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What's the Difference Between Full-Coverage and Liability Car Insurance?


Everyone should have car insurance. In fact, almost every state in the nation requires its motorists to have some active form of auto insurance. However, the level of coverage provided by auto insurance policies can vary.


Generally, car insurance policies provide either liability coverage or comprehensive coverage.


Liability Car Insurance

Liability coverage is geared toward protecting you from legal liability. That is, this type of plan provides coverage (after you meet your deductible amount) for what you may owe the other motorist, or property owner, after an accident. The policy will cover bodily injury liability, property damage liability, or both, beyond your deductible amount. Since you will generally only be liable for the other driver’s repair costs and/or medical expenses if you were at fault in the accident, liability coverage does not cover the costs to repair or replace your own vehicle.



In states that only require liability coverage, many motorists chose this option because, in many cases, it costs less to them. For example, if your car’s value is relatively low, it may not be worth it to pay a higher premium for comprehensive coverage, because you only stand to lose the market value of your car if it is totaled. Essentially, the benefit is that if you are at fault, you only pay up to your deductible amount for the other driver’s costs resulting from the accident, even if the other driver had an expensive car and incurred extensive medical bills. If your car is totaled, however, you pay out of pocket for the loss (the policy does not cover any of your damage).


Comprehensive Car Insurance

Comprehensive coverage provides insurance for costs incurred beyond your deductible amount, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. Therefore, comprehensive coverage does include costs relating to damage to your vehicle. Since comprehensive insurance provides more coverage for more potential types of damage, the premium for keeping the policy is generally higher.

If you know it will be very expensive for you to repair or replace your vehicle, or perhaps believe you are highly likely to be involved in an accident, regardless of who is at fault, then it is probably worth it to get comprehensive insurance policy. When insuring a first-time driver, comprehensive car insurance is also recommended.


While comprehensive coverage provides a bigger safety net, not all motorists can justify paying higher monthly premiums. The circumstances differ for each car and driver, and states have different minimum coverage requirements. Deductible levels also vary among different types of policies. It’s therefore important to consult your insurance agent to determine what coverage is necessary and right for you.


Instead of worrying about which insurance is right for you (and your wallet), let Boone Ritter Insurance help find the right insurance for you. For more information on how our agency can serve you, contact us here.


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