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What is Full Coverage Car Insurance?

car insurance accident graphicLife is full of unexpected moments, like having a car crash accident. During these times, we lean on auto insurance to protect ourselves. So, you don’t want to wait until you have been involved in a car crash to find out what type of things you will be protected for. With this in mind, let’s look at what is meant by the term full coverage car insurance?

Defining “Full Coverage”

One of the most difficult elements is that there is no commonly accepted definition for what “full coverage” means. Just because you are purchasing full coverage car insurance doesn’t mean that you are getting the best plan. You’ll still need to consider what is covered and what the limits of the policy are. Let’s look at these elements, so you know how to evaluate a plan.

What is Covered by the Policy?

This is the most important question that you need to ask when considering any insurance policy. This determines the type of circumstances you will be able to claim for. For example, some policies won’t apply to vehicle damage.

The type of coverage you can expect with your plan can be broken into two areas. Elements that are required under state law and areas that are optional.

What’s Required Under State Law

What is required can vary slightly between states. Generally, these are the things that will be required by law:

  • Liability coverages. These are designed to offer some protection if you are responsible for causing the accident. It ensures that you will be able to pay for the medical bills or physical bills caused by your actions.
  • Underinsured/ Uninsured motorist coverages. This is designed to help you if the other driver doesn’t have liability insurance. It also helps you if the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance to fully cover your injuries. In some states, this will be needed in others it won’t be. In Florida, you will need this type of insurance.
  • Medical coverages/Personal Insurance Protection (PIP). These are designed to help you cover your medical expenses. They also cover the costs of any other passengers that might be in the vehicle. However, the rules about who is covered and in what circumstances will depend on your state.

In Florida, it is a requirement to have insurance. The police will be able to check whether you are insured. If they find that you don’t have adequate insurance, they will be able to issue you a fine. Your driving history can also determine what type of insurance you will need to purchase. If you have been involved in numerous accidents or have lots of demerit points, you might need to have full liability insurance. This is known as the Financial Responsibility Law.

Optional Coverage

Even though there are some elements of your coverage that will be legally required, there are a few optional areas that you can add to your policy. While this means that you will end up paying a little more for your insurance, it does mean that you will be able to get more protection. Some optional areas of coverage to consider include:

  • Collision coverage. This is designed to protect against vehicle damage, regardless of who is to blame for the accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage. This is also designed to protect against vehicle damage, in a wide range of situations. This includes things like hail or flood.
  • Emergency roadside assistance. This allows you to get the insurance company to send out a mechanic if your car breaks down.

It’s important to think about your personal circumstances when deciding on the type of insurance you want to get. For example, if your car isn’t worth much, it’s often not a good idea to take out comprehensive coverage. It’s also important to think about how likely a situation is to occur. For example, you won’t need to worry about the risk of flooding if you live in the Las Vega desert.

Read about Gap Insurance

Insurance Payment Limits

The next thing that you need to consider is the insurance limits. The minimum limit is set by the state. On the other hand, you have a maximum payout amount. This limits the amount your insurance will pay.

Purchasing a higher maximum amount of insurance coverage will give you more protection. However, it will mean that you will end up paying more in premiums. Because of this, it’s a good idea to weigh up the risk of getting into an accident against the amount of money you need to spend on insurance each month.

What Affects How Much You Need to Pay?

One of the most important elements that you need to consider is how much you will end up paying for the auto insurance policy. As we mentioned, this will depend on the type of coverage you have. The more extras you include, the more you will need to pay. It will also depend on how high the maximum payment limit is.

But there is a third element to consider. The deductible amount. This is the amount that you will pay out of your own pocket. The higher the deductible will be, the lower the premiums will be. Sometimes, the deductible will be expressed as a dollar figure, at other times it will be a percentage of the claim.

Finally, the insurer will need to think about your specific circumstances. First, they will be looking at your driving history. This tells them how much of a risk you are. They will also look at the vehicle you are driving. Some makes and models will have more advanced safety settings than others. This is why your premiums can sometimes fluctuate over time. 

Conclusion

Trying to find the right type of insurance policy can be difficult. It’s tempting to choose something that is labelled “full coverage”. But this won’t always offer you the best protection. It’s a good idea to consider what optional coverage you want and the maximum payout amount that you want to receive.

While this might seem like a lot of work, it’s important. The last thing you want is to find out that you don’t have enough coverage to pay your medical costs after an accident. So, take the opportunity to review your car insurance today.


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