The difference between comprehensive and full coverage is that comprehensive insurance is just the part of full coverage that covers damage to a car from things other than accidents, like theft or fire. Full coverage usually means a car insurance policy with comprehensive, collision, and the state’s minimum requirements.
Comprehensive insurance mostly covers events outside of a driver’s control, or incidents that happen when a car is parked. For instance, comprehensive covers vehicle damage or replacement due to natural disasters, extreme weather events, and vandalism. When combined with collision insurance, these two types of insurance cover most incidents that could damage your car, hence the designation “full coverage.” Comprehensive and collision coverage are not mandatory in any state, but some lenders and lessors will require them on a leased or financed car.
Since every state has different car insurance requirements, full coverage can also include several other types of coverage. For example, personal injury protection (PIP) and MedPay are required in certain states, and would therefore be included in full coverage in these locations.
Finally, remember that even a supposedly full coverage policy will not cover everything. Things like rental car reimbursement while your own car is being repaired or replaced are available separately and aren’t usually included in the term full coverage.
When shopping for insurance, it’s best to look past labels like full coverage and instead consider your state’s laws and your own financial situation. And if an insurance agent or broker offers to sell you full coverage, be sure to clarify exactly what’s included.
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