What is Full Coverage Auto Insurance?

Most drivers automatically assume that they have full insurance coverage on their vehicle, in most cases they don’t. It’s something you deal with once when you speak to an insurance agent and have them structure your policy. It’s sort of like, set it and forget it and then realise you don’t have what you actually have. Barry from LawFull explains what full insurance coverage is and his experiences dealing with accident victims assuming they have full coverage, when they actually don’t.

See below for his YouTube video explaining all of this in detail, if you don’t fancy watching a video we’ve attached the transcript as well.

Barry Zlotowicz: Whenever I get a call from somebody who was just involved in an auto accident, I always ask, “What type of and how much insurance do you have?” They always tell me the same thing, “I’ve got full coverage.” What does full coverage mean and how much insurance do you really need? Check out this video to learn more.

Hi, Barry here with the LawFull channel. Welcome. If you haven’t been here before, please consider subscribing. If you have any legal questions on any topic, please feel free to reach out to me. If I can’t help you, I’ll find someone who can.

“I’ve got full coverage.” I hear it every day, but what does it mean and why is it important to you? Let’s get into the video to find out what type of insurance you need to have and how much insurance you should have to protect yourself. Every state has its own mandatory insurance requirements. For example, in my home state of Illinois, I have to have a minimum of $25,000 in insurance. I put a link in the show notes below that lists the minimum requirements for every state, so feel free to check it out.

What does that $25,000 mean? It means that if I hit somebody and I cause damage to them, or I injure them, I’m covered up to their first $25,000 in damages. In addition, in Illinois, at least, I also have $25,000 in uninsured motorist protection, meaning if the guy who hits me and causes my damage or my injury, I’m covered to my first $25,000 in damages as well. Here’s the thing, meeting your state’s mandatory minimum insurance requirement is not the equivalent of having full coverage. In fact, it’s far from it. Chances are you don’t have enough auto insurance.

Now, I’m saying this from a personal injury lawyer perspective. I’m not an insurance agent. I don’t profit by you having more insurance. In addition, it’s likely that there are various types of insurance that you could have, that you don’t have, that you might want to consider. Let’s check out what options are available to you. First, in terms of how much insurance you should have, people often have the minimum required by their state, but don’t realize that for a few dollars more, they can significantly increase their insurance coverage.

I always recommend to people to have at least $100,000 in liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist protection. If you get involved in a serious accident having the minimum coverage probably won’t even pay for your medical bills, let alone effectively compensate you for your pain and suffering.

I always recommend that people also have collision coverage. What collision coverage does is that if you get involved in an accident, you can turn to your own insurance company to get the property damage to your vehicle fixed. It will significantly shorten the amount of time it takes while the defendant’s insurance company figures out who was responsible for the accident.

You might also want to consider having something called comprehensive coverage. What that refers to is that if your car is involved in a non-vehicle related accident. For example, if it gets hit by a bolt of lightning, or if a tree lands on your car or whatever, you can get your property damage fixed by your own insurance company. Another small clause that you can add to your auto insurance policy is something called Med Pay or medical payments coverage. In some states, it’s called PIP coverage or personal injury protection.

What this means is you can obtain $2,500 or $5,000 or even $10,000 in medical payment coverage. Meaning the first $2,500 or $5,000 in your medical expenses are covered. The nice thing about Med Pay is: one, if you don’t have health insurance, it will cover your medical bills. Secondly, there’s no deductible with Med Pay, 100% of your bill is covered. Lastly, if you do have health insurance, you can use your Med Pay to cover your co-pays or your deductibles.

Finally, one thing that I see people missing out on is something called gap insurance. Now, where gap insurance comes into play is that when you buy a new vehicle, the value of your vehicle, the second you drive it off, that lot goes down significantly. If you get involved in an accident, it doesn’t matter how old your car is, you’re not going to get what you paid for that vehicle. In all likelihood, you’re going to recover from the insurance company far less than you owe on the vehicle. If that’s the case, Gap insurance will cover the deficit on your behalf.

Why do you need so much insurance? Well, I’ve talked about it before on this channel, but it’s estimated that about 13% of all drivers nationwide are uninsured. The next time you’re driving on the road, count the cars around you, over 1 in 10 does not have insurance. In states like Florida, it’s estimated that as much as 27% of all drivers don’t have any insurance. What’s going on in Florida? Do you still think you have full coverage auto insurance? Chances are you don’t, so call your auto insurance agent or go back online and see what you do have. If you can, if you are able, talk to an agent about increasing your auto insurance limits.

Okay, it’s time for your take on the law. Were you involved in an auto accident and thought that you had full coverage, only to find out that you had the minimum amount of insurance required by your state and other clauses you thought you had, you didn’t? Tell us about it in the show notes below.

Hey, thanks for checking out this video. If you have any questions about how much auto insurance you should have, please feel free to reach out to me. I’m happy to talk with you about this or any other legal issue. If you haven’t, consider subscribing to our channel for great legal information on the topics that affect our lives. See you next time.