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What's the difference between state minimum and full coverage?

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Most states, including Arizona, have laws that require drivers to, at the very least, carry liability insurance.  The purpose of liability insurance is to cover any medical (bodily injury liability) and property damage (property damage liability) expenses to the other driver and his or her vehicle in the event that you are in an at-fault accident.   It’s important to note that liability only coverage typically doesn’t cover damage to your car or your own injuries (unless you have “med-pay” coverage).

Full coverage, on the other hand, is an advantageous option that incorporates both collision and comprehensive insurance along with liability.  Collision coverage, as the name states, will pay to repair your vehicle, less your deductible, in the event that your car is damaged in an accident.  This includes colliding with another vehicle, hitting a stationary object, and having your parked car hit by another driver.  

Conversely, comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle against damage that isn’t a result of a collision.  This includes but is not limited to:

  • Civil disturbances
  • Natural disasters
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Damage from animals
  • Terrorism
  • Falling objects
  • Fire


Although it has its benefits, full coverage isn’t the optimal choice for everyone.   It’s important to speak to your insurance agent about what types and how much coverage is best for your individual situation.  

Also, the term “full coverage” doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is covered.  In some circumstances you can have “full coverage” (comprehensive and collision coverage) and not have glass coverage or not have rental car coverage.  Another reason it’s best to speak with an agent about your coverage is so that, come claims time, there aren’t any surprises.