Is Full Coverage the Same as Comprehensive Coverage?

Last Updated on November 3, 2022

Is full coverage auto insurance the same as comprehensive coverage? A growing number of insurance companies advertise their policies as “full coverage” plans. Some drivers also describe their car insurance policies as being “full coverage.”

What exactly does full coverage mean? Is full coverage different from comprehensive coverage? Keep reading to find out.

Full Coverage and Comprehensive Coverage Are Different Policies

Full coverage and comprehensive coverage are two different things:

Full Coverage: Full coverage auto insurance is a plan that includes liability insurance, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage. You’re legally required to have liability insurance to drive. Collision coverage is optional and covers damage to your own vehicle if you’re involved in a collision.

Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage, unlike collision or liability coverage, covers non-accident-related damages to your vehicle. If your vehicle is stolen, vandalized, damaged by rodents, or damaged while parked in front of your home, for example, then you can make a claim under comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage can also cover storm damage, windshield repairs, and more. It’s “comprehensive” protection for your vehicle. Essentially, any damages to your vehicle that occur outside of an accident may be covered under comprehensive coverage.

All full coverage plans have comprehensive coverage. It’s one of three policies typically included in a full coverage plan. Comprehensive coverage is typically bundled with liability insurance and collision coverage, but it’s still different from comprehensive coverage.

Don’t Expect “Full Coverage” From a Full Coverage Plan

The term “full coverage” can be a bit misleading. It implies that your car is fully covered by your insurance company in all situations.

That’s not necessarily true. There are still plenty of reasons for a car insurance company to deny your claim. You’re never truly fully covered by car insurance. When a car insurance company is advertising its full coverage policy, be aware that you’re not fully covered in all situations at all times.

A car insurance company might deny your claim because the driver was unlicensed, for example.

Full Coverage Doesn’t Mean Full Value

It’s also important to remember that “full coverage” auto insurance doesn’t necessarily mean your insurance company will cover all expenses.

When you have a full coverage plan, you might assume that your insurance company will cover all medical costs, vehicle repairs, and other damages associated with an accident. That’s not necessarily the case.

Instead, full coverage plans may provide just basic liability coverage. You might have just $10,000 or $20,000 of medical liability coverage on your full coverage plan, for example. If damages exceed the limits of your policy, then you may be required to pay out of pocket. You’re not “fully covered” beyond your policy limits.

Make sure you understand the policy limits on your car insurance policy. Yes, you have a full coverage plan. No, that doesn’t mean your insurance company will fully cover every expense related to your accident. Full coverage plans have limits too.

You Can Add Optional Coverage to Your Full Coverage Auto Insurance Policy

You can enhance your full coverage auto insurance even further by adding optional policies to your plan. Full coverage auto insurance doesn’t necessarily mean maximum auto insurance.

For example, a car insurance company might let you purchase a rider that reimburses you for the cost of any rental cars that you need to rent after your main vehicle is damaged in a collision. Some full coverage auto insurance policies provide rental car reimbursement, while others do not.

Is Full Coverage Auto Insurance the Right Choice for You?

Generally speaking, if you can afford it, then you’ll want to buy comprehensive insurance and/or full coverage insurance. It provides peace of mind while protecting your vehicle from a wide range of unexpected events. Your vehicle is fully covered against a wide range of events and situations.

Yes, full coverage auto insurance costs more than liability insurance. After all, your insurance company is promising to cover the value of your vehicle in addition to covering damages you inflict on other people and property. The insurance company is taking on higher risk and higher liability.

Conclusion: Compare Quotes Today to Determine if Full Coverage Auto Insurance Is Right for You

Full coverage auto insurance and comprehensive auto insurance are two different types of policies. Full coverage auto insurance plans cover your vehicle during a collision and non-accident-related events. A basic liability plan does not.

Full coverage auto insurance policies vary in price and quality between American car insurance companies. Compare quotes online today to find the full coverage auto insurance that meets your lifestyle and budget.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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