How Much Is Flood Insurance for Renters on Average in California

How Much Is Flood Insurance for Renters on Average in California

The average annual cost of flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is $850 for California homeowners. But renters, who would only be insuring their personal possessions and not the building they’re in, can expect to pay much less for their coverage.

The cost of insuring your rental home’s contents still can vary significantly, depending on several factors, including if you live in a high-risk area, the coverage amount you want, and the deductible you choose.

Read on to learn more about purchasing flood insurance as a California renter, including what it can cost and why you might choose to purchase a policy to protect your belongings.

What Is Flood Insurance?

While most renters insurance policies cover some types of water damage (from a burst pipe or an overflowed toilet, for example), a standard renters policy typically doesn’t cover flood damage that comes from outside the home or from underground sources.

To be sure your furniture, electronics, and other belongings are protected if waters rise and flooding affects your rental home, you may need to buy a separate flood policy that will help you repair or replace what you’ve lost.

How Can Renters Get Flood Insurance?

Most people get their flood coverage through the NFIP, which is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The NFIP works with a network of insurance companies across the country to provide policies.

FEMA’s flood insurance for renters and others isn’t sold directly by the federal government. Instead, you can purchase an NFIP policy through an authorized insurance company, under what’s known as a Write Your Own (WYO) program. The NFIP works with more than 50 insurance companies, so if an agent or broker helped you purchase your renters or auto policy, you can probably work with that same person or organization. If not, you can get help finding an NFIP provider online at FloodSmart.gov, or you can call the NFIP at 877-0336-2627.

You also may want to check into private, non-government-backed flood insurance policies that may be offered in your area. These policies have different coverage limits, premiums, and deductible amounts than what an NFIP policy offers and can be a good fit for some needs. Just be sure your quote is coming from a stable company that is capable of paying out claims in the event of a major flood.

What Is Covered by Flood Insurance?

The NFIP offers two types of flood coverage. You can get a policy that covers a building only, a policy that covers only the contents in the building, or you can get coverage for both a building and its contents.

It’s up to a building’s owner to decide whether to buy flood insurance for their structure. Renters only have to worry about getting coverage for the possessions they keep in their rental condo, apartment, or house.

What does flood insurance cover for renters? An NFIP contents-only policy can provide up to $100,000 in personal property damage and typically covers items like:

•   Personal belongings, including clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment (TVs, computers, etc.)

•   Valuables, such as original artwork (up to $2,500)

•   Portable and window air conditioners

•   Washer and dryer

•   Microwave or convection oven

•   Rugs

•   Curtains and other window coverings

What Isn’t Covered by Flood Insurance?

Most personal property kept in a basement — including money, furniture, clothing, and electronics — won’t be covered by NFIP flood insurance. So if you’re renting a basement apartment (even if it’s a walkout basement), you’ll want to be clear about what can and can’t be insured.

Items you keep outside the building also may not be covered under an NFIP policy, including your car, bicycle, or plants.

NFIP flood insurance also won’t cover the costs you may incur if you must move to temporary housing because of flooding damage. (If you have renters insurance with “loss of use coverage,” you may be out of luck there, too. Loss of use coverage typically pays out only when the reason you’ve been displaced is covered by your renters policy — and as noted above, the standard renters policy doesn’t cover flooding damage.)

Keep in mind that private flood policies may have different coverage exclusions.

Recommended: The Cost of Repairing a Plumbing Leak

Is Flood Insurance Required for California Renters?

Flood insurance isn’t legally mandated for renters in California, or anywhere in the U.S. And though your landlord can require renters insurance, a landlord can’t make renters purchase a separate flood policy.

However, if you feel your personal property could be at risk, you may want to consider adding flood protection.

Residents may worry more about their risk from earthquakes and wildfires, but according to the Public Policy Institute of California, much of the state is vulnerable to flooding. The valleys are susceptible to overflowing rivers. Some coastal areas are unprotected from high tides and storm-driven waves. Deserts and areas burned by wildfires may be hit by flash flooding. And urban areas with poor drainage systems and lots of concrete are at risk of flooding from heavy rains.

FEMA says just one inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 in damage. And without a flood policy, the cost of replacing your ruined belongings would fall to you.

How Can You Assess Your Rental’s Risk?

Knowing your designated flood zone can help you decide if you want to prioritize purchasing flood insurance for your rental. You can find your zone by entering your address at the FEMA Flood Map Service Center at MSC.FEMA.gov. Buildings in zones A and V are at the highest risk for flooding, while those in zones B, C, and X are considered at moderate risk.

Even if you don’t live in a high-risk zone, you can still experience flood damage. More than 20% of all insurance claims come from moderate- to low-risk flood zones, according to NFIP data.

If you’re new to the state or your city — or even if you’ve just moved to a new building — you may want to speak with your neighbors or landlord about the history and potential for flooding.

How Much Is Flood Insurance for Renters?

The NFIP offers contents-only policies for as low as $100 annually. Your premium can vary based on several factors, including the items you plan to protect and their replacement cost.

Remember, with an NFIP contents-only policy, the maximum amount of coverage you can get is $100,000. If your needs go beyond that threshold, you may want to consider buying excess flood insurance through a private flood policy. Or you may find a private policy alone is a better fit for you.

If it seems as though adding a flood policy on top of the cost of renters insurance might be beyond your budget, you may be able to lower the premium by raising your deductible amount. And your insurance agent can probably make other suggestions to keep the cost down.

It might make sense to sit down and look at how renters insurance for flooding would fit — along with life, car, health, and standard renters insurance — as part of your overall personal insurance planning. Don’t put off the decision to purchase until forecasters are predicting a potential flood event, though. There is typically a 30-day waiting period for an NFIP flood insurance policy to go into effect.

Recommended: Different Types of Insurance Deductibles

The Takeaway

FEMA offers flood insurance for renters, known as contents coverage, for as low as $100 a year through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). But the cost of an NFIP policy or a private (non-government-backed) flood policy can vary significantly depending on where you live and what you want to protect. Flood insurance is a standalone policy, so the premium would be on top of whatever you may be paying for renters insurance. (Most renters insurance policies don’t cover flood damage.)

While SoFi doesn’t offer flood insurance, the National Flood Insurance Program offers coverage that can protect you from expensive damage.

If it’s time to reevaluate your overall insurance plan, SoFi can help. SoFi teams with top carriers to help you get reliable coverage with the convenience of shopping for insurance online. With SoFi Protect, you can search for the coverage you need — for your home and belongings, life, and car — at a price you can afford.

Let SoFi help you build a plan that protects the people and things you love.

FAQ

Is there flood insurance for renters?

Yes. Renters can get contents-only insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private (non-government-backed) flood policy.

Can my landlord require flood insurance?

No. Flood insurance is not legally mandated in any state, and landlords can’t require renters to carry it.

Will my bicycle, kids’ toys, and other things I store outside my apartment be covered by flood insurance?

An NFIP contents-only policy won’t cover items that are kept outside, and there are also limits on what an NFIP policy will cover in a basement.


Photo credit: iStock/Cunaplus_M.Faba

Insurance not available in all states.
Gabi is a registered service mark of Gabi Personal Insurance Agency, Inc.
SoFi is compensated by Gabi for each customer who completes an application through the SoFi-Gabi partnership.


Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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How Much More Is Car Insurance for a Sports Car?

How Much More Is Car Insurance for a Sports Car?

Insurance for a 2022 model sports car costs on average $2,152 annually. The cost difference between insuring a sports car and a standard vehicle can range from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. The average cost for a conventional car is $1,567.

To help you decide if purchasing a hot new ride makes sense, we’ll provide details about how much insurance costs for a sports car, and the factors that can raise or lower your premiums.

Recommended: How to Get Car Insurance

What Is Sports Car Insurance?

“Sports car” is a common term used for small, low-built cars designed for performance at high speeds. Sports car insurance then refers to typical auto insurance for a sports model. Drivers generally have to pay more to insure a sports car because of the higher sticker price and greater perceived risk.

Sports cars usually have top-of-the-line engines that drivers can easily push to high speeds, upping the likelihood of an accident or speeding ticket. Sports cars tend to be more expensive to repair and replace because their parts are costly to manufacture. As a result, insurers charge drivers more to cover sports cars.

Need to brush up on your vehicular vocabulary? Check out our roundup of car insurance terms.

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How Much Does Insurance Cost for a Sports Car?

For a 30-year-old driver, sports car insurance can range from $1,857 for a Mazda MX-5 to $4,823 for a Maserati Quattroporte S GranSport. Keep in mind that these numbers are averages. Your costs will depend on many factors, such as your age and the age of the car, security features installed in the vehicle, the state you live in, and how much you drive.

Parents and teens alike may benefit from our insurance tips for first-time drivers.

Recommended: How to Lower Car Insurance

Average Cost of Insuring a Sports Car

See below for the average cost of insuring a sports car, by make and model:

Make and Model

National Average Rate

Maserati Quattroporte S GranSport $4,823
Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport $4,208
BMW M8 xDrive $3,907
Audi R8 5.2L Spyder Quattro $3,863
Nissan GT-R Nismo $3,829
BMW M5 Competition xDrive $3,777
Tesla Model S $3,567
Porsche 911 $3,261
Dodge Charger $2,930
Jaguar F-Type $2,751
Dodge Challenger $2,317
Chevrolet Corvette $2,420
Mazda MX-5 Miata $1,857

What Do Insurance Companies Consider To Be Sports Cars?

While insurance companies don’t have a strict, universal definition for sports cars, they typically have powerful engines with more horsepower but weigh less than sedans. Sports cars get their name from the sport of racing, which inspires their engine specs and body shape. Manufacturers design sports cars to be small, fast, and maneuverable.

Car enthusiasts and connoisseurs appreciate the expertise and craft that go into making sports cars. But anyone can get behind the wheel of these thrilling and potentially dangerous vehicles. Those dangers have financial implications, so insurance companies charge increased premiums. Still, it’s possible to find affordable car insurance for many sports models.

What Coverage Do You Need for a Performance Car?

Because of a sports car’s higher value, drivers tend to choose maximum vehicle coverage over minimum car insurance. Full coverage can vary but tends to include the following:

Liability Insurance

If you’re at fault for an accident, liability insurance covers the cost of injuries and property damage to the other people involved. It can also cover legal fees and court costs if someone sues you after an at-fault accident. Most states require some level of liability insurance.

Comprehensive and Collision

This coverage provides complete damage coverage for your vehicle, whether it’s beat up by a storm or after an accident. If you lease or finance your sports car, your leasing agent or lender will likely require this coverage.

Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist

UM coverage protects you if you collide with someone with limited or no auto insurance. In an accident where someone else is at fault and they don’t have enough insurance, UM will cover your medical bills up to policy limits. Some states require UM coverage.

Recommended: How Much Car Insurance Do I Need?

Personal Injury Protection

PIP insurance covers medical bills, lost wages, and funeral expenses after an accident, no matter who caused it. Some states require this type of coverage.

Gap Insurance

When a newer car is totaled, standard insurance will reimburse you the car’s actual cash value (ACV), which may be less than the amount left on your loan or lease. Gap insurance covers the gap between the vehicle’s ACV and the amount you owe, minus the deductible.

Learn more about how gap insurance works.

New Car Replacement

New car replacement operates similarly to gap insurance by covering the cost of purchasing the same make and model vehicle that was damaged — after the deductible.

Recommended: How Much Does Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

Which Sports Car Has the Cheapest Insurance?

The sports car that’s cheapest to insure is the Mazda MX-5, with an $1,174 average premium, per Quadrant Information Services. That may be because Mazda is known as one of the safest car brands on the market, according to U.S. News.

For a deep dive into the process, read this take on how to get car insurance.

Which Sports Car Is the Most Expensive to Insure?

According to Kelley Blue Book, the Maserati Quattroporte S GranSport is one of the most expensive sports cars to insure, costing $4,823 annually on average. Maserati is a renowned exotic car manufacturer, whose vehicles are both expensive and exclusive. The Quattroporte is a supercharged luxury sports sedan.

Recommended: How To Save on Car Maintenance Costs

How Can You Save Money on Sports Car Insurance Rates?

Although sports cars are expensive to own, you can lower the cost of car insurance with the following tips:

Take Advantage of Discounts

Insurance companies reward drivers with discounts for various efforts, such as avoiding tickets and driving less. As a sports car driver, you can do the following to reduce insurance costs:

•   Install an anti-theft device.

•   Do the bulk of your driving with another car. For example, you could commute with an economy car and take your sports car out on weekends.

•   Keep a clean driving record free of accidents and tickets.

•   If you have multiple vehicles, insure both with the same company for a price reduction.

•   Purchase your homeowners or renter’s insurance from the same company providing your auto policy to receive a discount.

•   Pass a driver safety test.

•   Install a tracking device to record your driving habits.

Increase your Deductible

Deductibles and premiums have an inverse relationship. If you choose a high deductible (what you pay before your insurance covers the remaining costs), your monthly premiums fall. Therefore, you can change your policy to take on more of a financial burden if you get into an accident, making your policy more affordable on a monthly basis.

Shop Around

You don’t know what you don’t know, and that is very true of insurance costs. Requesting quotes from multiple insurance companies allows you to compare insurance packages and find the best price. Regular personal insurance planning sessions can make sure you’re saving money on all of your policies.

Switching car insurance may seem counterintuitive if you think you have an excellent price, but it doesn’t hurt to check. Bundling is often helpful in reducing insurance costs, but you might find an outstanding deal with an insurer that beats the discount your current insurance company offers. Specifically, online insurance may offer lower rates than traditional insurers.

The Takeaway

Sports cars are fast, fun vehicles that make driving exciting — and expensive. While their agility and speed are enjoyable, their insurance costs can be prohibitive, especially for younger drivers. However, you can reduce insurance costs by avoiding the most expensive sports cars, such as Maseratis and Audis, and driving more modestly priced models like the Mazda MX-5 or Chevrolet Corvette. Also, older “classic” sports cars don’t have the same insurance upcharge as newer models. And of course, it pays to keep a clean driving record.

Whether you’re considering a sports car, auto insurance, or other significant financial decision, shopping around is crucial. SoFi’s auto insurance tool allows you to compare rates from the top insurers to help you get the best deal. You’ll find rates in real time with no finagling.

SoFi streamlines your insurance shopping journey to make sure you arrive at a good price.

FAQ

Is it more expensive to insure a sports car?

Sports car insurance costs about $1,850 to $4,800 annually, depending on the car model and age. Conversely, conventional cars cost about $1,728 to insure in the United States on average.

Does insurance go up when you buy a sports car?

Since sports cars tend to be faster than standard cars (which increases the probability of an accident), it usually costs more to insure one.

How can I lower my insurance on my sports car?

You can lower your insurance on your sports car by building a favorable credit score, maintaining a clean driving record, bundling multiple types of insurance, and fulfilling specific conditions from your insurance company. For example, you might install a car alarm or reduce your monthly miles driven to receive discounts on your premium. Also, shopping amongst insurance companies for the best deal can help you find a lower rate.


Photo credit: iStock/Arand

Insurance not available in all states.
Gabi is a registered service mark of Gabi Personal Insurance Agency, Inc.
SoFi is compensated by Gabi for each customer who completes an application through the SoFi-Gabi partnership.


Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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How Much Is Car Insurance for a Truck on Average?

How Much Is Car Insurance for a Truck on Average?

If you’re considering buying your first truck, you may be wondering how much the insurance is going to run. While the cost of insuring a truck varies based on a few factors, the national average is $1,731 per year — about the same as car insurance.

Keep reading for more insight into how much truck insurance costs, and how to lower your premiums.

Recommended: How to Lower Car Insurance

Differences Between Auto, Truck, and Commercial Truck Insurance

There are really only two types of auto insurance. The type of auto insurance you need depends on what purpose you’ll use your vehicle for.

•   Personal auto insurance. If someone wants to buy or lease a truck for personal use, then they’ll need a personal auto insurance policy. This may be referred to as auto insurance or truck insurance.

•   Commercial auto insurance. Companies that use cars and trucks for business purposes need this policy instead.

Both types cover property damage, bodily injury, and legal expenses related to auto accidents. Commercial auto insurance takes coverage a step further, usually featuring higher claim amounts and protection against more complex legal issues.

Curious about the legal minimum insurance drivers can carry? Find out about minimum car insurance requirements by state.

Recommended: Does Auto Insurance Roadside Assistance Cover Keys Locked in a Car?

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Truck?

Exactly how much is insurance for a pickup truck? The average annual cost of personal auto insurance for a truck is $1,731.

The typical cost of commercial truck insurance depends on the type of business. Transport truckers haul general freight, such as automobiles, food, and products for retail stores. Specialty truckers cover a single type of freight, like logs or garbage. The average annual premium for commercial insurance is $640 for specialty truckers, and $982 for transport truckers.

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Does It Cost More To Insure a Truck or Automobile?

It isn’t necessarily more expensive to insure a truck over a car. Trucks are actually the second cheapest vehicle type to insure.

One exception is the age of the driver. College students may have a harder time finding affordable car insurance for their truck.

Average Cost of Car Insurance for Truck by Make and Model

How much is insurance for a new truck? Below are the average monthly rates for 10 major truck makes and models. You may figure out at a glance whether it’s worth switching car insurance companies.

Make and Model

Average Liability Rates

Average Collision Rates

Average Comprehension Rates

Average Full Coverage Rates

Chevrolet Colorado $21 $37 $31 $102
Ford Ranger $21 $39 $31 $105
Ford F-150 $27 $39 $31 $110
RAM 3500 $22 $33 $48 $121
GMC Sierra 1500 $28 $50 $31 $122
Toyota Tundra $28 $44 $35 $122
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 $27 $47 $35 $124
RAM 1500 $30 $47 $35 $127
Ford F-Series Super Duty $27 $51 $39 $132
Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD $30 $57 $35 $138

Make and model aren’t the only things that determine auto insurance prices. For example, first-time drivers are more likely to pay more for auto insurance.

What Is the Cheapest Pickup Truck to Insure?

Many factors can impact the cost of car insurance, such as the type of deductible you choose. Generally, the Chevrolet Colorado is one of the more inexpensive pickup trucks to insure with an annual average full coverage rate of $102.

It’s important to note that even if someone chooses a model that is known to be inexpensive to insure, their personal driving history impacts the insurance rate they’re offered. A driver with a clean record typically will get a better rate, whereas the same insurance goes up after an accident.

Recommended: How to Calculate Expected Rate of Return

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Trucks

It’s always a good idea to shop around to get several quotes (you can include traditional insurers and online insurance companies. This will give you a good idea of which companies offer the most complete coverage and affordable rates.

There are several ways to lower your car insurance, but the easiest may be to choose a higher deductible. The following companies offer the lowest annual rates for car insurance, per U.S. News:

Insurer

Annual Premium

USAA $1,000
GEICO $1,148
State Farm $1,267
Nationwide $1,327
Travelers $1,371
American Family $1,372
Progressive $1,533
Farmers $1,917
Allstate $2,047

Before shopping for quotes, it’s helpful to brush up on car insurance terms to better understand what type of coverage each provider is offering.

Truck Features That Impact Insurance Costs

Truck features don’t directly impact the cost of insuring the vehicle — unless they increase the overall cost of the car. The more expensive a truck is, the more it costs to insure.

Any features that increase the likelihood of theft or the cost of maintenance and repairs can also drive up the price of insurance for trucks.

Recommended: How To Get Car Insurance

The Takeaway

The average annual rate for personal car insurance (as opposed to commercial) for a truck is $1,731. The overall cost of the truck greatly impacts the price of insurance. The more expensive a truck is, the more it costs to insure it. For this reason, special features may also increase your cost. Perhaps surprisingly, truck insurance is not more expensive than car insurance. In fact, pickups are the second cheapest model to insure.

Are you paying too much for truck insurance? SoFi makes it possible to compare multiple auto insurance rates from top companies, without having to visit multiple websites.

Real rates, with no bait and switch.

FAQ

Do trucks cost more to insure than cars?

Generally, trucks don’t cost more to insure than other types of cars. They’re actually usually the second least expensive type of car to insure. How much it costs to insure a car is usually based more on the overall cost of the car than the type of car someone chooses to drive, so an inexpensive truck may cost much less to insure than a luxury SUV or sedan.

Is insurance high on a pickup truck?

Insurance isn’t necessarily high on a pickup truck. Trucks usually cost less to insure than other types of cars. That said, high-value pickups can cost a lot to insure. The higher a truck’s (or any car’s) price, the higher the insurance premiums.


Photo credit: iStock/JMichl

Insurance not available in all states.
Gabi is a registered service mark of Gabi Personal Insurance Agency, Inc.
SoFi is compensated by Gabi for each customer who completes an application through the SoFi-Gabi partnership.


Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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Liability vs Full Coverage Car Insurance: What They Cover

Liability vs Full Coverage Car Insurance: What They Cover

Full coverage car insurance protects you against the most common causes of car damage and bodily injury: not just accidents but also theft, vandalism, fire, and more. Depending on the state you live in, it may also include Uninsured Motorist coverage, and Personal Injury Protection for yourself and your passengers. Liability, on the other hand, only offers financial protection against other drivers’ claims of injury and damage if you’re found at fault.

It can be hard to know how much insurance you need, and how to keep costs down. We’ll review the different types of policies available, pros and cons of each, and the average cost of full coverage vs. liability.

What Is Full Coverage Car Insurance?

Full coverage car insurance refers to a policy with the broadest protections available. Although specifics vary by policy, full coverage usually includes the following:

•   Liability: If you’re involved in an accident and found to be at fault, this type of insurance provides financial protection against other drivers’ claims of bodily injury and property damage.

•   Collision: Helps pay for damages to your own vehicle after an accident with another vehicle or an object like a guardrail.

•   Comprehensive: Protects you against theft or damage unrelated to an accident, such as fire or vandalism.

In some states, full coverage may also include the following:

•   Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM): Covers your losses if the other driver either doesn’t have insurance or not enough.

•   Personal injury protection (PIP): Covers medical expenses for yourself and passengers in your car if injuries occur. It may cover other costs, as well: lost wages, the cost of services that you can’t perform while injured, such as housekeeping, as well as funeral costs.

•   Medical payments (MedPay): This can cover medical expenses but doesn’t offer the fullness of coverage that’s available through PIP.

Check your state laws for specifics. This guide to car insurance terms can also be helpful.

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Recommended: Insurance Tips for First-Time Drivers

Average Cost of Full Coverage Car Insurance

The average full coverage car insurance cost in 2022 is $1,771 annually. Of course, many factors go into full coverage car insurance quotes, so your price will undoubtedly vary. The cost for a male teenage driver, for example, is $807 more each year on average.

A poor driving record will almost double your premiums. For more details, check out this look at how much insurance goes up after an accident.

Your deductible will also make a big difference in your premiums. In general, the lower the deductible, the higher the premium, and vice versa. So if you’re wondering how to lower your car insurance cost, consider choosing a higher deductible.

The cheapest full coverage car insurance is about $1,000 per year for an individual policy.

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Why Consider Getting Full Coverage Insurance?

You’ll have the broadest protections with a full coverage policy. Also, if you have a car loan, your lender may require you to have full coverage to protect their investment. The best way to determine how much coverage you need is to sit down for a personal insurance planning session.

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Pros and Cons of Full Coverage Car Insurance

There are advantages and disadvantages to paying for full coverage car insurance.

Pros of full coverage

•   Provides a broader range of protection:

◦   May cover medical expenses if you’re hurt in a collision

◦   May cover vandalism and theft

◦   Can protect you after an accident if the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough coverage

•   Typically meets all state insurance requirements.

•   Usually satisfies the requirements of your lender or lessor.

Cons of full coverage

•   Cost is higher than baseline liability insurance.

•   Doesn’t provide coverage for commercial driving purposes.

•   Won’t cover the cost of normal wear and tear.

What Full Coverage Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Although full coverage provides a significant amount of protection, it doesn’t cover every situation imaginable. It may or may not, for example, provide UM/UIM, PIP, or MedPay coverage. As noted above, full coverage also doesn’t account for standard wear and tear or maintenance needs on the vehicle — that’s up to you. Learn more about saving on car maintenance costs.

Because full coverage varies from company to company, it’s important to read your agreement carefully and understand what it does and doesn’t include.

What Is Liability Car Insurance?

There are two components to what liability auto insurance covers: bodily injury and property damage. If someone is at fault in an accident, their bodily injury coverage will pay for the medical expenses of injured parties. It may also cover lost income, legal fees, and/or funeral costs.

Property damage coverage helps pay for damage to the other person’s vehicle and to any other property that sustained damage during the accident, such as a fence, home, or bicycle.

Personal liability coverage is something different. It typically covers medical costs for someone injured on your property or because of your negligence. It may cover property damage costs, legal fees, and so forth.

Recommended: Does Net Worth Include Home Equity

Average Cost of Liability Insurance

On average, a liability insurance policy costs $716 in 2022. But again, many factors — including your age, gender, driving record, and type of deductible — can influence the price.

Why Consider Getting Liability Coverage Insurance?

Most states require liability car insurance, although the specifics vary from state to state. do not require it. In New Hampshire and Virginia, you can skip liability insurance if you can prove you can pay for costs out-of-pocket after an accident where you’re at fault.

Pros and Cons of Liability Coverage Car Insurance

While it may be tempting to pay for only liability coverage, you need to keep certain drawbacks in mind.

Pros of liability insurance

•   Costs less than full coverage car insurance.

•   Provides basic coverage in case of an accident.

•   Required by most states.

Cons of liability insurance

•   If an accident occurs, you could still be on the hook for many costs (more on this below).

•   Won’t cover theft or vandalism of your vehicle.

•   If you have a loan or lease, the lender/lessor may require full coverage.

What Liability Insurance Doesn’t Cover

If an accident occurs, liability insurance won’t cover damage to your vehicle. For that, you need collision coverage. Liability may or may not cover your personal injuries. And if you’re not at fault in the accident, it doesn’t cover the other driver’s medical bills or property damage costs.

Differences Between Liability and Full Coverage Insurance

When weighing liability vs. full coverage car insurance, here are a few things to consider:

•   Full coverage car insurance costs more, but it also offers significantly more protection.

•   Liability auto insurance is required in most states, but full coverage is not.

•   If you have a car loan or lease, the lender/lessor will likely require full coverage.

•   With liability insurance, there’s no deductible. With full coverage, deductibles range from $500 to $1,500.

When To Add Optional Coverage

Optional coverage to consider include:

•   Rental car reimbursement: If your car is in the shop or otherwise out of service for more than a day, this pays for a rental vehicle.

•   Gap insurance: This is intended for cars that have a loan or lease. If the vehicle is totalled and you owe more than the value of the car, gap insurance pays the difference.

•   New car replacement: As the name suggests, if a car is totaled, you get a new car that’s similar to your previous one.

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What Are the State Minimum Requirements for Full Coverage?

How to read this table: Alabama’s requirements for car insurance are 25/50/25. This means that the state requires $25,000 of bodily injury liability insurance per person, with $50,000 for all bodily injuries that take place within a single accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident. Just keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of car insurance you need.

State

Car Insurance Requirements

Additional Requirements

Alabama 25/50/25
Alaska 50/100/25
Arizona 25/50/15
Arkansas 25/50/25
California 15/30/5
Colorado 25/50/15
Connecticut 25/50/25 The state also requires uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
Delaware 25/50/10 The state also requires personal injury protection (PIP)
Florida Property damage liability of $10,000 per accident and $10,000 PIP coverage
Georgia 25/50/25
Hawaii 20/40/10 and $10,000 PIP
Idaho 25/50/15
Illinois 25/50/20 Under state law, policies automatically include what’s required for uninsured motorist coverages
Indiana 25/50/25 This state also requires $50,000 in underinsured motorist coverage for bodily injuries
Iowa 20/40/15
Kansas 25/50/25 Along with uninsured/underinsured coverage ($25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident) and personal injury protection (PIP or no-fault)
Kentucky 25/50/25
Louisiana 15/30/25
Maine 50/100/25 Along with $50,000 uninsured coverage per person and $100,000 per accident, and $2,000 in medical payment coverage
Maryland 30/60/15
Massachusetts 20/40/5 and $8,000 PIP
Michigan 20/40/10
Minnesota 30/60/10 Along with $25,000 uninsured/underinsured coverage per person, $50,000 per accident, and $40,000 PIP
Mississippi 25/50/15
Missouri 25/50/25 Plus $25,000 uninsured coverage per person and $50,000 per accident
Montana 25/50/20
Nebraska 25/50/25 Plus $25,000 uninsured/underinsured coverage per person and $50,000 per accident
Nevada 25/50/20
New Jersey 15/30/5 Along with $15,000 PIP
New Mexico 25/50/10
New York 25/50/50 and $50,000 PIP
North Carolina 30/60/25 The state also has detailed specifics about required insurance coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorists
North Dakota 25/50/25
Ohio 25/50/25
Oklahoma 25/50/25
Oregon 25/50/20 Plus $25,000 uninsured coverage per person and $50,000 per accident, and $15,000 PIP
Pennsylvania 15/30/5 Plus $5,000 for medical payments
Rhode Island 25/50/25
South Carolina 25/50/25 Plus $25,000 uninsured coverage per person, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage
South Dakota 25/50/25 Plus $25,000 uninsured coverage per person and $50,000 per accident
Tennessee 25/50/15
Texas 30/60/25
Utah 25/65/15
Vermont 25/50/10
Washington 25/50/10
Washington D.C. 25/50/10 $25,000 uninsured coverage per person, $50,000 per accident, and $5,000 property damage
West Virginia 25/50/25 Plus $25,000 uninsured coverage per person and $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 property damage
Wisconsin 25/50/10 Plus $25,000 uninsured coverage per person and $50,000 per accident

The Takeaway

Full coverage car insurance includes several different types of protection, which makes it popular with drivers who can afford it. Full coverage gives you liability protection (used when you’re at fault in an accident), collision (which pays for damage to your vehicle), and comprehensive (which protects against theft and non-accident-related damage). In some states, you’ll also get Uninsured Motorist coverage, Personal Injury Protection, and/or Medical Payment coverage. Liability coverage, on the other hand, only covers property damage and bodily injury in case you’re at fault in an accident. Auto insurance coverage requirements vary by state.

If you’re looking for affordable full coverage car insurance, we invite you to compare auto insurance quotes from top insurers. SoFi makes finding the right deal on car insurance easy.

Get a car insurance quote in just minutes.

FAQ

Is it worth having full coverage on a car?

If you have a loan or lease, you may be required to have full coverage. And you may want to get full coverage on a newer car to protect your investment even if you don’t have to. This can also be true of an older car that’s maintained its value.

What does full coverage come with?

It comes with liability insurance, collision coverage, and comprehensive insurance. It may come with additional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, and/or medical payment coverage.

What are the benefits of full coverage?

This kind of policy provides you with a broad range of protections against not just accidents but fire, theft, vandalism, and other common threats. If you have a car loan or lease, full coverage may be required.


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Insurance not available in all states.
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SoFi is compensated by Gabi for each customer who completes an application through the SoFi-Gabi partnership.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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How Much Will Auto Insurance Pay for a Totaled Car

How Much Will Auto Insurance Pay for a Totaled Car?

When an insurance company determines that a vehicle is totaled — that is, so badly damaged that repairing it will cost more than it’s worth — the owner may be reimbursed for its actual cash value (ACV) instead of repairs. How much insurance will pay for a totaled car varies. The exact amount depends on the insurance company, where the driver lives, how much coverage they have, and other factors.

Knowing how insurance decisions are made, and how to manage your claim, can help you prepare for this scenario after an accident.

What Makes a Car a Total Loss?

An insurance company may declare a car a “total loss” if the cost of fixing it is more than the market value, or if it wouldn’t be safe to drive the car even if the repairs were made. The insurer also may make its decision based on how your particular state defines a total loss. (You can learn more about the terms discussed here and others in our guide to car insurance terms.)

Some states use a total loss threshold (TLT) to determine if a car is totaled. In these states, the damage must exceed a certain percentage of the car’s value. Missouri, for example, has an 80% TLT — which means if you were in an accident and your car worth $10,000 required more than $8,000 in repairs, your car could be declared a total loss. The repairs wouldn’t exceed the actual cash value of the vehicle, but they would exceed the state’s TLT. (Iowa has the lowest TLT in the U.S. at 50%. Colorado and Texas have the highest, with a TLT of 100%.)

Many states use a total loss formula (TLF) to declare a vehicle totaled. With this method, if the cost of repairs plus the salvage value of the car exceeds its actual cash value, the car is totaled.

If the insurance company thinks the damage could end up being more extensive than the adjuster’s initial estimate, it may use a lower threshold for declaring a total loss than what the state requires.

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What Types of Insurance Coverage Pay for a Totaled Car?

Whether your insurance will pay for a total loss (and how much it will pay) depends on your policy. This is when smart personal insurance planning pays off. There are a few types of coverage that might kick in if your car is totaled.

Collision Coverage

This coverage pays for damage to your own vehicle or property. That can include damage caused by crashing into another vehicle or running off the road and into a tree or fence. Even if you’re responsible for the accident, collision coverage will pay for the repairs, minus the deductible amount you’ve chosen. (Learn more about the types of deductibles in insurance.)

If you are found to be at-fault, however, you can expect your car insurance premiums to go up after an accident.

Recommended: How to Get Car Insurance

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive insurance covers losses caused by something other than a collision, such as a weather event, hitting an animal, theft, or vandalism.

Property Damage Liability Coverage

This coverage pays for damage to your vehicle (or other property) if you’re in an accident and the other driver is found to be at fault.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If you’re in an accident and the other driver is at fault but isn’t insured or doesn’t have sufficient insurance, this coverage can cover your repairs.

New Car Replacement Coverage

With new car replacement coverage, if your car is totaled, your insurer will pay to replace your damaged car with a brand-new car of the same make and model (minus your deductible). Drivers looking for lower car insurance premiums tend to go with this extra, but it can save you big money in the event of an accident.

Recommended: How to Lower Car Insurance

GAP Coverage

If you owe more on your car loan or lease than what your insurance says your totaled car is worth, you could end up having to pay the difference. GAP coverage, short for Guaranteed Auto Protection, can help “bridge the gap” between your insurance settlement and what you still owe.

Recommended: Insurance Tips for First-Time Drivers

How Does an Insurance Company Decide How Much to Pay Out?

After an accident, you can expect your insurance company to assign an adjuster to handle your case. The adjuster will check out your damaged car and, as part of the assessment, determine the cost of repairs and if the car is worth repairing.

If it’s totaled, the adjuster will assign the car a value based on its pre-crash condition and what similar models are selling for. The “actual cash value” you receive will factor in the car’s age, wear and tear (inside and out), the car’s mileage, equipment you may have added, etc.

The payment you receive will help you buy a new car, but it probably won’t be enough for a new model of the same car (unless you have new car replacement coverage). And it may not be enough to pay off your loan or lease (unless you have GAP coverage).

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What Steps Should a Car Owner Take If a Car Is Totaled?

There are a few things that need to happen to get you back on the road ASAP after a serious accident:

Contact Your Insurance Company

No matter who’s at fault for your car’s damage, you should notify your insurance company immediately. Most insurance companies are available 24/7 to take your claim by phone, online, or app.

Assess the Damage

The insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect your car and estimate the cost of repairs.

Calculate Your Car’s Fair Market Value

The insurance adjuster will do some research to determine your car’s fair market value — and you can do some homework, too. You can use the Kelley Blue Book to get an idea of what your car was worth before the accident (using the make, model, mileage, and when you bought your car). Or you can check online to see what similar cars in your area are selling for.

Contact Your Lender

If you’re still paying off your car loan, or you’re in a lease, you should inform the financing company that the car was damaged. It’s also important to keep making payments until you settle your insurance claim, so you don’t hurt your credit.

Negotiate Your Insurance Company’s Payout

If you can convince the insurance company that your car was more valuable than the amount they’re offering, they may adjust the payment you receive. The insurer may ask you to provide paperwork that shows the car was worth more, so it’s a good idea to keep your receipts and maintenance documentation. Or you may decide to hire a private appraiser to see if you can get a higher estimate. (You’ll have to pay for this service yourself.)

Get Your Payment — And a New Car

If you own the car outright, the insurance company will send you the money — often within a few days. You can use it to shop for a replacement.

When you have a car loan, your insurer will send the appropriate payoff amount to your lender and the rest (if applicable) to you. If you have a lease, the insurer will send the payment to the leasing company.

What Happens to a Totaled Vehicle After Filing a Claim?

Generally, after an insurance company decides a car is a total loss, it will take possession of the vehicle and, when the claim is settled, sell it as salvage. But the car’s final destination may depend on state regulations and whether the owner wants the car back.

Can You Keep a Totaled Vehicle?

You can talk to your insurer about the possibility of buying back the totaled vehicle if you want to keep it for sentimental reasons, or because you think you can fix it or use it for parts. This is allowed in some states, but you may have to work with the local DMV to complete the purchase.

If you hope to get the car back on the road, you can expect to go through several more steps. It will have to be fixed and pass an inspection, and you’ll have to get a new title. You’ll also have to register the car and insure it.

If that turns out to be a few too many hoops to jump through, you may end up selling it to a junkyard yourself. Or you can sell the parts to interested individuals. You also may be able to donate the car to a local charity.

Before you negotiate with your insurer to get your car back, you might want to check on whether it’s legal in your state and — if you plan to drive it again — what kind of insurance you can get on a car that’s been declared a total loss.

Can I Decide If My Car Is Totaled?

No. The insurance company must decide if the damaged vehicle is a total loss based on its value and the cost of repairs.

Understanding Your Coverage

Being in a serious collision can be stressful, whether you’re responsible or someone else is determined to be at fault. You may be hurt or hospitalized. Understanding how car insurance works, and what it will and won’t cover, can help you prepare. And it might take your stress down a notch in the aftermath of an accident.

An accident may prompt you to reassess how much auto insurance you really need. After all, more coverage means higher premiums, and vice versa.

An online insurance marketplace can help you decide what types of coverage you want, and whether getting GAP coverage or a policy with rental car reimbursement coverage is a good strategy. Your lender or leasing company, as well as your state, also may have specific requirements for how much insurance you must carry.

Recommended: How Much Does Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

The Takeaway

If your car is so badly damaged in an accident that the cost to repair it will be more than it’s worth, your insurer may decide to declare the vehicle a total loss. This means the insurer will give you the car’s actual cash value (based on its condition just before the accident) instead of paying to have it fixed.

Of course, you’ll only receive payment if you have the right kind of insurance coverage. Even then, the settlement likely won’t be enough for you to replace your wrecked car with a new car of the same make and model. Also, if you owe more on your car loan or lease than your insurance says your totaled vehicle is worth, you can end up having to pay the difference.

If you want to be proactive about your insurance coverage, SoFi can help you compare your current auto insurance policy to what other top insurers are offering. SoFi will walk you through the process of getting the right coverage for your needs.

Check out SoFi Protect today to get real rates in real time for coverage you really need.

FAQ

How do insurance adjusters determine the value of a car?

An insurance adjuster will assign the car a value based on its pre-crash condition and what similar models are selling for. The “actual cash value” will factor in the car’s age, wear and tear, mileage, and other equipment you may have added, including the condition of the tires.

What happens if insurance doesn’t pay enough?

You can try to negotiate with the insurer to get a higher payout, but you should expect to back up your request with documentation. Or you may decide to hire a private appraiser to give you a second opinion of the car’s value.

What happens when your car is totaled and you still owe money?

If you’re still making payments on your car when it’s totaled, the insurance company will send the appropriate payoff amount to your lender and the rest of your settlement to you. If the insurance payment isn’t enough to cover what you owe, you may have to pay the difference.


Photo credit: iStock/Jorge Villalba

Insurance not available in all states.
Gabi is a registered service mark of Gabi Personal Insurance Agency, Inc.
SoFi is compensated by Gabi for each customer who completes an application through the SoFi-Gabi partnership.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SOPT0922004

Read more
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