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Some agents, lenders, and insurers describe full coverage auto insurance as carrying both liability and physical damage coverages. However, there's no consensus on what "full coverage car insurance" means. Don't be fooled—no insurer can sell a policy where you're 100% covered in all situations.
What does "full coverage" car insurance mean?
When financing or leasing a vehicle, your lender may use the term "full coverage," but that simply means they're requiring you to carry comprehensive and collision plus anything else your state mandates. Liability is a required coverage in nearly every state, while comprehensive and collision (physical damage coverages) are optional.
Instead of asking, "is my car insurance full coverage?," ask your agent or insurance company if you have the right coverages. Paying for every protection offered by your insurance company could be a waste of money. On the other hand, while your lender may consider state-minimum liability as sufficient, that may not be enough coverage to properly protect you and the other drivers on your policy. Your coverages should be customized to you, your family, and your vehicle.
Your lender may use the term "full coverage," but that simply means they're requiring you to carry comprehensive and collision, plus anything your state mandates.
Should I add optional coverages?
If you bought a new car or added a new driver to your policy, consider maximizing your coverages. That means increasing the limits of liability and adding coverages that protect against a damaged or totaled vehicle. Even if your lender doesn't require any coverage, a new vehicle is an important investment and should be protected as such. Comprehensive and collision will pay for damages to your vehicle due to accidents and incidents that are both in and out of your control.
If your vehicle's value is extremely minimal (less than $2,000), it may not make sense to carry physical damage coverage. Should you decide to select liability coverage only, make sure you'll be able to purchase a new vehicle out of your own pocket in the event it's totaled and uninsured.
Extra coverage like roadside assistance or rental car reimbursement is typically inexpensive and can be purchased at your discretion as well.
What does "full coverage" insurance cost?
Adding physical damage protection and other optional coverages will cost more than a liability-only policy (PLPD). How much more will depend on many factors, including the year, make, and model of the vehicle you want to protect, plus the deductible you select (the cost of comprehensive and collision coverage will decrease if you choose a higher deductible). Keep in mind that a policy with extensive coverage can be more affordable than you might think, as Progressive offers many discounts to help you attain cheap full coverage car insurance.
Insurance Coverages offered
Here's a summary of most auto insurance coverages available.*Disclaimer Remember, there is no combination of coverages that we'd call a "full coverage policy." See our coverage types in more detail.
Liability: If you're at fault in an accident, liability coverage pays for damages or injuries you cause to others, plus lawsuit costs if you're sued, up to your policy's limits. See more on liability coverage.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury and property damage: Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance pays for injuries and/or damage to your vehicle, up to specified limits, if you're hit by a motorist with no insurance or not enough coverage. See more on UMBI/PD coverage.
Medical payments: Regardless of fault, medical payments can cover medical bills and funeral expenses if you're in an accident. Coverage extends to family members and your passengers. In some states, personal injury protection substitutes for medical payments and covers you similarly. See more on medical payments.
Comprehensive: If your car is damaged or totaled due to an event out of your control (theft, vandalism, fire, glass breakage, hitting an animal or weather-related issues), comprehensive coverage can pay to repair or replace your vehicle, minus any deductible. See more on comprehensive coverage.
Collision: Collision coverage can pay to repair or replace your vehicle, minus your deductible, if your vehicle collides with a car, motorcycle, tree, guardrail, or any other object—regardless of fault. See more on collision coverage.
Loan or lease payoff coverage: Also known as "gap insurance," loan lease payoff coverage can cover the difference between what you owe on your vehicle loan and what the vehicle was actually worth before it was totaled. See more on gap coverage.
Rental car reimbursement: If you're involved in a covered accident and unable to drive your vehicle, rental car coverage can reimburse you for the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. See more on rental car reimbursement.
Roadside assistance: If your vehicle is disabled for any reason, our roadside coverage provides towing to the nearest repair facility or up to 15 miles to the mechanic of your choice.