There are many auto policy options, including full coverage and state minimum liability. Your state’s required minimum liability is the bare bones policy, while a more robust package offers greater protection.
Full coverage refers to liability, comprehensive, and collision. In addition, it offers first-party benefits (as opposed to third-party benefits with liability-only policies) that cover a broader range of scenarios such as vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-object, and rollover collisions. In contrast, comprehensive covers non-collision-related events like falling tree limbs and natural disasters.
Full coverage car insurance combines comprehensive and collision, offering greater protection than a state minimum liability policy. Any non-collision-related accidents are covered by comprehensive, such as flood damage, animal hits, falling objects, and storms. In addition, collision covers out-of-pocket expenses to your vehicle when it hits another car or object.
Thanks to the greater number of protections it provides, full coverage generally costs hundreds of dollars more per year than liability coverage.
Drivers may also include other policies like gap, rental car reimbursement, roadside assistance, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Whether you have a state minimum liability or full policy, you can select liability limits (minimum or higher) and a deductible amount as low as $500.
State Minimum Liability
State minimum liability refers to bodily injury and property damage. Every state requires minimum liability limits.
For example, California requires a 15/30/5 policy and Texas has higher mandated liability limits of 30/60/25. The first number stands for bodily injury liability per person, the second for bodily injury liability for accident, and the third represents property damage liability per accident.
If you can afford it, go for higher liability limits. A single at-fault accident today may easily result in $55,000 worth of medical expenses and $34,000 worth of property damage, all of which would blow past California’s minimums — forcing opposing drivers to file lawsuits to recover the rest.
Garnished wages, seized assets and other ways of fund recovery are not out of the question. Consider a 100/300/100 policy for greater peace of mind.