insurance a month? Or are you looking for the cheapest full coverage car insurance? It averages to about $139.50, considering the annual cost of car insurance premiums are $1,674 according to NerdWallet.

The exact full coverage insurance cost depends on factors like:

  1. Your age – rates are higher for teens and drop as you get older
  2. Driving History – maintaining a clean driving record can significantly reduce your car insurance rates
  3. Location – costs more in areas with high accident rates
  4. Vehicle type – insuring sports cars or luxury cars costs more
  5. Credit – insurers charge more if you have poor credit in most states
  6. Coverage limits – higher liability coverage limits cost more but provide more protection

For the best car insurance for full coverage, compare car insurance quotes from companies offering discounts. Also consider raising your deductible, and inquire about car insurance discounts. These strategies can affect your full coverage car insurance quotes by lowering premiums. Just be sure you can afford the deductible amount, a key factor in finding cheap car insurance.

The Reality of Full Coverage Insurance

Let’s be clear – full coverage auto insurance does not actually provide complete, all-encompassing protection. You’re just getting a bundled package of basic liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. No matter what policy you choose, there will always be limitations, exclusions, and scenarios where you are vulnerable.

Full coverage insurance, along with any additional coverages you select, provides strong financial protection after an accident. Forbes even agrees that no policy delivers 100% comprehensive protection. We recommend working with an independent insurance agent to carefully review available options and customize your policy.

If you’ve been in an accident and your insurer is giving you the run around, contact Georgia Trial Attorneys. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have spent decades fighting insurance companies.

Don’t settle for less than you deserve. CALL NOW today for a free consultation on your auto accident claim. Our team is standing by to help you get the fair outcome you need.

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