When discussing auto insurance, it's pretty tough to NOT hear the term "full coverage" from time to time. Not only that, but I'm pretty sure you've said it when discussing your own policy. And unfortunately, we agents lapse into using that language since the general population is used to the term. But do you know what it REALLY means? And how it affects you? Here's what Full Coverage Auto Insurance and Liability Only actually mean so you better understand your own coverage and have the information to make good decisions about it.
Full Coverage Auto Insurance
Like many types of insurance, there are several pieces in an auto insurance policy. The two most common are :
- Liability- which pays for bodily injury and property damage to OTHERS
- Comprehensive and collision- which pays for damage to YOUR vehicle. Quick note- comprehensive and collision are actually TWO separate coverage items, but are usually lumped together when discussing the idea of "full coverage."
When talking about full coverage auto insurance, most times you're talking about having both liability and the comprehensive/collision coverage.
Comprehensive covers such things as glass breakage, vandalism, theft, falling objects, contact with an animal, and fire. Collision is overturn or upset of a vehicle and a collision with something other than an animal.
So having both liability and comprehensive/collision means you have coverage for both other people and their property AND your property, such as your vehicle.
Liability Only Auto Insurance
Liability only auto insurance leaves YOU out of the picture, only covering OTHER people and their property. The other people part is pretty easy to understand- could be people in the other vehicle or even a pedestrian. The bodily injury portion of the liability coverage pays for injuries sustained by the other person. The property damage pays for any property you damage as a result of the accident. Examples include a vehicle, house, fence, commercial building- you get the idea. Someone ELSE'S property.
As a side note, in Ohio, you must prove financial responsibility to drive or own a vehicle. The liability portion of the auto insurance policy accomplishes that.
It also makes sense that the less pieces you have in your auto insurance policy, the less the premium will be. So liability only auto insurance is less costly than a policy that also includes comprehensive and collision (i.e. the "full coverage" term you're used to using). For additional tips on when to carry liability only vs. full coverage, you can read our article Is Liability Only Insurance a Bad Idea?
Just know there is no such thing as "Full Coverage" or being "Fully Insured." Your Ohio auto insurance policy may require the liability portion due to state law, but the other pieces can be added or subtracted based on your individual situation. Now that you have a better understanding (we hope) of Full Coverage Auto Insurance vs. Liability Only Coverage, we hope this helps you better understand your own policy so you can make good decisions.
If you have questions about Full Coverage Auto Insurance vs. Liability Only, please call us at (937) 592-4871 or visit our website. You can also request your Ohio auto insurance quote today!