Woman leaning on the back bumper of her car

What Is Full Coverage Insurance

Updated November 4, 2021 . AmFam Team

Learn more about common misconceptions regarding full coverage insurance and how you can make sure you’re totally protected with American Family Insurance.

If you’ve heard of full coverage auto insurance and wondered what it is — you’re not alone. While “full coverage” is not really a policy by itself, its name stands for a collection of insurance coverages that protect you and your vehicle in a variety of ways.

You create “full coverage” by combining liability, collision and comprehensive insurance together with other policies.  The easiest way to make sure you have all the coverage you need for your individual situation is to explore full coverage auto insurance quotes online, or discuss options with your American Family Insurance agent and craft a customized policy.

And remember, as times change, so should your insurance; an annual insurance policy review helps you stay on top of your coverage needs.

How Do Deductibles Work for Car Insurance?

A deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance coverage kicks in. Find the right deductible for your needs!

What Will Full Coverage Auto Insurance Cover?

Now that we’ve defined what it means to actually build full coverage car insurance, American Family provides all the standard coverage options and more.  Let’s explore how the combination of liability insurance with comprehensive and collision policy add-ons can give you coverage that you need to be fully protected.

a man on the phone after a car accident

Liability insurance

The foundation of your insurance plan is going to be liability coverage, which is legally required by many states. Liability helps pay the costs of damages and injuries to others if there is an accident and you were found at fault. Liability insurance can be bought at different levels and the legal requirement is typically a bare minimum. For full protection, however, you’ll want you’ll go beyond these low limits.

Your local insurance agent is available to answer any questions you have, and help ensure your limits are covering your needs.

Personal umbrella liability insurance

Umbrella insurance adds financial protection on top of your liability coverage. It acts as a supplement if you’re involved in an accident and the expenses— which can span a broad range of factors — exceed your auto policy. This not only gives you the peace of mind you want on the road, but the policy extends to give you added security at home or during travel; also covering recreational vehicles like boats, ATVs or snowmobiles.

Want to know more? Check out our list of five things you may not know about American Family umbrella insurance.

a fallen tree limb on top of a car

Comprehensive insurance

Sometimes people confuse full coverage with comprehensive — which is understandable since the word “comprehensive” sounds like it covers everything. Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle that happens from an incident that isn’t collision related. Typical situations include storm, fire, flood damage, hitting an animal and theft or vandalism.

Collision insurance

When your car hits another vehicle or an object, or is in a rollover, your collision insurance steps in to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses to your car. Collision protects you whether you were at fault or not.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance

Some states require you carry one or both insurance plans, just in case you’re involved in an accident with someone who doesn’t have enough, or any, car insurance.

Explore car insurance requirements by state further if you’re not sure what your state requirements are.

an injured arm being wrapped in gauze

Medical payments

With medical payments coverage, you get help paying medical bills for you, your family and your passengers when you’re involved in a covered accident resulting in bodily injuries. This protection also applies if you’re hit by a vehicle while walking or riding a bike.

You can see how combining these auto insurance coverages together gives you more protection on the road. It’s a smart way to protect your investment and get that full coverage security.

What Isn’t Included in Full Coverage Car Insurance?

Since your full coverage policy is customized, you get to choose what other insurance options you want. The auto insurance options listed above supply a great base, but you may also want to consider rolling one or more of these into your plan as well.

a woman looking under the hood of her car

Emergency roadside aid

Whether you’re stuck in your driveway with a dead battery or on the highway with an empty tank — you’ll be happy you added the inexpensive emergency roadside assistance option.

Rideshare insurance

If you’re a driver for Lyft or Uber, this insurance gives you added security during gaps in the auto insurance provided by that company.

Rental reimbursement coverage

If you are in an accident and your vehicle will be in the shop for a few days or more, this insurance helps pay for your rental car.

There are even more coverage options that might apply to your situation and help you round out your personal version of full car coverage. Reaching out to your American Family Insurance agent will help you figure out what fits.

a man sitting in the back of his car looking at mountains

Find the Right Coverage

If next you’re asking, "is full coverage really worth it for me?" then you're not alone; the answer to that will depend on your situation. Let's consider the following:

What are my state requirements for insurance?

Certain car insurance coverages may be required by your state and completely optional in others. Be sure to check car insurance requirements by state to see what you need.

Value of your vehicle

If you’re driving an older car with years of depreciation, and you’ve already paid it off, you might ask yourself, “do I need full coverage insurance on my vehicle?” You might not want to pour money into a policy for a car whose policy limits aren’t reachable.

Then again, if you have an expensive, new car — you probably want as much coverage as possible. In fact, it may not even be up for debate, depending on your lender’s financing requirements.

Your financial situation

A good rule of thumb to follow is, the best protection is the most insurance you can afford to carry. This is a personal decision and only you can decide how much you can afford to add on to your basic policy.

Your location

If you’re in a high crime area and car theft and vandalism are on the rise, then you can see how adding a little extra coverage to protect your ride might be a good idea.

How do you use your car?

A car that sits in storage most of the time probably doesn’t need as much coverage as one that travels long distances on a regular basis. In a situation like this, it might make sense to consider usage-based insurance products like *KnowYourDrive®.

When you sign up for KnowYourDrive, you're signing up for our telematics insurance program where the safer you drive, the better discount you can earn.

a woman and child smiling out a car window

How Much Is Full Coverage Auto Insurance?

While that answer is based on a variety of factors specific to you, a 2020 study published by AAA concluded that the average annual cost of a full coverage policy, across most vehicle types, was $1,202.

What does full coverage cover in this case? According to the study, “the policy included discounts for passive restraints and an anti-theft system, and provided $100,000/$300,000 personal liability, $25,000 medical, $100,000 property and $25,000/$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.”

A $500 deductible applied to all collision and comprehensive claims, as well.

Get Custom Auto Coverage with American Family Insurance

Now that you have a better understanding of the term "full coverage," you know full coverage car insurance is all about getting the right coverage for your car. So, where do you go from here? It’s simple — quote auto insurance coverages online, or with an agent there to guide you. We’re here to help craft the perfect coverage for you and your needs.

And, while you’re at it, if you haven’t reviewed your policy options with your agent in a while, or if you’ve recently experienced a change in your life — now is a great time to reconnect and explore possible insurance discounts you may not already have.

*Discounts will vary based on driving behavior. The KnowYourDrive discount applies only to these coverages, which are typical for most auto policies: bodily injury liability, property damage liability, collision and comprehensive, medical expense, underinsured and uninsured and personal injury of your policy.

To refresh your understanding of coverages, visit the Car Insurance Coverage page. Additionally, the discount does not apply to fixed fees that are part of your policy.

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