Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Mar 23, 2022

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Just the Basics

  • Most lenders require full coverage car insurance
  • Full coverage combines liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages
  • Add discounts to save money on full coverage car insurance

Most drivers don’t pay cash for a new car. In fact, car loans are the norm. However, you might not be aware that car lenders can dictate the vehicle’s car insurance coverage.

Do you need full coverage on a financed car? Yes. Most lenders require full coverage auto insurance to protect their investment.

Liability coverage only offers property damage and bodily injury coverage for others if you cause an accident. Your vehicle isn’t protected.

While full coverage car insurance rates are higher, so is the coverage offered. Reduce full coverage car insurance rates with discounts and comparison shopping.

Do I need full coverage on a financed car?

Buying a new car is exciting, but the numbers can make your head spin. In addition to the cost of the vehicle, taxes, and other fees, you must add car insurance as well.

What kind of coverage do you need for a financed car? Do you need full coverage on a leased car?

Since most drivers get a loan for a new car, the lender determines what car insurance coverages must be in place. Lienholder insurance requirements typically include full coverage. In addition, leased cars also require full coverage.

Do you need full coverage on a used financed car? Yes. As long as a lender is involved, full coverage will probably be required whether a new or used vehicle.

Most states require liability coverage, but it doesn’t cover damage to your car. However, collision and comprehensive coverages pay for damage to your vehicle, including accidents, fire, theft, vandalism, and acts of nature like tornados.

Full coverage insurance combines liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages for better protection. However, full coverage rates are higher than liability-only coverage.

This table shows average annual rates based on coverage type from top insurance companies. Check out the table to get an idea of full coverage rates.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates Based on Coverage Type
Insurance CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for Low CoverageAverage Annual Rates for Medium CoverageAverage Annual Rates for High Coverage
Allstate$4,628.03$4,896.81$5,139.02
American Family$3,368.49$3,544.37$3,416.40
Farmers$3,922.47$4,166.22$4,494.13
GEICO$3,001.91$3,213.97$3,429.14
Liberty Mutual$5,805.75$6,058.57$6,356.04
Nationwide$3,394.83$3,449.80$3,505.37
Progressive$3,737.13$4,018.46$4,350.96
State Farm$3,055.40$3,269.80$3,454.80
Travelers$4,223.63$4,462.02$4,619.07
USAA$2,404.11$2,539.87$2,667.92
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Full coverage car insurance rates are around $30 a month higher than liability-only coverage. However, liability coverage leaves you paying out of pocket for damage to your car.

While minimum full coverage for a financed car is usually required, guaranteed asset protection (GAP) coverage is often also necessary. GAP coverage pays the amount between what the car is worth and the loan amount if it’s stolen or totaled.

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What happens if you don’t have full coverage on a financed car?

If you’re buying a new car with a loan or leasing a vehicle, chances are you can’t leave the dealership without full coverage auto insurance in place. But what happens when you get your new car home?

What happens if you cancel insurance on a financed car? Will the lender find out?

Because full coverage is expensive, reducing car insurance coverages once you get home is tempting. However, it’s a really bad idea.

Since liability coverage doesn’t pay for damages to your vehicle, any repairs will be out of pocket.

This means if your car is stolen or totaled, you will still have to pay the remainder of your car loan or lease yourself, so you’ll be paying for a vehicle you can’t even drive.

The DMV or your insurance company may contact the lender to let them know insurance coverage has changed.

Your car loan or lease may be canceled without appropriate coverage. However, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, lenders may buy the correct insurance on your behalf.

Is it bad to go through a bank for car insurance? While not necessarily bad, forced-place insurance is much more expensive.

Because car insurance rates are much higher through a lender or dealer, you will wind up paying more than if you went through your preferred car insurance company.

How can you save money on full coverage car insurance?

If you must have full coverage car insurance, there are ways to lower rates.

First, add car insurance discounts. Most insurance companies offer various discounts, and most drivers qualify for more than one. Bundle available discounts for the most significant savings.

This table shows typical car insurance discounts from top companies. The savings amount is listed if available.

Car Insurance Discounts by Company
Car Insurance DiscountsAllstate (%)American Family (%)Farmers (%)GEICO (%)Liberty Mutual (%)Nationwide (%)Progressive (%)State Farm (%)Travelers (%)USAA (%)
Adaptive Cruise ControlN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Adaptive HeadlightsN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Anti-lock Brakesxxx555x5xx
Anti-Theftxxx252025x15xx
Claim Freexxx26x10x152312
Continuous CoveragexxxxN/AN/AxN/A15N/A
Daytime Running Lightsxxx155xN/Axx
Defensive Driverxxxx105105103
Distant StudentxxxxN/A10xx7x
Driver's Edxxxx10N/A101583
Driving Device/AppxxN/Ax30402050305
Early SigningxxxxN/A8xN/A1012
Electronic Stability ControlxxxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Emergency DeploymentN/AN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Engaged CoupleN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Family LegacyN/AxN/AxN/AN/AxN/AN/A10
Family PlanN/AxxN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/A
Farm VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Fast 5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Federal EmployeeN/AN/Ax810N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Forward Collision WarningN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Full PaymentN/Axxx$5N/AxN/A7.5N/A
Further EducationN/AN/AN/Ax1015N/AN/AxN/A
Garaging/StoringN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax90
Good CreditxxN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/A
Good Studentxxx1522.510x2583
Green VehiclexN/A5N/A10N/AN/AN/A10N/A
HomeownerN/AN/Axxx5x35N/A
Lane Departure WarningN/AN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/AN/A
Life InsurancexN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/A
Low Mileagexxxxxxx30xx
LoyaltyN/AxN/AxN/A5xN/AN/Ax
MarriedN/AN/AN/AN/AxxxxN/Ax
Membership/GroupN/AN/AN/Ax107N/AN/AxN/A
MilitaryxN/Ax154N/AN/AxN/Ax
Military GaragingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15
Multiple DriversN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Multiple Policies1029x102010121713x
Multiple Vehiclesxxx25102010208x
New AddressN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New Customer/New PlanN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New GraduateN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Newer VehiclexN/AxxN/Axx401012
Newly LicensedN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
NewlywedsN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Non-Smoker/Non-DrinkerN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Occasional OperatorN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
OccupationxN/Axx1015N/AN/AxN/A
On-Time PaymentsxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15N/A
Online ShopperN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A7N/AN/AN/A
Paperless DocumentsxxxN/AN/A5$50N/AN/AN/A
Paperless/Auto BillingxxxN/Ax$30x$233
Passive Restraintxxx40x20x40xx
Recent RetireesN/AN/AN/AN/A4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
RenterN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Roadside AssistanceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Safe DriverN/AN/Ax15N/A3531152312
Seat Belt UseN/AN/AN/A15N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Senior DriverxN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
Stable ResidenceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AxxN/AN/AN/A
Students & AlumniN/AxN/Ax107N/AN/AN/AN/A
Switching ProviderN/AxxN/A10N/AxN/AN/AN/A
Utility VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Vehicle Recoveryxxx153525x5xx
VIN EtchingN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/Axx
VolunteerN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Young DriverN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AxN/AN/A$75
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Next, raise deductibles. While increasing your deductibles means more out-of-pocket costs in an accident, car insurance rates are lower overall.

Improving your driving record also lowers car insurance rates. Drivers with a clean driving record pay considerably less than drivers with accidents, tickets, and DUIs.

Full Coverage On a Financed Car: The Bottom Line

If you have a car loan or lease, you’ll have to carry full coverage car insurance. Full coverage consists of liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages and protects you and your vehicle, as well as others.

While full coverage auto insurance is higher than liability-only coverage, it provides more protection.

Dropping full coverage on a financed car can lead to substantial out-of-pocket costs, losing your vehicle, or expensive force-placed insurance.

Save money on full coverage car insurance with discounts. In addition, increasing deductibles and maintaining a clean driving record reduce auto insurance rates.

Shop around for full coverage car insurance. Compare multiple companies to find full coverage with the lowest rates available for you.