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Comprehensive auto insurance, do I really need it?
It is the middle of April in Caledon, and your brand-new car sits out in the driveway. You have hardly taken it for a spin, maybe just 500 miles. So, when the hailstorm hits in the middle of the night and dents your car, you are rightly worried. It's your new car, after all, in pristine condition not so long ago. You also find that the hailstorm has cracked your window, and there are some scratches on your paint too.
Of course, you do the sensible thing and take your car to the mechanic to fix it. Then you call your insurance broker to ensure you don't have to carry the entire financial burden. But wait, he tells you that you aren't insured for natural disasters or weather-related accidents. You needed to have specified perils coverage or comprehensive auto insurance.
Yes, it is completely understandable why you wouldn't have purchased comprehensive auto insurance when you already purchased the standard car insurance required by law in Ontario. But buying a car is a financial commitment and unexpected costs can arise. Five Star Insurance Brokers can help you find the best coverage option to limit your financial burden in unforeseen circumstances. Our brokers will help you select a quality coverage option and vet multiple insurance companies to find you this coverage at the lowest price possible.
What is comprehensive car insurance, and what does it cover?
To keep it simple, comprehensive auto insurance will give you coverage for all the damages that are likely to happen to the car that is not caused by you or another driver. When you have comprehensive auto insurance, you have coverage for an array of situations like
- Your car gets stolen and later recovered (theft)
- Your vehicle is spray painted by someone (vandalism)
- Your car is considered irreparable (a write-off) due to a fire (fire-related damages)
- You are driving in the night, and a deer runs at your car (animal-related damages)
- Lightning strikes a tree, and its branches or even the tree falls on top of your car (weather-related damages) or, for that matter, any weather-related accident, like a hailstorm that has damaged the roof of your car.
- A flood hits the city and damages your car (natural disaster)
- Or even if a riot has broken out and your car gets damaged (Civil disturbance)
Comprehensive coverage includes fire; theft or attempted theft; lightning, windstorm, hail, or rising water; earthquake; explosion; riot or civil disturbance; falling or forced landing of an aircraft or parts of an aircraft; or the stranding, sinking, burning, derailment or collision of any kind of transport in, or upon which an insured vehicle is being carried on land or water, falling or flying objects, missiles and vandalism.
If you have leased or financed your car, your lender will require you to have comprehensive auto insurance. Purchasing comprehensive auto insurance is optional if you have outright bought the car. However, it would be pertinent for you to consider these two factors:
- Whether you will have the money for repairs or replacement if your car is damaged or stolen
- The value of your vehicle, taking into account that it is a depreciating asset.
Another key understanding of comprehensive auto insurance is that it doesn't deal with fault termination. After all, neither you nor the other driver can be held accountable for a hailstorm or theft of your car.
So, what is not covered in comprehensive auto insurance?
When you buy yourself car insurance, consider it like shopping at a store. You only get what you paid for. So, if you choose a particular coverage for your auto, you will only get the benefits of that specific coverage. Similarly, comprehensive auto insurance will not reimburse you for everything outside your control except for the damage to your car.
Say, a tree fell on your car while you were in it. Your comprehensive auto insurance will not cover any bodily injury, even though you were not to blame for the accident. Still, you will be compensated for any damage to the vehicle itself. Remember, as we said earlier, you only get what you paid for. As for bodily damages, your standard accident benefit coverages can help, and you can also look at purchasing additional accident benefits coverage if the standard is not sufficient.
To put it in perspective, comprehensive coverage does not cover the following:
- Bodily injuries
- Medical bills
However, it is also important to remember that there are instances when comprehensive auto insurance is not available for purchase. This, of course, is dependent on one insurer to another. It will most likely be due to these factors:
- The age of the car
- The car's value
- The car's condition
Difference between comprehensive car insurance and collision insurance.
Just like comprehensive auto insurance, collision or upset auto insurance is optional for car owners. However, unlike comprehensive auto insurance, collision auto insurance gives you coverage for the things you control, like your car bumping into a tree or another vehicle. Usually, collision insurance covers damage caused if:
- You hit another car
- You hit a stationary object (like a road sign or a tree)
- Your car rolls over
Both the coverages are different, but they cover a wide array of damages. Though most insurance companies may not provide comprehensive and collision coverage bundled into one, getting both has many benefits.
As mentioned earlier, with both coverages being optional, customers usually opt for any one of the coverages. For example, we would recommend dropping collision auto insurance on an ageing vehicle but keeping comprehensive auto insurance, as it is difficult and often expensive to repair parts. Another example is that if you are storing your car, it is better to get comprehensive auto insurance than collision auto insurance, as you are not likely to drive the vehicle. It is for this reason, it is highly recommended to get in touch with your
Five Star insurance broker, as each situation is unique to the owner. Just remember, comprehensive auto insurance will typically cost less than collision auto insurance.
Where can I buy comprehensive auto insurance?
The best time to buy this comprehensive auto insurance is when you purchase a car. However, you can add it to your policy at any time as long as it is active. It is best to get car insurance quotes that cover all of your needs from a trusted brokerage like Five Star Insurance Brokers, who pride themselves in finding and delivering cost-effective, quality auto insurance in Canada.
Five Star Insurance Brokers works with and vets 15 Canadian insurance companies and gives you the best car insurance quote at the best rate. After all, with so many coverage options, finding cost-effective but quality coverage for your vehicles and properties can be complicated, but with the help of Five Star Insurance Brokers, it becomes easy to select the best insurer and policy for you.
In most Canadian provinces, comprehensive auto insurance is optional, working in tandem with other coverages to compensate for damages outside your control. As with any auto insurance, consider your needs, ideally discuss them with an insurance broker, compare car insurance quotes and coverage and then buy an insurance policy.
Five Star Insurance Brokers have been serving clients across Canada since 2009. Along with auto insurance, we also provide home insurance, small business insurance, umbrella insurance and more. Contact one of our brokers today at 1-877-847-6263 or save time and start your auto application online. Remember to ask your broker what additional discounts you can receive if you bundle your auto and home policies.
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Guelph, ON N1H 1B6