Understanding car insurance can be overwhelming, particularly for new drivers in Canada. However, car insurance is essential for all car owners since it protects you from paying for costly repairs if your vehicle is damaged, involved in an accident, or stolen.
Also, it protects you from responsibility claims if you’re liable for causing damage to other people’s vehicles/properties or harming them.
This article will walk you through comprehensive car insurance in Canada, what it entails, why you should have it, and how to get it. Keep reading.
What is Comprehensive Car Insurance?
Car insurance is a legally binding agreement between you and your insurer in which you pay premiums in exchange for protection against potential losses.
The policy document specifies the duration of the contract as well as the scope of coverage in the event of a loss. Most Canadian jurisdictions require vehicle owners to obtain at least one type of car insurance.
Many types of car insurance policies offer protection for vehicles, drivers, and third parties. The main common ones are liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance.
Unlike other types of insurance, comprehensive car insurance helps you pay for costs or damages due to factors beyond your control. Normally, these costs are not associated with an accident.
What Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover?
Typically, fully comprehensive insurance incorporates other types of auto insurance. Unlike liability insurance, which is compulsory, comprehensive insurance is additional voluntary insurance.
Comprehensive car insurance coverage includes;
- Damage due to natural disasters such as storms, earthquakes, and hurricanes
- Fire damage
- Civil or political disturbances
- Vandalism or theft
- Damage from wildlife collision
- Damage from falling objects
- Broken and shattered windows
- Cracked windshield
Notably, comprehensive car insurance covers issues related to your car, and therefore, some situations are not included in the coverage.
For instance, you’ll not get coverage if you or the third party incur medical expenses after an accident. Also, loss of income as a result of the accident for you or the other party is excluded from this coverage.
Is There A Difference Between Comprehensive and Collision Car Insurance Policies?
Both comprehensive and collision car insurance policies are not mandatory in most territories, and no one will pursue you legally if you don’t have them.
While comprehensive coverage protects events beyond your control, a collision policy covers a plethora of damages. For example, it offers protection when your car bumps or crashes into another vehicle, street sign, trailer, object, or guard rail.
Still, both coverages work in collaboration to cover a lot of damages. Depending on your province, you can get all perils covered by comprehensive collision policies bundled into a single unit.
Because the coverages are not mandatory, you can opt out of either anytime during their tenure.
For instance, some drivers prefer not to have collision coverage on their clunker cars but maintain comprehensive coverage. It can lead to cost savings by dropping one coverage.
As a general rule, it’s always important to keep in mind that your comprehensive insurance cover will cover fewer costs than the collision.
Therefore, some drivers may hang onto both coverages even if their vehicles depreciate.
Do You Need Comprehensive Insurance?
This is a question in the minds of many vehicle owners. As noted earlier, comprehensive insurance is optional in many Canadian provinces. However, provinces like Saskatchewan and Manitoba require comprehensive collision coverage for motor vehicles.
Notably, auto insurance is under the guidance of specific territories that set a workable insurance framework for motor vehicle owners.
Some provinces allow private insurance companies. However, territories like Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia have federal-based government insurance.
Even if comprehensive insurance may not be compulsory in your province, there are valid reasons to give it a thought.
- As you already know, vehicle repairs can quickly add up. Whether there’s a small dent in your car’s bumper or damage to your new windshield due to a storm, estimates can pile to their thousands.
Such emergency expenses are typically not budgeted for, and comprehensive coverage can give you a lot of reassurance and peace of mind.
- A comprehensive insurance policy is worthwhile for new, expensive, or classic cars that cost thousands of dollars. As such, partial insurance may not be sufficient to replace the vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged.
- It also makes sense if you spend a lot of time behind the wheel and drive many miles daily, which increases the risk of accidents.
Also, remember that coverage for weather, vandalism, or theft can vary, depending on your province, neighbourhood, and region due to varying weather conditions as well as crime rates.
What is The Cost of Comprehensive Insurance In Canada?
Much like other types of insurance, vehicle insurance quotes depend on many factors such as;
- Driving record
- Type of car
When you think about cost, reviewing premiums paid by drivers in your region is essential. You can also visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada(IBC) website to get a rough estimate of insurance claims data from different companies in Canada.
Consequently, sort by your vehicle’s make, year of manufacture, and model and reference your vehicle’s characteristics to estimate the average cost of coverage. If multiple accidents are associated with your vehicle’s model, you’ll pay more for premiums.
Besides premiums, you also need to consider the deductible, which is the amount of out-of-pocket you must pay during a claim. Usually, deductibles may vary depending on the type of auto insurance.
Before signing up for coverage, ask your insurance agent to give a comprehensive breakdown of costs associated with the package.
What Do You Need During A Comprehensive Insurance Claim Process?
Like other types of motor insurance, it’s essential to contact your insurance agent before making a claim. You’ll need the following information when submitting a claim:
- Damage reports
- Police reports
- Photos of the damage and videos are also accepted
- Date and time the accident occurred
- Contact information for you and other parties involved
The claim process is similar for all provinces. However, the compensation may differ depending on the insurance framework. For instance, some provinces have direct compensation for property damage while others don’t.
Comprehensive insurance is optional for most provinces in Canada. It’s vital because it covers damages beyond your control, such as storms and vandalism. Like other types of auto insurance, your premiums will depend on multiple factors like age, location, and experience. Most importantly, shop around and compare different quotes to get a favourable price.