What is "full coverage" car insurance?

When agents, lenders, and insurers describe full coverage auto insurance, they're typically referring to carrying both liability and physical damage coverages (comprehensive and collision). 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.

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So what does "full coverage" car insurance actually mean?

When financing or leasing a vehicle, your lender may use the term "full coverage." That means they require you to carry comprehensive and collision plus anything else your state mandates. Liability is a mandatory coverage in nearly every state, while comprehensive and collision (physical damage coverages) are optional. However, lenders can have their own rules about the coverages they require. Learn more about car insurance requirements by state and liability vs. full coverage car insurance.

Instead of asking, "Is my car insurance full coverage?" ask your insurance company or agent if you have the right coverages. Paying for every protection offered by your insurance company could get expensive. While your lender may consider the state-minimum liability as sufficient, that may not be enough coverage to protect you and the other drivers on your policy. You might consider customizing coverages for you, your family, and your vehicle.

Here's a quick explanation of what "full coverage" really means and the coverages it entails:*

Coverage names and availability may vary by state.

Do I need full coverage car insurance?

Even if your lender doesn't require any coverage, a new vehicle is an important investment and should be protected. Comprehensive and collision will pay for damages to your vehicle due to accidents and incidents in and out of your control. If your vehicle's value is minimal, carrying physical damage coverage may not make sense. Should you decide to select liability coverage only, make sure you'll be able to purchase a new vehicle entirely out of your pocket in the event it's totaled and uninsured.

Extra coverages like roadside assistance or rental car reimbursement are typically inexpensive and can be purchased at your discretion as well.

Example:You cause an accident that totals your car, valued at $15,000. Your liability coverage pays for the damage to the other driver's car, while your collision coverage pays out $15,000 (minus your deductible) to help replace your car. Without collision coverage, you'd have to pay for a new vehicle entirely out of pocket.

How do I know if I have full coverage?

You can typically find a full list of the coverages you have by logging in to your policy using your insurer's mobile app or online account portal and viewing your vehicle's coverage details. The overview section of your policy's declarations page may also list all of your coverages. If you see both collision coverage and comprehensive coverage (sometimes referred as "other than collision" coverage) listed under your vehicle, then you're covered for physical damage.

Taking a longer look at your policy? Learn more about how to read an insurance policy.

How much is full coverage insurance?

Adding physical damage protection and other optional coverages will cost more than a liability-only policy. How much more depends on many factors, including the year, make, and model of the vehicle you want to protect, plus the car insurance 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 several car insurance discounts that can help you obtain cheap car insurance with the right coverages for you.

Learn more about the factors that affect the cost of car insurance.

Auto coverages typically offered by insurance companies

Here's a summary of the auto insurance coverages available from most insurers. Remember, there's no combination of coverages that we'd call a "full coverage" policy. See our car insurance coverages in more detail.

Coverage TypeWhat it covers
Liability coverageWhat it coversIf you're at fault in an accident, liability coverage pays for damages or injuries you cause to others, plus lawsuit costs if someone sues you, up to your policy's limits.
UMBI/PD coverageWhat it coversUninsured/underinsured motorist insurance pays for injuries and/or damage to your vehicle, up to specified limits, if a motorist hits you with no insurance or not enough coverage.
Medical paymentsWhat it coversRegardless of fault, medical payments coverage 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.
Comprehensive coverageWhat it coversIf 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.
Collision coverageWhat it coversCollision 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.
Gap insuranceWhat it coversGap insurance can cover the difference between what you owe on your vehicle loan and what the vehicle was worth before it was totaled. Progressive offers a similar coverage known as loan/lease payoff coverage.
Rental car reimbursementWhat it coversIf you're involved in a covered accident and unable to drive your vehicle, rental car reimbursement coverage can reimburse you for the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired.
Roadside assistanceWhat it coversIf your vehicle is disabled, roadside assistance can tow your vehicle to a nearby repair shop. Depending on the insurer, roadside assistance may also provide battery jumps, winching, gas delivery, locksmith services, flat tire changes, and more. Learn how roadside assistance from Progressive can help when you're on the road.

Learn more about the different types of car insurance coverage.

Get the right coverage from Progressive

New Progressive customers

Call 1-866-749-7436 or get a car insurance quote online. We'll help you craft a policy that offers the correct protection.

Current Progressive customers

Log in to your policy or call us at 1-866-749-7436 and make sure your coverages are up to date and to your liking.

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