What Is “Full Coverage” Auto Insurance?

“Full coverage” auto insurance is a term that can be confusing and misinterpreted.  When you purchase automobile insurance you want enough coverage to protect you no matter what happens while you’re driving. So, how can you make sure you have adequate coverage?

First, take a look at the common types of automobile insurance to learn whether they are required or optional.  While it may be difficult to cover every imaginable scenario, you can still have enough coverage to handle the most common incidents or accidents.  

In many cases, people often discover the hard way that they don’t have as much coverage as they thought. 

What Does “Full Coverage” Include?

Typically, a basic policy provides enough coverage to meet your state’s minimum requirements. Under state law, you must have enough insurance to cover damages or injuries resulting from a collision that is your fault.  

A full-coverage policy offers higher limits of liability to protect you from having to compensate for property damages or personal injuries out of your own pocket.  

It’s important to know the different types of auto insurance so you can choose the right coverage for your needs.  In this chart, you can see which types of coverage are required by law, and which are optional.  


Type of Auto Insurance Coverage Required or Optional
Liability Coverage

✅ Bodily Injury Liability

✅ Property Damage Liability

Comprehensive Coverage Optional (unless leasing or financing the car)
Collision Coverage Optional (unless leasing or financing the car)
Medical Payments Coverage/Personal Injury Protection Required in some states
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Required in some states
Rental Reimbursement Coverage Optional

Next, you need to know what is included with each type of coverage.  Familiarize yourself with these explanations before shopping for auto insurance.

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage is required in most states and it includes bodily injury and property damage liability coverage.  Bodily injury liability helps pay medical expenses for any person involved in an accident that you cause.  Property damage liability pays for damage you caused to someone’s property during an accident.   

Each state differs in the minimum amount of liability coverage they require.  Typically, the liability coverage contains three limits:

✅  A maximum payment for bodily injury per person

✅  A maximum amount for bodily injury per accident

✅  A maximum payable for property damage

Higher limits are available and may cost more, but they provide more protection and are often worth the extra cost.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

If your vehicle is leased or financed, you will be required to have collision and comprehensive coverageWhen a vehicle is paid off, many people opt to not add this coverage to their policy.  But, this means they are liable for any damage to the vehicle in the event of a collision.  

Collision coverage pays for the repair or replacement of your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident.

Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged by a storm, theft, vandalism, or animals.

Both coverages have limits and deductibles.  A “limit” is the maximum amount your insurance provider will payout for a claim.  The “deductible” is an amount you must pay out of pocket before the insurance will kick in.  The higher the deductible, the lower your premiums will be.

Medical Payments Coverage/Personal Injury Protection

Medical payments coverage helps pay for medical expenses for you or your passengers if an accident occurs.  For example it may include x- rays and surgery.  It pays no matter who is at fault for causing the accident.  

Personal injury protection is required in some states and is not available in others.  The coverage helps pay medical expenses and other expenses incurred due to an automobile accident.  It may cover lost income and child care services that you incur as a result of your injuries.  

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

It may be hard to believe, but thousands of uninsured or underinsured motorists are on the roads today.  If you are involved in an accident caused by an uninsured/underinsured driver, this coverage helps pay the medical expenses related to your injuries.   

Rental Reimbursement Coverage

It may take several days for your vehicle to be repaired after it is damaged in an accident.  In the meantime, you need to get to work, shop, pick up the kids, or run other errands.  With rental reimbursement coverage, you can afford a rental car to use while yours is in the shop.  Rental reimbursement plans typically pay a set amount per day for a set number of days.

What is Excluded in a Full Coverage Policy?

Full coverage insurance should ensure that you and your assets are protected in the event of an accident.  However, there are advantages and disadvantages to this type of coverage.  For instance:


  • Better protection
  • Peace of mind
  • Upgrading to full coverage is easy


  • Full coverage costs a little more than basic car insurance
  • Some insurance companies don’t sell full coverage
  • The term “full coverage” can be misleading

Many people are confused when it comes to what is included in full coverage insurance.  

Typically, full coverage policies exclude the following:

  • Umbrella insurance
  • Gap insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Accident forgiveness
  • Glass coverage
  • Rideshare insurance
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Custom equipment coverage
  • Stolen items
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

Full coverage is a package deal that includes the 3 basic types of coverage.  The above items may be added to the policy for an extra charge to provide additional protection.

Get the Best Coverage With Competitive Rates at Sandifer Insurance

If you’re shopping for full coverage auto insurance and want to compare rates, talk to us today.  Sandifer Insurance is staffed by experts who have extensive knowledge of insurance regulations, laws, and rates.  We will ensure that you get the best coverage at the most affordable premium possible.

Contact Sandifer Insurance for automobile, homeowner’s, life, farm, commercial, or personal liability insurance.  We are proud to offer our services to residents of Cheraw, SC, and surrounding areas, and we look forward to helping you with all your insurance needs.  As your local insurance agent, we are always only a phone call away.


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