There is only one state in the United States that doesn’t require car insurance, and that is New Hampshire. If you live in any of the other 49 states, you’re going to want to get the best full coverage car insurance possible. And if you do end up driving through New Hampshire, because of their laws, you’ll be glad to have the added protection against uninsured motorists that full coverage car insurance gives you. This type of car insurance is the only kind that covers your own interests as well as the other driver’s. Full coverage car insurance usually includes PIP, collision, comprehensive, bodily injury, proper damage and uninsured motorist coverage. You can get the best and the cheapest full coverage car insurance with the help of the following information.
Cheapest Full Coverage Car Insurance
While full coverage car insurance is the best to get, it is not always cheap. With prices so high everywhere else, it’s essential to cut costs where you can. This is why it’s so important to shop around and get the cheapest full coverage car insurance that you possibly can. On average, this level of auto insurance costs $2,058 on average, per year. That comes out to over $171 per month. And, if you’re making a car payment in addition, that amounts to a hefty sum of money you’re paying out each month, not including gas and maintenance on your vehicle.
No matter what, though, you should find a way to pay for full coverage, or comprehensive coverage, as it is sometimes called. Comprehensive coverage offers valuable protection for you, your passengers and, of course, for your vehicle. This level of auto insurance can even help protect your personal assets in the event that an auto accident does happen. You will still have to pay your deductible if you have an accident, but the coverage and protection is unparalleled. Frankly, you’ll be glad that you opted for comprehensive coverage, should anything happen. The following will help you to make an informed decision about which auto insurance company will best suit your needs.
Which Companies Have the Cheapest Full Coverage Car Insurance?
There are so many car insurance companies, but only a few of them offer the kind of rates that might be considered as the cheapest full coverage car insurance rates. The good thing is that car insurance companies are highly competitive with each other. The differences between car insurance premiums can differ in the hundreds of dollars. So it definitely pays to shop around as a consumer.
Now, it’s important to remember, as you shop for the cheapest full coverage car insurance, that rates vary from company to company. But don’t forget that they also vary from customer to customer. Auto insurance companies run a very complex algorithm to determine risk factors for their insured customers and anyone looking to get a rate quote. Each insurance company has their own proprietary algorithm. So there are factors that will determine what rate you are offered at any one company.
The factors that come into play include things like:
- Your age
- Your sex
- Your marital status
- Where you reside
- Your recent driving record
- Your grades (if you are in school)
- History of moving violations
- The age, make and model of your vehicle
- Safety features (or lack thereof) on your vehicle
There may be more factors, but these are the most common. You can do little to alter the factors above, except for maintaining a good driving record and avoiding moving violations. But the main thing you can do to ensure that you are not overpaying for car insurance is to shop around from the companies on this list.
The companies that have the cheapest full coverage car insurance are:
- GEICO, which comes in at an average of $941 annually
- State Farm, which comes in at an average of $1,114 annually
- USAA, which comes in at an average of $817 annually
Now, if you don’t like those car insurance companies for some reason, or you don’t qualify for military insurance, or if you are just looking for additional choices, there are more cheap full coverage car insurance companies on the list. They are:
- Progressive, which comes in at an average of $1,226 annually
- Allstate, which comes in at an average of $1,231 annually
- Nationwide, which comes in at an average of $1,276 annually
- Erie Insurance, which comes in at an average of $1,380 annually
- Travelers, which comes in at an average of $1,415 annually
- Farmers, which comes in at an average of $1,459 annually
- Met Life, which comes in at an average of $1,613 annually
The Best Car Insurance Companies For Full Coverage
As well as looking for good rates, you should also choose a car insurance company that is solid. After all, you need to rely on that company should anything happen to your vehicle. Things to consider when choosing the best car insurance company for full coverage include:
Do you have a teen driver in the family? If so, consider a car insurance company that offers discounts for good grades or for taking a defensive driving course.
Do you have multiple insurance needs? Consider a car insurance company that discounts rates if you carry multiple policies with them, such as your home insurance or multiple vehicles.
How long has the insurance company been in business? Older companies will have a reliable track record and are more trustworthy than a “new kid” on the block.
Does the company have good customer reviews? These days, it’s easy to check for a company’s online reputation. You want to choose one that is easy to work with, that offers timely service by knowledgeable, reasonable staff.
Finally, make sure when comparing rates between companies that you are comparing apples with apples. While you may change coverage amounts later on, for comparison’s sake, every coverage amount should be the same when requesting quotes.
The Best Full Coverage Car Insurance Companies
When it comes to choosing the best full coverage car companies, there are some clear leaders in the pack. Bear in mind that the best full coverage car companies may not be the cheapest. But you will have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages for whichever car insurance company you choose. Here are the picks for the best full coverage car companies:
- GEICO, chosen because it has the cheapest rates and also because it has a very low number of auto insurance complaints. GEICO has a great reputation in the industry, and it has been around since 1936.
- Nationwide, chosen because it offers discounts for low-usage vehicles, and also because it has a long history, being founded back in 1925. If you are an older person who stays at home and doesn’t drive much, you might want to consider Nationwide insurance.
- Travelers, chosen because they offer a lot of flexibility with their policies and allow customers to choose from a range of options to make their auto policy customized.
- USAA, chosen because it is so affordable for military members, veterans and their family members, and because it has accident forgiveness and attractive rates for young drivers and seniors.
The Cheapest Widely-Available Insurer: GEICO
Hands down, the cheapest widely-available auto insurer is GEICO. If your primary concern is budget, then you can’t do any better than GEICO. GEICO offers a whopping 16 possible discounts for rates, and even without the discounts, they come in as the number one cheapest car insurance for full coverage. They have a very straightforward claims process and an extremely low number of complaints from customers. Their approval rating is high, and their online reputation is excellent. GEICO discounts when you bundle multiple insurance policies with them. On top of all this, they have a user-friendly website interface, which offers customers the ability to change coverage amounts without having to call a representative. Their website also allows customers to postpone automated premium withdrawal payments for up to two weeks later. If you do end up having an accident, don’t worry with GEICO, because they have an accident forgiveness program. This company is a great open for those with less than stellar credit, or for anyone who has lapsed auto insurance coverage in the past.
Cheapest Runner Up: State Farm
State Farm is not only the second cheapest car insurance company for full coverage; it’s also the largest insurer in the U.S. Its affordability is one of the reasons why it’s so popular with everyone, but it also has lots of other things going for it. State Farm gets high marks from J.D. Power & Associates for reliability, financial stability, customer service and its low level of customer complaints. Another reason to choose State Farm is the fact that it is so recognizable. State Farm is a well-known brand and known to be a solid industry leader. The company has an accident forgiveness program and even has competitive rates for those with speeding tickets on their record. They are also known for having attractive rates for teen drivers that need to be added to the policy. State Farm has competitive rates for drivers with a previous DUI and is willing to file form SR-22 for those who need it. Although State Farm’s rates are higher for those with bad credit, it does offer a “Drive Safe” program for drivers who are willing to install a monitoring chip to prove they are an especially safe driver. All in all, State Farm is a solid choice for anyone looking to get the best cheap car insurance for full coverage.
Cheapest Full Coverage for Military: USAA
USAA stands for United Service Automobile Association. But what you need to know is that this is the cheapest full coverage for military. If you are an active member of the military or a veteran, you and your immediate family members qualify for USAA auto insurance. Even if you are currently stationed overseas on a ship, your immediate family members at home are eligible to get USAA coverage car insurance. As long as you are either an active member of the military, or have been honorably discharged or separated, you and your immediate family members are eligible. This is your cheapest option for full coverage, second only to GEICO. And, based on the ratings for USAA, this car insurance company may still be your best bet, as long as you meet the criteria.
For example, USAA charges up to $200 less than competitors for drivers who have a speeding ticket on their record. You may not be able to qualify for a good driver discount after a speeding ticket, but at least you won’t pay exorbitant premiums with USAA. Another advantage with USAA is that they have the lowest rates for full coverage for drivers who have caused a previous accident where someone was injured. Termed an “at-fault” accident, this kind of incident could cost you up to $1,500 more with a different car insurance company.
USAA is also understanding about DUI’s.. It has the second cheapest car insurance rate for these drivers, second only to State Farm. Finally, if you suffer from poor credit, USAA has the cheapest rates for you, second only to GEICO.
Who Has the Cheapest Full Coverage Car Insurance?
Full coverage vehicle insurance is more expensive than liability-only car insurance since it provides more protection. The trade-off is a higher cost. Only injury to other drivers is covered by a liability coverage. Full coverage is more expensive since insurance covers liability as well as collision and comprehensive coverage, which protects your automobile from most sorts of accidents. Your lender will normally want comprehensive coverage if you have a car loan or lease.
In terms of who has the cheapest full coverage car insurance, you’re looking at GEICO. When compared to its competitors, GEICO offers the cheapest average rates for skilled drivers and those who are willing to adhere to the laws of the road. Car insurance companies normally give the best rates to drivers who have a recent clean driving record, since they are less likely to submit claims than drivers who have been involved in at-fault accidents, received speeding fines, or have other blemishes on their records. Accident forgiveness insurance is available from GEICO. Accident Forgiveness policy from GEICO ensures that your premiums will not rise after your first at-fault accident. Because the forgiveness program is linked to your vehicle’s coverage, it covers any qualifying driver on your policy. After five years of accident-free driving, GEICO provides complimentary accident forgiveness. GEICO has more vehicle insurance complaints than Allstate and State Farm, but it is still below the national average. GEICO is worth considering if you’re looking for full coverage vehicle insurance because of its consistently cheap rates, low complaint rate and available discounts.
How Much Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Cost Compared To Minimum Coverage?
Even though the best coverage for your vehicle is comprehensive coverage, you may want to compare the cost compared to minimum coverage. Minimum coverage is also commonly called liability car insurance, or collision coverage. Liability coverage only includes damage to the other vehicle. It covers your liability as a driver. It doesn’t include protection for your losses. If you have high-risk drivers in your family, or if you are looking for gap insurance, you may want to consider minimum coverage. However, a better option to save money would be to get a full coverage policy and then opt for a higher deductible. That would bring down your premium.
According to the most recent data, full coverage car insurance costs an average of $2,058 annually. That amounts to just over $171 per month. But if you get minimum coverage, the average cost is about $637 annually. That comes out to about $53 per year. Remember though, that any savings you might enjoy on premiums throughout the year with minimum coverage will be lost if something actually happens and your vehicle is involved in an accident. Damages to your vehicle won’t be covered with minimum insurance.
Do I Need Full Coverage Car Insurance?
The decision to buy full coverage car insurance or minimum coverage is up to you and your vehicle lender if you have one. Unless your vehicle is completely paid off, you will likely be mandated to have full coverage car insurance. So anyone with a lien or lease or loan on their vehicle needs full coverage car insurance.
There are other situations where it makes economic sense to pay a little more for full coverage car insurance. If you can afford it, you should always opt for full coverage insurance. If an accident occurs, your car will almost certainly be damaged in some way, no matter how excellent of a driver you are. Having full coverage insurance will give a large financial safety net, easing some of the pressure of dealing with automotive problems.
Consider your state’s regulations, the worth of your automobile, and your financial condition when considering whether or not to buy comprehensive coverage insurance. A common rule of thumb is that if the cost of full coverage insurance exceeds 10% of the value of your automobile, you should consider dropping it. However, if you can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket to repair or replace your automobile if it’s damaged suddenly, you shouldn’t skip comprehensive coverage.
What Qualifies as Full Coverage Policy?
It’s important to know what qualifies as a full coverage policy, since requirements vary by state. You don’t want to be caught without adequate vehicle insurance, because this could actually cause your premiums to go up.
In addition to the state’s minimal vehicle insurance requirements, full coverage is considered a policy that includes collision and comprehensive coverage. Full coverage, unlike liability insurance, pays the policyholder’s own expenditures, even if they are at fault in an accident.
Collision insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle following an accident. Comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, pays for repairs if your automobile is damaged by something other than a collision, such as vandalism or a natural disaster. If your automobile is leased or financed, you will almost certainly need both.
Other forms of insurance, such as personal injury protection, medical payments coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, may also be included under full coverage. In certain states, various forms of insurance are required by law, while in others, they may be voluntary.
What Common Components of Full Coverage Car Insurance Cover?
When people talk about full coverage automobile insurance, they’re usually referring to a package of coverages that assist in safeguarding a vehicle.
State law mandates some coverages (like car liability). Others, like rental reimbursement, are optional, depending upon your circumstances and the insurer. As a result, it comes down to you to choose the policy type and car insurance that suits your needs, while also ensuring that your coverage complies with state regulations and helps you safeguard your vehicle and your assets.
Common components of full coverage car insurance:
- Comprehensive coverage – covers damage to your vehicle and property damaged in a collision
- Collision coverage – covers damage to others’ vehicle and property damaged in a collision
- Medical payments coverage/PIP – covers medical payments needed to treat injuries to you and others involved in a collision. Includes passengers in your vehicle and others’ vehicles.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorists – covers vehicle, property damage and your medical costs, even when the other driver is uninsured or underinsured
- Rental reimbursement coverage – covers vehicle and property damage while driving a rental vehicle.
- Roadside assistance – covers the cost of assistance should your car fail you while driving, including flat tires, overheating, running out of gas, mechanical failure, etc.
Note that some of the above components are optional, and that they each carry maximum payout thresholds, which are generally flexible. Higher thresholds will have higher associated premiums, and vice versa.
How to Decide if You Need Full Coverage
The decision of whether you need full coverage is one that should be taken seriously. The financial ramifications of choosing the wrong type of coverage could be devastating. You need full coverage car insurance if:
- Your vehicle is financed
- You have a teen driver in the household (because the risks are greater)
- You have considerable personal or business assets (because full coverage can help prevent the need for a lawsuit to recover damges)
- You are driving in New Hampshire (where you are more likely to encounter an uninsured motorist)
- You could afford to replace your vehicle out of pocket
- You could not afford to have your vehicle repaired out of pocket
- Your vehicle’s value is at least 10% higher than the annual rate or is less than five years old
Why You Need Full Coverage on a Financed Car
If you have a vehicle that is financed in any way, you most certainly need full coverage. This is true even if the lender does not explicitly require full coverage, which would be extremely rare. The reasons are that without full coverage:
- If your vehicle is damaged or incurs a total loss, you would still have to make the monthly payments until the car is paid off
- Having inadequate car insurance could invalidate the terms of your financing, in which case your lender could conceivably ask for payment in full, upfront.
- Financed cars are generally more valuable, and therefore need more coverage to pay for repairs and/or replacement costs.
How Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Differ From Minimum Car Insurance?
Aside from the difference coverages, which have been discussed early, there are other key differences between full coverage car insurance and minimum car insurance. Typically, minimum car insurance does not offer additional insurance options. You would likely not be able to get gap insurance, roadside assistance, rental vehicle coverage, PIP or even uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. Another key difference is that the average annual cost of liability-only insurance is much lower than with full coverage. You could save hundreds of dollars per year on premiums. Another difference is that minimum coverage is required in 49 states; the exception is New Hampshire. Full coverage is not required in the U.S., but auto financing companies almost always mandate it.
How do You Negotiate with Insurance Companies for the Cheapest Full Coverage Car Insurance Rate?
Without a state review and confirmation that the change is necessary, the insurer would be legally unable to adjust its rate range. If your insurance charged you a premium that was significantly higher or lower than the quote it provided, the insurance company could actually face fines or even lose its license to operate in your state. The good news is that car insurance rates are often flexible. You cannot technically negotiate down, but there are ways to get a better rate.
- Look for car insurance companies that offer discounts. Call your insurance representative and get a list of available discounts. See which ones you qualify for, or could qualify for.
- Maintain a good driving record. Avoid moving violations.
- Ensure that you pay premiums on time. Avoid gaps in coverage.
- Pay by automated withdrawal, which will help you avoid nominal monthly “fees.”
- Help your teen driver get credit for having good grades.
- Enroll in driver safety monitoring
- Enroll in a defensive driving course
- Get rates from several companies, as rates vary among car insurance companies
The considerable competition among vehicle insurance companies gives consumers the edge when choosing the best car insurance company for full coverage. Use the information contained here to ensure that you and your family are not overpaying for car insurance, while at the same time getting all the coverage that you need.