Full auto insurance can pay off for theft, natural disasters and more, but it costs over twice as much as minimum insurance. Can I get full coverage on an old car?
What is full car insurance?
Car insurance with full insurance is not a specific type of policy, but it is usually a combination of required and optional insurance:
- Collision insurance pays for car repairs if you cause an accident with another vehicle or bump into an object, such as a tree or telephone pole.
- Comprehensive protection includes the repair or replacement of a car if it is stolen or damaged due to a reason such as a collision of animals, extreme weather, theft, a falling object, fire or vandalism.
- Liability insurance helps pay for the treatment of other people’s injuries and repair their property in the event of an accident.
Uninsured and uninsured driver insurance is sometimes considered part of full insurance because it is required in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Uninsured and uninsured driver insurance is paid if another driver hits you, but there is insufficient (or any) insurance to cover the costs of treatment. You can also take out uninsured driver’s insurance against material damage that is required in seven states and DC.
But full car insurance does not cover everything. If you need extras such as replacement car insurance, emergency roadside assistance or customized parts and equipment insurance, you may need to add these options separately.
Who needs full insurance?
Full insurance is not required by law. Many states require only a small amount of liability insurance. But this will not cover your injuries or car repairs – only damages or injuries you cause to others.
If you have a loan or automatic leasing, the lender probably requires the purchase of a collision and full insurance. The vast majority of companies offer them, but some insurers do not allow you to buy one without the other.
Buying full auto insurance can be a good investment if:
- You have a new or expensive car.
- You regularly commute to work in heavy traffic.
- You live in a place with extreme weather conditions, high car theft rates or high risk of animal collisions.
- You can’t afford to repair or replace a car if it is broken or stolen.
However, for older vehicles, full insurance may not be worth the cost. Comprehensive collision insurance will only give you cash back if it is damaged or stolen. And they usually have a deduction – the amount you expect to pay out of pocket for repair or replacement.
Typical full car insurance will not pay for:
- Racing or other speed events
- Field use
- Use in car-sharing program
- Disasters such as war or nuclear pollution
- Destruction or confiscation by the government or civil authorities
- Using a vehicle for dyeing or delivery purposes; business use
- Intentional damage