Comprehensive car insurance is optional coverage you can get for your vehicle. It provides you with additional protection that would not be included with your basic, third-party liability insurance – which is required by law in Ontario.
What is covered under comprehensive car insurance?
Adding comprehensive coverage to your auto insurance policy insures you against damages to your vehicle that don’t occur as a result of a collision. Quite simply, it covers your vehicle when it’s parked. This includes protection against:
- Damage caused by animals (including collisions)
- Damage caused by falling objects
- Weather damage, such as: hail, floods, earthquakes, lightning
- Theft, including damage caused by attempted theft
Comprehensive car insurance does not cover you for situations where the car is being driven. Adding this to your policy will not cover you for:
- Damages caused to your car, or another car, as a result of an accident
- Any medical expenses after an accident
- Any damages to a rental car as a result of an accident
- Theft of your vehicle by a member of your household
Is Comprehensive car insurance necessary in Ontario?
Since comprehensive car insurance isn’t legally required in Ontario, adding it to your policy is a matter of choice. However, if you have a car loan, your lender may require it.
Outside of loan requirements, assessing your own situation will determine whether comprehensive insurance is beneficial. The key factors to consider are:
Your vehicle’s valueDoes the value of your vehicle warrant adding comprehensive insurance to your policy? For owners of older cars, the cost of your premiums, as well as your deductible in the case of a claim, may not be in your financial best interests.
Your financial situationIf the unfortunate happens and your vehicle incurs damages, how difficult would it be to manage the costs of repairs? If this would bring significant stress, adding comprehensive car insurance would be of value.
The level of risk you faceMitigating the effects of risk is, essentially, what insurance provides. Assessing the risks to your vehicle may help you determine how valuable the peace-of-mind provided by comprehensive coverage would be. Do you live in an area where severe weather could be a threat? Is your car parked in a driveway near old, mature trees? Is vehicle theft an issue in your area? A simple assessment of general risks is a great way to determine the value of adding comprehensive coverage to your policy.
What is the difference between comprehensive insurance and third-party liability insurance?
The key difference between third-party liability and comprehensive insurance lies with who the beneficiary is.
If you are at fault in an accident, your third-party liability insurance will cover claims made against you to cover the damages to other vehicles involved. Comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, will cover you for damages to your vehicle that occur while it is parked.
Can someone else drive my car if I have comprehensive car insurance?
If you lend someone your car, the comprehensive insurance coverage will go where the car goes. Remember that this coverage is only protecting you from expenses incurred from damage while the vehicle is not being driven – so the effect of comprehensive car insurance in this situation may be minimal.
Lending your vehicle to someone does come with insurance implications that you should be aware of. In general, someone borrowing your car on a rare occasion would be covered under your policy. This changes if borrowing becomes a regular occurance. If someone is using your car weekly to drive to the office, or for their grocery trip, your insurance company may require them to be added as an occasional driver. It’s best to consult your insurance company in this situation to ensure everyone is adequately covered.
Does comprehensive car insurance include collision coverage?
Comprehensive car insurance provides different coverage than collision insurance. While comprehensive coverage protects you from the costs of damages incurred while your car is parked, collision coverage protects from damages incurred while the car is being driven.
Frequently Asked Questions about Comprehensive Car Insurance
Does comprehensive mean full coverage?
Comprehensive insurance, generally, only provides coverage for damages incurred when your car is parked. Full coverage insurance provides you with comprehensive coverage, third-party liability coverage, and collision insurance in one package.
Is it worth having comprehensive insurance on an old car?
The value of your car is a key factor in determining whether comprehensive insurance will be of value. Often, older cars have depreciated in value, making the additional premium costs, as well as the deductible cost when a claim is filed, not in your best interest.
What is my comprehensive insurance limit?
Typically, the limit of your comprehensive insurance will be equal to the value of your car.
As an Ontario resident, you know the importance of protecting your vehicle with comprehensive car insurance.