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rental car damage and liability insurance

Fully comprehensive car insurance, also known as full coverage insurance, provides more protection than minimum liability coverage. It combines liability insurancecollision insurance, and comprehensive insurance to fully cover damages to your own vehicle as well as injuries or damages you may cause others in an accident. Key differences from minimum coverage:

  • Covers damage to your own car

  • Typically more expensive

  • Includes additional coverages like uninsured motoristmedical paymentsroadside assistance

Fully comprehensive car insurance is an extension of the comprehesive coverage that you would need in the future

Fully comprehensive insurance gives drivers enhanced financial protection for their vehicle and assets.

Types of Coverage in Fully Comprehensive Insurance

Fully comprehensive insurance includes three main types of coverage:

Liability Insurance

This coverage protects you if you cause an accident that injures another person or damages their property. There are two components:

  • Bodily Injury Liability - pays medical expenses for injuries to others caused by an at-fault accident

  • Property Damage Liability - pays to repair or replace another driver's vehicle or other property damaged in an at-fault accident

Liability insurance is required in most states. Fully comprehensive policies meet state minimums and usually provide higher limits for enhanced protection.

Collision Insurance

Collision insurance covers damage to your own vehicle after an accident, regardless of fault. For example, if you have an accident with another car, hit an object, or roll your car over, collision insurance will pay for repairs or replacement expenses of your vehicle.

Collision is an optional coverage not required by law. But lenders often require it for financed/leased vehicles.

Comprehensive Insurance

Comprehensive insurance (also called "other than collision") covers damage to your car that is not from an accident with another vehicle. This includes:

  • Theft

  • Vandalism

  • Storm damage (hail, floods)

  • Fire

  • Falling objects

  • Animal collisions

Like collision, comprehensive is an optional coverage, but commonly required by auto lenders or when you ask for a loan to your bank. It provides financial protection for your asset in situations outside of your control.

In summary, fully comprehensive auto insurance bundles:

  • Liability insurance (mandatory bodily injury and property damage)

  • Collision insurance (optional, covers your car in accidents)

  • Comprehensive insurance (optional, covers non-accident damage)

This three-pronged protection covers you and your assets in most common accident and non-accident car damage scenarios.

Additional Coverages

In addition to the core coverages of liability, collision, and comprehensive, fully comprehensive auto insurance policies may include these extra protections:

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage pays for injuries to you or your passengers if you are hit by a driver with no insurance.

Underinsured motorist coverage pays for injuries when the at-fault driver's liability limits are insufficient to cover all medical bills and losses.

These coverages protect you when dealing with those drivers who violate insurance laws when they drive without insurance. Some states require one or both.

Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection

Medical payments and personal injury protection (PIP) pay your medical bills after an accident, regardless who is at fault. They cover:

  • Ambulance services

  • Hospital visits

  • Rehab

  • Lost wages

PIP may also cover household expenses if injuries are so severe, preventing you from performing tasks while you’re injured. Again, this coverage option is required in 12 states.

Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance provides help with:

  • Towing after an accident/breakdown

  • Tire changes

  • Lockout service

  • Battery jump starts

  • Fuel delivery

It protects you from the costs and headaches of being stranded.

Rental Car Reimbursement

If your vehicle can't be driven due to the severity of accident repairs, rental car reimbursement covers will cover the rental cost while your car is in the shop. It pays for a rental car for a specified time period, that often to be around 30 days.

In summary, fully comprehensive insurance may bundle:

  • Core coverages (liability, collision, comprehensive)

  • Supplemental options like uninsured motorist, medical payments, roadside assistance, and rental car reimbursement

This coverage option from fully comprehensive coverage insurance will complete protection for you, your passengers, your car, and your ability to safely operate your vehicle. Speak to an insurance agent for details on additional coverages available to you.

When Fully Comprehensive Insurance is Recommended

Fully comprehensive insurance provides enhanced financial protection for your vehicle and assets. Here are some common situations when getting full coverage is advised:

New or Expensive Vehicles

If you have a new vehicle or just one of those cars with high value like luxury or sport cars, full coverage is highly recommended. Collision and comprehensive will pay the repair or replace costs of your car if it's damaged or totaled. So if you buy a new/expensive vehicle, repair bills will be steep, and replacing the vehicle could be devastating without proper coverage.

Required by Lenders for Loans/Leases

If you finance or lease a car, the lender will require full coverage. Here's why:

  • You don't fully own a financed vehicle - the lender owns part until you pay off the loan

  • With a leased car, you don't own the vehicle at all

  • If the vehicle gets totaled, the lender wants to ensure you can pay off what you owe

Liability insurance alone won't cover repairs or replacement of your vehicle, meaning that will leave you unable to cover the loan balance. Full coverage is mandatory to protect the lender's financial interest.

Drivers at High Risk for Accidents

Certain drivers have an elevated risk of being in an accident, such as:

  • Teen drivers

  • Drivers with DUI convictions

  • Drivers with multiple accidents/violations

Full coverage is wise for these drivers, as their risk of a crash is higher. Comprehensive and collision will help you mitigating your financial risk if an accident does occur.

In summary, fully comprehensive insurance provides the best protection for:

  • New/expensive vehicles

  • Financed or leased vehicles

  • High-risk drivers

Without full coverage, you may suffer substantial out-of-pocket costs in the event of an incident. For many drivers, the extra premium cost is worth it for peace of mind.

Cost of Fully Comprehensive Insurance

If we compare it to minimum liability coverage, fully comprehensive insurance you can easily see that this comes with higher premium cost. However, the exact price depends on multiple factors.

More Expensive than Minimum Coverage

Adding collision, comprehensive, and additional coverages will increase the price of your auto policy. According to insurance data:

  • The average cost of minimum liability car insurance is about $600 per year

  • The average cost of full coverage insurance is around $2,000 per year

So you can expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars more per year for a full coverage policy. The exact difference depends on many factor such as, your location, your driving record, your vehicle’s make/model, among other personal factors the insurer considers.

Varies by Company, Location, Driving History

Your premium for full coverage is influenced by:

  • Car insurance company - each carrier prices policies differently

  • Your state - rates vary widely across different states

  • Your driving record - tickets/accidents drive up your quote

  • Type of vehicle - newer/pricier cars cost more to insure

Shopping around will help you to find the best rate for your vehicle. If you use any comparison sites like The zebra or will let you get quotes from multiple insurers at once. Here are some tips to find cheap full coverage car insurance:

  • Compare quotes from at least 3 companies

  • Ask about discounts you qualify for

  • Raise your deductible to lower collision/comprehensive premiums

  • Drop optional coverages you may not need

  • Maintain a clean driving history

  • Drive a safer, low-profile vehicle

With smart shopping, you can get affordable full coverage protection.

Benefits of Fully Comprehensive Insurance

While more expensive than minimum liability coverage, fully comprehensive insurance provides valuable benefits:

Protection for Your Vehicle

Full coverage insurance reduces any sort of financial risk in case your vehicle suffers damage by accident. Key benefits:

  • Collision pays for car repairs after an at-fault crash

  • Comprehensive covers damage from weather, theft, vandalism, etc.

  • Provides funds to replace your vehicle if it's totaled

Without these coverages, you'd pay costly repair/replacement bills yourself.

Peace of Mind

Knowing you full coveage insurance for your vehicle provides peace of mind. This coverage option shields you from the financial turmoil of an uninsured loss.

Meets Lender Requirements

If you have leased or you have request for aloan to buy your new car, full coverage meets the lender's requirements for financing approval. Minimum liability insurance alone is usually inadequate.

In summary, the positives of full auto coverage include:

  • Expanded protection for your vehicle

  • Reduced financial risk if your car is damaged

  • Ability to obtain vehicle financing

  • Added comfort knowing you're covered

While it costs more upfront, for many drivers the benefits outweigh the extra expense - especially those with newer vehicles, high-value cars, or auto loans.

Other readers were also interested in the following posts:

Discover the Benefits of Comprehensive Coverage  

Comprehensive Coverage Cost Factors - Learn the 5 Factors That Affect Your Insurance Premium  

Real-life scenarios where comprehensive coverage would be necessary or beneficial  

Is Full Coverage Car Insurance Worth It?   

Why Comprehensive Car Insurance is So Expensive?

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