So you think you have "full coverage" auto insurance?

Posted on Tue Nov 16, 2021

A "full coverage" policy typically has 3 components:

  1.  Liability coverage, which pays for injury to another motorist or damage to another car. Alabama requires that drivers have a minimum amount of $25,000 in liability coverage.
  2. Collision coverage, which pays for physical damage to your car if you run into something, such as another vehicle or a tree.
  3. Comprehensive coverage, which pays for physical damage to your car that is not the result of a collision. For example, comprehensive coverage might pay for damage resulting from vandalism, severe weather or theft.


No matter what type of auto insurance policy you choose, you want to understand what coverages it includes. Some consumers who buy a "full coverage" policy are later shocked to find out that they've got less insurance coverage than they thought.

Just because you ask for "full coverage" does not mean you are covered for everything, and it definitely does not mean you are carrying enough coverage. Contrary to what the term suggests, "full coverage" policies do not include many types of coverage that you may need. Other benefits that frequently are not included in "full coverage" policies include:

  • Roadside assistance;
  • Rental car reimbursement coverage; and
  • Full-glass coverage.

Medical and rehabilitation expense benefits, loss-of-pay benefits and funeral expense benefits are other optional types of coverage that typically are not part of a "full coverage" plan.

Even in cases where a "full coverage" policy includes a certain benefit, that doesn’t mean it includes the maximum levels of coverage or even the amount of coverage that you need. Most auto insurance companies will only give you only state-minimum liability insurance unless you ask for more. For example, if a state requires that you have $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance, that figure might be what an insurer includes in a "full coverage" policy. However, if you cause an accident and the other driver sues you for $100,000 in medical bills, you might have to come up with the additional $75,000 out of your pocket.