The Difference Between Liability and Full Coverage


Car insurance can feel complicated sometimes, even from a great company like Pronto Insurance. What do you want your insurance to cover? What do you want to pay each month? Answering these two questions goes a long way toward making sure you have the coverage you need, for a price you are able to afford. 

As you consider what coverage you want and which options you don’t think you need, it is important to know the difference between liability and full coverage. Understanding these terms and selecting the right option is absolutely vital to being satisfied with our car insurance.


Liability coverage covers other people (not you) for their injuries and property damage if you cause an accident. Essentially what it does is protect you from being financially liable for a lot of money should you ever cause an accident. It is further broken down into two main types: Bodily Injury and Property Damage.

Bodily Injury

Liability Bodily Injury includes medical bills, lost wages, and inconveniences of other parties in an accident you cause. Usually your limits are represented with two different numbers, something like $25,000/$50,000. The numbers represent the maximum amount that your California insurance company will pay out per person, and the second is the maximum amount the company will pay for the entire incident. Say you cause an accident and rear-end the vehicle in front of you, which had a driver and another passenger. Both occupants of the other vehicle go to the hospital, and each of their bills is $10,000. Your insurance, which carries $25,000/$50,000 limits, will pay out up to $25,000 for each occupant, with a combined payout maxing out at $50,000 for all injured parties. In this example, you’re covered for what you need.

Property Damage 

Liability Property Damage is a little bit more simple. It covers the other party’s repair bill for their car if you cause an accident. It’s also the third number in the sequence of numbers you’ll hear agents say when they talk to you about coverage limits, like $25,000/$50,000/$20,000. If the car you rear-ended went to the shop and cost $2,000 to repair, your coverage will take care of that bill since it’s well under your $20,000 limit.

Full Coverage

Remember that in the example below, you’re paying out of pocket for your own damages and medical bills. Having Full Coverage means you have a higher scope of protection. This additional coverage on your car insurance policy will come in handy in situations that liability does not cover. Collision Coverage is a type of coverage that pays for your car to be repaired after an accident, regardless of who caused it. It also applies if you hit a stationary object, like you backed into a pole. Comprehensive Coverage is another type of insurance that can be really helpful. This type of coverage takes care of repair expenses for anything beyond crashes, such as severe weather events, fire, a tree falls on it, vandalism, theft, and broken windshields. Think of Comprehensive Coverage as coverage for anything other than a collision.

Essentially, liability coverage pays for costs that you caused and full coverage handles damage scenarios for which you may be to blame, as well as those you aren’t your fault but aren’t actual crashes. By reading this, you may now be realizing you are not as covered as you’d like to be. That’s why it is best to shop around and find the right California car insurance company for you. When you shop around, you’ll probably find that Pronto Insurance is the right one! Reach out to a team member and we’ll break down exactly how we can work out a policy for you with coverage you are looking for.

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