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Comprehensive car insurance

Protect yourself from the cost of car damage that’s beyond your control with comprehensive coverage.

A collision with another car isn’t the only risk you run on the road. To protect your vehicle from some of the other dangers found on and off the road, you may want to consider comprehensive car insurance.

What is comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive coverage typically kicks in to help you cover the cost of repairing your car after damage from anything other than a collision with another car. You can think of comprehensive car insurance as protection against some of the more unexpected — and uncontrollable — damages that can happen.

What’s covered by comprehensive car insurance?

Damages covered by comprehensive insurance can include:

  • Civil disobedience
  • Damage from animals
  • Explosions and fire
  • Falling objects
  • Glass damage
  • Natural disasters
  • Terrorism
  • Vandalism and theft
  • Weather-related incidents

What isn’t covered by comprehensive car insurance?

You’ll need a different policy type for other kinds of damages, including:

  • Hit-and-run. Collision or uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is necessary for protection against a hit-and-run.
  • Rental car. A separate type of coverage is needed for rental car coverage.
  • Car crash. A car crash is covered by collision insurance, regardless of who’s at fault.

Because comprehensive typically covers your car for anything other than an accident, you’ll need other types of insurance for everything else. For example, third-party liability insurance pays for damages you may have caused to another driver in an accident, and collision car insurance covers your car repair bill.

When you combine liability, comprehensive and collision policies, you get what’s called full-coverage insurance.

Guide to car insurance coverage

Do I need comprehensive car insurance?

Unlike third-party liability insurance, you’re usually not legally required to have comprehensive coverage. One exception to that is Manitoba, where people are required by provincial law to purchase it. However, even if you’re not legally required where you live to have comprehensive coverage, that doesn’t mean you won’t need it, or that you shouldn’t otherwise get it.

When to consider comprehensive coverage

You might want to opt for comprehensive insurance if:

  • You finance your car. Financed cars may be required to have comprehensive and collision coverage by lenders.
  • You live in an area with high rates of car theft. Collision and liability coverage won’t do you any good against theft.
  • Your town has a high incidence of animal collisions. Deer and other especially large animals can cause massive damage to your car, and comprehensive insurance can help cover it.
  • Your area has the potential for severe storms. Damages from hail storms, flooding or tornadoes are all typically included in comprehensive policies.

When to consider skipping comprehensive coverage

The biggest reason you might want to pass on comprehensive insurance is the value of your car. If your car isn’t worth much, it could cost more to keep up insurance than it would to just put aside money for repairs or replacement.

A good way to tell if your car is worth enough to get comprehensive coverage is to compare the cost of your annual premium and deductible to your car’s value. If the premium and deductible combined are more than your car’s worth, you may be better off without.

Compare free comprehensive car insurance quotes online

Name Product Roadside assistance Third-Party Liability Collision Coverage Comprehensive Coverage Discounts Available Available Provinces
Sonnet Auto Insurance
Up to 25%
Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, PEI, Quebec
Get auto insurance with Sonnet in just five minutes. Save up to 25% on your auto insurance through discounts and bundling options.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to apply and manage their car insurance completely online.
Intact Car Insurance
Up to 25%
Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Yukon
Get car insurance with Intact and enjoy a quick turnaround on any lodged claims. Get a free quote through Surex.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to get rewarded for good driving behaviour.
Aviva Car Insurance
Up to 25%
Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Yukon
Aviva car insurance offers customizable policies, discounts and optional insurance coverage add-ons. Get a free quote through Surex.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to customize their auto policy.
Travelers Car Insurance
Up to 25%
Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Yukon
Travelers auto insurance offers a selection of coverage options for just about any type of vehicle. Get a free quote through Surex.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to get car, motorcycle, classic car, motorhome or recreational vehicle coverage.
Surex Auto Insurance
Up to 25%
Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Yukon
Submit one application and receive quotes from 10+ insurers. Save up to 25% on your car insurance, plus get access to an insurance advisor.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to use an insurance broker to compare multiple pricing and coverage options.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How much does comprehensive car insurance cost?

The average cost of full coverage car insurance runs around $264 per month, or $3,168 every year. In car insurance terms, full coverage means all provincially-mandated coverage as well as comprehensive and collision.

Some insurers also offer roadside assistance for free with comprehensive coverage, which is an added plus. The best way to find the cheapest comprehensive policy is to compare quotes from a few companies.

Does comprehensive car insurance come with a deductible?

Comprehensive coverage comes with a deductible. You’ll choose how much you want your deductible to be when you’re buying insurance.

To decide what your deductible should be, weigh how much car repairs could cost against how much you’re willing to pay out of your own pocket. The higher you set your deductible, the lower your insurance premiums will be.

Case study: Comprehensive coverage in action

You always park your car on the street after coming home from work. One night, a tree falls on your car, smashing the hood of your car. You’re now stuck with a repair bill of $5,000.

Luckily, you have comprehensive coverage. After you pay your $500 deductible, your insurance covers the additional $4,500 for your car repair.

Comprehensive vs third party liability

Liability insurance encompasses two parts: bodily injury liability and property damage liability. If you’re at fault in an accident, you’re liable for the cost of damages to someone else’s property, as well as the cost of medical care the other driver might incur. Liability does not cover any of your own personal expenses.

While liability covers the cost of injury to other drivers and their property, comprehensive ensures that you’re covered for the expense of replacing or repairing your own vehicle and damages that aren’t within your control an aren’t related to a car accident. Some situations that are covered under comprehensive include natural disasters, fire and theft.

Comprehensive

Pros

  • Covers you in the event of vandalism or theft
  • Covers you for the costs of damages that aren’t within your control
  • Provides the above coverage regardless of who is at fault

Cons

  • Does not cover damage to your car from a collision
  • You’ll have to pay a deductible

Liability

Pros

  • Covers damage to someone else’s property
  • Covers the cost of injury you cause to another person, including medical care, legal help and funeral costs
  • Mat not come with a deductible

Cons

  • Does not cover any damage to your own car
  • Does not cover any of your medical expenses
  • Provides only the minimum amount of coverage

Bottom line

Comprehensive coverage offers protection against non-collision auto damage. It can offer peace of mind knowing you’re covered when the unexpected happens. To find the best price, compare different insurers.

Frequently asked questions about comprehensive coverage

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