Although collision damage waiver is usually presented as one policy, it is generally a combination of third party, collision and collision damage waiver insurance. In contrast to the statutory minimum liability insurance, fully comprehensive insurance protects your car in almost every situation – even if you are not behind the wheel.
In this guide we explain what fully comprehensive insurance is, how it compares to minimum insurance and what it costs on average. We will also recommend two of them best car insurance companies for full coverage.
What is comprehensive motor vehicle insurance?
Fully comprehensive vehicle insurance usually combines liability, comprehensive and accident insurance comprehensive insurance. Depending on the state, comprehensive insurance may also include uninsured motorist insurance, personal injury insurance (PIP), or medical insurance (MedPay).
Comprehensive insurance usually covers the cost of your injuries and vehicle damage if you’re involved in an accident, as well as any injury or damage you cause.
What does fully comprehensive vehicle insurance include?
The table below lists the types of coverage you typically see in a collision damage waiver:
Optional coverages that may be included with an insurer’s collision damage waiver include:
*MedPay is required Pennsylvania for drivers who refuse PIP. New Hampshire requires MedPay for every driver who chooses auto insurance.
Additional types of car insurance
Most auto insurance companies offer additional coverage that you can add to your policy. Some of these coverages include:
- gap insurance: If your car is totaled, gap coverage pays the difference between the value of your car and the amount you owe on your car loan. This is also known as credit/lease insurance.
- new car replacement: If your new car is totaled, this coverage will replace it instead of just paying you for the loss in value.
- Rental car refund: This helps pay for rental car costs if your car is in the workshop due to a covered claim.
- roadside assistance: This service is typically available 24 hours a day and can provide tire changes, fuel deliveries, jump starts and more.
- towing cover: This service takes your car to a workshop if it breaks down.
What is minimum coverage?
Minimum coverage refers to the minimum limits of insurance that a state requires for someone to legally drive. To learn what is required where you live, you can consult the website of your state’s Insurance Commission or Department of Motor Vehicles. The only states that do not require auto insurance coverage are New Hampshire and Virginia.
If you choose to carry only your state’s minimum insurance, you will have to pay for repairs or replacements to your vehicle out of pocket. The minimum liability insurance only covers the costs of property damage to the other driver if you cause an accident. If you live in a debt-ridden state, minimum liability insurance will also cover the other driver’s medical expenses if you cause an accident.
Carrying only minimum insurance might seem like a great way to save money, but it could leave you in financial distress if your car is damaged or totaled. If you have comprehensive motor vehicle insurance, your provider will pay for the repair or replacement cost of your car, or actual cash value.
What does fully comprehensive insurance cost?
Based on our research, the average cost of comprehensive car insurance is $1,730 per year. We used the profile of a married 35-year-old driver with a clean driving record and good credit to find averages from some of the best insurance providers in the business. On average, USAA, Erie Insurance, and Nationwide have the cheapest auto insurance rates with full coverage.
Factors influencing car insurance rates
like you Buy car insurance, remember that rates are not the same for every driver or vehicle type. To calculate your personal quote, an insurer will consider the following factors:
- location: If you live in a more densely populated area with higher theft and car accident rates, you will pay higher rates.
- Age: If you are under 25 or over 55, your rates are higher than average. Drivers in their 30s and 40s tend to pay the best rates.
- drive recording: Speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, or DUIs in recent years will make your coverage more expensive.
- credit history: The lower your credit rating, the higher your insurance rate.
- Marital status: Married drivers typically pay less for insurance than single drivers.
- sex on license: Male drivers tend to pay more for car insurance if they are under the age of 25 because statistically they are more likely to be involved in accidents.
- vehicle: Models that are more likely to be stolen or more expensive to repair are more expensive to insure.
Should I take out fully comprehensive car insurance?
Comprehensive motor vehicle insurance can protect you against unexpected costs if you are involved in an accident. If you only have your minimum state insurance with you, you won’t have to pay for the other driver’s injuries in an accident you cause, but you will have to pay for repairs to your car yourself.
If your car is totaled, you’ll have to pay for the replacement. We recommend that you get comprehensive insurance if you can afford it and your car is worth more than the cost of the policy and your excess combined. This gives you extra protection and peace of mind.
Recommendations for fully comprehensive car insurance
Our research team has sorted the best insurance providers to help you find the right coverage for your needs. Before committing yourself to an insurer, to compare Car insurance quotes from some providers to find the best deal on coverage.
State Farm: Best Overall Provider
State Farm is the largest auto insurance provider in the country thanks to its reliability and affordable coverage options. The provider offers the six standard types of motor insurance, as well as a number of optional supplemental insurances available by location.
State Farm holds one Rating A+ by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). In which JD Power 2022 US Insurance Purchasing StudySMranked State Farm highest in customer satisfaction among major insurers.
Continue reading: State farm insurance review
Travelers: Best Coverage Options
Our in-depth review of the auto insurance industry found that, on average, Travelers customers pay about 3 percent less than the national average for comprehensive insurance. The provider also offers a wide range of optional supplementary insurance such as accident forgiveness, new vehicle replacement insurance and gap insurance.
Traveler stops A rating from the BBB, and his Financial strength rating A++ by AM Best demonstrates its ability to cover claims.
Continue reading: Review of travel insurance
How we rate insurers
Our review process aims to provide consistent and unbiased reviews of auto insurance providers. While there are several qualities that make auto insurance successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are most important to consumers:
- Costs: It can be difficult to compare costs between insurers because so many factors affect annual premiums. The cheapest insurer for one driver may not be the cheapest for another. To determine our cost score, we look at insurance rate estimates, discount opportunities, and consumer reports provided by Quadrant Information Services.
- cover: To determine our coverage score, we look at the number of coverage options available, as well as coverage limits and deductible options. Our reviews also consider additional services and benefits such as roadside assistance.
- reliability: It is important for an auto insurer to be able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong financial strength rating from AM Best perform best in this category. Established insurers with many years of reliable service also receive positive marks.
- service: We search customer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to learn more about customer experiences. Insurers with a low number of complaints do well in this area. We also consider the claims process and give higher ratings to auto insurance providers that offer easy-to-use claims apps.
*Data correct at time of publication.