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Comprehensive insurance will cover expenses due to non-collision vehicle damage — and this can include anything from a break-in to an act of God.

What is comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive insurance is optional automobile coverage. It can be used to repair or replace your car when damaged by what the insurance industry calls “all perils.” These include events like fire, theft or falling objects, which is why it is recommended along with collision insurance.

What is the cost of comprehensive car insurance?

The average cost is around $100 to $300 on top of your collision coverage. You will also need to pay a deductible if you file a comprehensive car insurance claim.

The deductible, which is the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance covers the rest, can vary depending on the type and amount of insurance you have on your policy. Some may be as low as a few hundred dollars while others can be $1,000 or more.

While this isn’t a small amount of money for many, it is relatively low cost compared with the thousands of dollars — or even tens of thousands — it could cost to repair or replace your car. 

Car insurance coverage at a glance 

  What is it? Do I need to pay more for this?
Collision coverage

This mandatory coverage will cover your costs in
an at-fault accident. Covered costs include repair
and replacement to your vehicle or other vehicles
involved in the accident.

No. Your policy costs and deductible will be
determined by the type and amount of your
insurance policy. But you can pay to increase
your coverage.

Comprehensive coverage This add-on coverage can cover costs to replace
or repair your vehicle in all perils. This includes
theft, vandalism, storm damage, flooding, fire or
damage during transport.
Yes. Comprehensive coverage costs an average
of $100 to $300 on top of your collision coverage.
Third-party liability coverage

This coverage will pay out medical, legal or
personal property damages from an accident
deemed to be your fault.

Recommended. While certain provinces have
mandatory minimum coverage for third-party
liability insurance, those minimums are often
too low to cover losses from a major incident.
It is recommended to carry at least $1 million
in third-party insurance.

What’s the difference between collision and comprehensive?

If you find yourself in an at-fault accident, your collision insurance will cover damages your car endures. However, if you get caught in a hailstorm that riddles your car with dents, collision insurance won’t help you. If the damage wasn’t caused by a crash, it falls under comprehensive.

Collision and comprehensive are two sides of the same coin. If you never want to personally pay to repair major damages to your vehicle, you’ll need both to fully protect yourself.

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What does comprehensive car insurance cover?

In the world of insurance, threats to you or your property are called “perils.” As a driver, you can get specified perils coverage for cost of damages from:

  • Fire
  • Explosion
  • Harsh weather
  • Lightning
  • Earthquake
  • Rising water
  • Car theft
  • Riots
  • Damage during transport

While this list seems extensive, it has glaring omissions that quality comprehensive auto insurance covers:

  • Vandalism
  • Animal collision
  • Falling objects
  • Flying debris
  • Windshield damage

In this way, comprehensive coverage earns its name. The garage burned down and took your car with it? You’re covered. You hit a deer and it smashed your windshield? You’re covered. Heavy winds picked up a stop sign and chucked it into your door? You. Are. Covered.

How do you file a comprehensive car insurance claim?

Filing a comprehensive insurance claim is simple. If your car is damaged in a non-collision, take pictures of the scene and write down anything that you witnessed. In the case of vandalism or theft, also remember to file a police report.

With these details, your provider can determine whether the damage falls under your comprehensive coverage. If it does, you’ll pay a deductible, and your insurance will cover the rest up to your limit.

Going online with Onlia makes it easier than ever to file a claim and get the help you need. Our online claims flow is fast and easy to understand.

Does comprehensive insurance mean “full coverage”?

When you hear the term “full coverage,” it doesn’t actually refer to a specific insurance policy. It’s the combination of the three most prominent types of insurance: liability, collision and comprehensive.

In Canada, third-party liability is included in your mandatory insurance, so you can achieve full coverage by adding the other two. Together, these insurance policies will cover you for most incidents that would otherwise cost big money.

Is it worth having comprehensive coverage?

If you’re willing to pay the cost of repairs if your car gets damaged, then comprehensive coverage might not be worth the price. But you should know that along with the out-of-pocket expenses are the hassles of finding a reputable body shop and arranging payment terms with them directly, arranging rental car pickup and return, and timing it all with when the body shop is scheduled to return your car — assuming they get it done in time. 

So before you make a call, decide if foregoing comprehensive insurance is worth the hassle you’ll have to endure.   

Most experts would recommend adhering to the 10% rule: if the cost exceeds 10% of the total value, then it’s cheaper to go without. Even so, comprehensive is inexpensive compared to liability and collision, so it may still be of value for your needs.


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