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By law, Canadian drivers must purchase auto insurance if they’re going to be on the road. Some insurance products, such as liability insurance, are mandatory, but there are several optional products drivers can choose to purchase on top of their mandatory coverage. Comprehensive car insurance is one such policy. LowestRates.ca can help you find the best rate if you decide to add comprehensive insurance to your policy.

Your questions about comprehensive auto insurance, answered.

What is comprehensive auto insurance?

The name says it all: comprehensive car insurance coverage provides protection against a wide range of issues that could affect your vehicle — everything except actual collisions with other cars. Comprehensive auto insurance covers you against unexpected and accidental damage to your car.

In most of Canada, comprehensive car insurance is an optional coverage. Therefore, you can’t purchase it without having third-party liability insurance first.

What does comprehensive car insurance cover?

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions drivers have about comprehensive car insurance:

  • Does comprehensive car insurance cover theft?
  • Does comprehensive car insurance cover vandalism?
  • Does comprehensive insurance cover physical damage?

The answer is yes, comprehensive car insurance covers all these perils, even if you are at-fault for causing them.

Comprehensive automobile insurance also protects you against a number of other incidents:

  • Falling objects
  • Natural disasters
  • Civil disturbances like riots that lead to damage to your vehicle
  • Fire damage
  • Broken windows
  • Explosions
  • Animal damage

What’s not covered by comprehensive auto insurance?

Damage from collisions isn’t covered by comprehensive car insurance. To cover this, you’ll need to purchase collision insurance. In addition, comprehensive auto insurance also won’t cover damage to another vehicle due to an accident, any medical expenses and lost income.

Is comprehensive car insurance mandatory?

Comprehensive car insurance isn’t mandatory but can be added to your policy if desired.

How much does comprehensive car insurance cost?

Comprehensive insurance must be purchased alongside a basic auto insurance policy. It can’t be purchased separately. You likely won’t see the cost of your comprehensive coverage separated on your monthly car insurance bill — it gets rolled into the total.

The cost of comprehensive car insurance is influenced by your car’s make, model, trim, and the size of your deductible (the amount you need to pay before the insurance company will pay your benefit). One thing’s for certain: comprehensive car insurance will increase your insurance costs. But without knowing any details about the car that needs insurance, it’s hard to estimate the price of the coverage. In comparison to basic car insurance, a comprehensive policy will be more expensive. But, you’ll also get more from it because you’ll be protected against most insurable perils.

You can reduce your costs by increasing your deductible on your comprehensive policy.

When you apply for a quote on our site, you can indicate whether or not you’d like to add comprehensive coverage to your policy. If you’re insuring a current-year model, comprehensive coverage is automatically selected. That way, you can compare the price of basic insurance plus a comprehensive endorsement from multiple Canadian car insurance companies. Shopping the market can help you find cheap insurance that includes comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive vs. collision car insurance: what’s the difference?

Collision and comprehensive are both optional coverages (however, in Manitoba, both are included in a basic auto insurance policy).

Comprehensive car insurance provides compensation if your car is damaged by most insurable perils, excluding a collision with another car. The type of perils that comprehensive car insurance covers include falling objects and environmental damage.

Collision insurance will provide coverage if your car is involved in a collision with another car or an object, a guardrail for example.

Comprehensive vs. full coverage car insurance: what’s the difference?

Comprehensive insurance is an add-on coverage that provides reimbursement to repair or replace a car that’s been damaged in a non-collision event (i.e., a felled tree, hail, theft, or vandalism).

Full coverage car insurance (or fully comprehensive car insurance) can refer to an auto insurance policy that includes mandatory coverages — accident benefits and third-party liability — and optional insurance like comprehensive and collision coverages.

Is comprehensive car insurance worth it?

The decision to buy comprehensive coverage depends on a number of factors. For example, if you live in an area with a high frequency of natural disasters, you may want to consider adding it to your auto insurance policy. However, the general recommendation is that if you can’t afford to replace your car if it gets damaged, you should purchase comprehensive insurance.

How do comprehensive car insurance claims work?

All claims begin by reporting the accident to your broker. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario says that no matter who’s at fault, the accident should be reported to your broker, insurance agent or insurance company within seven days or sooner. The reason being that your insurance company may not have to honour your claim if you take too long to report the accident.

When you make your report you should have:

  • The make, model, licence plate and registration of your vehicle.
  • Details of the accident including the date, time and location of the accident.
  • A description and timeline if possible of the accident.
  • The damage to the vehicle and the cost if possible.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the information when you call. Your insurance agent, broker or company will guide you through the process.

Does a comprehensive claim raise your car insurance rate?

No. If you make a claim on your comprehensive car insurance coverage, your car insurance rate won’t increase. Your insurance company likely has a limit on the number of comprehensive claims you can make a year,.

Providers of comprehensive car insurance by providers.

British Columbia: The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) provides all car insurance.

Alberta: Private market.

Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) provides all auto insurance.

Manitoba: Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) provides all auto insurance.

Ontario: Private market.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Private market.

New Brunswick: Private market.

Prince Edward Island.: Private market.

Yukon: Private market.

Northwest Territories: Private market.

Nunavut: Private market.

Quebec: Semi-private market. You can purchase comprehensive insurance from private insurers.

The auto insurance system in the province is no-fault so you are automatically covered by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) for bodily injuries, regardless of who is responsible for the accident. This system was introduced to prevent tie-ups in the province’s civil court system. However, the Automobile Insurance Act requires drives to purchase third-party liability insurance from private insurers to cover damage sustained from an accident.

Do the rates for comprehensive vehicle insurance differ by province?

Auto insurance rates vary by province. Ones with private auto insurance systems may have more market competition but that doesn’t always translate into lower rates on comprehensive car insurance coverage. The other factors that affect your premiums include:

Location. Areas with a higher degree of natural disasters may have higher premiums. Think wind storms or gale-force winds on the east coast due to hurricanes or if your area is prone to flooding.

The number of claims in your area. If your area has a high number of claims, your premiums may be higher than in other regions.

Insurance fraud. If your location has a high number of insurance fraud incidents, you could end up paying more for your premiums even if you’re on the right side of the law.

Who are the best providers of comprehensive insurance?

Car insurance companies don’t sell comprehensive coverage separately from basic auto insurance policies (third-party liability and accident benefits). So, it isn’t possible to select an insurance company solely on their comprehensive insurance rate.

The best car insurance company will offer both comprehensive and mandatory coverages in the amounts you need and at a rate you can afford.

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