First, there is no such thing.
Full coverage is a term that marketers use to describe a situation that covers a driver as much as possible, but you will never see an insurance company offer auto insurance to cover “absolutely everything.” However, this does not mean that you should not search out how you can get an insurance policy that covers you for as much as possible. There are multiple types of insurance that covers quite a number of situations.
Liability insurance is the type of insurance required or made mandatory in most US states. This insurance covers the other parties when you get into an accident. This insurance covers their property damage and injuries. This insurance’s mandatory minimum as posted by your state may be as little as Florida’s posted minimum, which is $10,000 per injury in a single accident, $20,000 for multiple injuries in a single accident and $10,000 for property damage.
It’s obvious to see why such little coverage would not provide complete coverage if you were in an accident. It is better to consult with your insurance provider about the average and maximum claim amounts in your state, giving you an idea how much liability insurance you should have.
Personal Injury Protection
PIP is usually an insurance that is mandatory in the 11 states and 1 area that have “no fault” auto insurance. In these states, you must purchase PIP as part of your mandatory insurance coverages, however there are 5 other states that have it as a requirement as well. PIP is insurance that covers your medical payments should you be injured in an accident. This coverage can vary greatly from state to state; based either on the state’s legislation or on the insurer’s themselves. One state may include 80% of lost wages in addition to medical expenses and some states are more liberal with accepting medical expenses such as acupuncture or massage compared to others.
Collision insurance covers your property damage should you be involved in an accident. This insurance generally covers accidents with other vehicles, stationary objects and rollover accidents.
This type of insurance is important especially if you live in an area that is subject to violent weather patterns including hail, tornadoes, hurricanes, ice storms or even high wind areas. It is also important if you live in a high crime area. Essentially this insurance protects your vehicle from acts of nature, vandalism and theft.
In states where PIP is not mandatory there is still an option to get medical expenses due to an accident covered in this type of coverage. This coverage would pay for medical expenses whether you were at fault or not.
Underinsured or Uninsured
Just because many states either have an auto insurance requirement or a financial responsibility law, the uninsured portion of drivers in some states runs as high as almost 26% as in Oklahoma state. Even the lowest state still has 4% of drivers that are uninsured. This does not include the millions of Americans that simply are underinsured that you may not be able to recover all your damages from if they cause an accident with you.
Needing a vehicle today is much like the necessity to have a cell phone or an internet connection. If you get into an accident this coverage can ensure that you have a rental vehicle while your car is getting repaired.
Emergency Road Service
Similar to AAA, this insurance coverage covers the cost of towing or labor needed in order to get your vehicle to the nearest repair shop. If you have a long commute or live in a rural area, long tow truck deliveries can be very expensive.
If you have financed a vehicle, are still paying on it and it gets totaled in an accident this coverage can pay off the “gap” between the value of the car and what was left owing. In many cases your car may be worth less than what you owe, giving you a substantial bill in certain cases.
Customized Parts or Equipment
Do you own a classic car, or have done significant modifications to your vehicle? Under normal coverage these parts are often not covered by normal collision insurance. To ensure you get the full value from these modifications you will need this insurance.
As a whole, if you were to get everyone one of these insurances, you would have as close as you can get to “full coverage car insurance” but you may be still very far from having total coverage. Every insurance company has limitations, omissions and occlusions in their policies to protect them from extenuating circumstances. This amount of insurance could also get very costly, unless you maximize your ability to get multiple discounts from your insurer.
When you are considering the most insurance you can afford, a number of insurer discounts should be taken into consideration. Through stacking as many of these discounts as you can, you may be able to afford a more full coverage insurance option. See if you qualify for all these discounts.
Safety Car features – safety features in vehicles are becoming more of a factor for insurance companies in offering lower premiums. If you have a rear back up camera, blind spot monitoring, lane change alerts, and adaptive cruise control, you might be eligible for a discount.
Passive Restraints – cars outfitted with seat belts and air bags are almost always given an extra discount; make sure you get yours.
Anti-Lock Brakes – this feature has been proven to prevent accidents especially in inclement northern climates. Check for it in your area.
Safe Driver – if you do not have any moving violations or accidents on your record, there is a good chance you will be eligible for this one.
Anti-Theft Device – if you have an alarm system installed on your vehicle, especially in high crime areas, or if your vehicle is listed as a high theft target in your area, many insurers are willing to give a break on your premium.
Low Mileage driven & Green Car – by driving less and committing to it, certain insurers can offer a low mileage discount. Some even offer insurance discounts for vehicle hybrids or electric vehicles.
Multi-car, Multi-policy & Pay in full – these three discounts are within the same category. Basically if you bundle your policies for multiple vehicles as well as your home or life insurance and pay up front there are often very good discounts available.
Pay Online & Military – if you agree to “paperless” billing some companies will provide a discount, while almost all insurers provide some sort of discount to those in active military service.
Affinity & Early Shoppers – if you are part of a business or corporate plan you may be considered an affinity member or if you can sign up for insurance at least 7 days before your current policy is set to expire these discounts may also apply.
Imagine if you were able to stack a number of these discounts together, how much closer to “full coverage insurance” you could get. In the end however, full coverage for every individual may differ based on their personal circumstances, their state’s insurance requirements and insurer’s own policy limitations.