A client walks into an insurance office and says “I need full coverage”. (Wow, that sounds like the opening to a really, really bad joke…) But seriously, it’s a pretty common request when people call us for auto insurance. Imagine customers’ surprise when they discover there’s no such thing as “full coverage”!
It’s true: There is no such thing as full coverage for your auto insurance policy. People use the term because people say it on TV or they use it when talking to friends. When they use this term, they mean “more than just the basic.” Okay, so what is more than just the basic?
People often say they need full coverage when they owe something on their car- either lease or finance- and know their bank requires it of them. If the car is involved in an accident, the full coverage will pay off the loan and our client won’t be held responsible for the rest of the payments.
But still, what is full coverage?
9 times out of 10, an insurance agent will substitute the term “full coverage” for our industry phrases “Comprehensive and Collision Coverage lines with an automobile extension endorsement added on to include extra coverage enhancements”.
Your brain just heard “blah blah blah insurance something; long insurance words blah blah” WHAT does that MEAN?
Collision is pretty easy to explain- it’s an accident that either you or your car cause, that involves another vehicle. Your car, another car, accident is your fault.
Comprehensive (comp) is a little more difficult. It’s an accident that either you or your car cause, that involves anything other than another vehicle. Huh? Think a deer. A tree. Telephone pole, hail, lightening, flood. Heck, we even got an insurance company to pay out on a skunk. No physical damage to the vehicle on the outside, but the <ahem> odor got into the leather, carpets, AC system. The car had to be totaled; there was nothing they could do to get the smell out. We fought & got her money for the car. (It was pretty easy to fight when we made the adjustor sit in the car.)
The bells and whistles are everything from rental reimbursement (your car is in an accident and you need to rent a car to get around) or towing, Loan/Lease Payoff, pet injury (Sparky is in the car during an accident and needs medical attention.)
There are plenty of options to cover you and your vehicle in almost any situation. There’s no single type of full coverage, but your vehicle most definitely can be covered more fully. When you’re ready to choose what level of insurance coverage you need, your favorite insurance agent will be ready to help you.