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Alexandra Bosanac

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Alexandra Bosanac About Alexandra Bosanac

Alexandra Bosanac, content manager at, focuses on auto insurance. She has covered the topic since 2017. Alexandra holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University. Prior to joining in 2021, she contributed to publications such as Canadian Business, the Toronto Star, the National Post, and the CBC.


Content Manager

Updated On

May 2, 2024

What is comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance helps protects you against unexpected, non-collision losses or damages. This optional coverage can include everything from falling objects, specified perils named in your policy (such as fire, hail and windstorms) and vandalism.

It offers peace of mind to drivers as standard coverage in Canada covers third-party liability accident benefits as well as the damage and loss of use of vehicles. Making a claim on comprehensive insurance doesn’t increase your premium.

For many drivers the decision to purchase this coverage is theirs, often recommended for newer vehicles or those who feel they can’t afford to pay out of pocket if they encounter an incident the policy would otherwise cover. Some leased or financed vehicles may require comprehensive insurance. It’s often discussed with collision insurance, the counterpart which helps you in case of collisions.

The following guide can help you determine if comprehensive car insurance covers what you need, and doesn’t. In addition to comprehensive insurance you may need other optional endorsements to get the coverage you require. Find your cheapest comprehensive car insurance quotes by comparing results from 30+ providers in a single search!

Desired coverageDoes comprehensive coverage include this?
Natural disasters (like floods, fire, hail or lightning)Yes, any of these which are specifically named in the policy. (It’s also available on its own as part of Specified Perils coverage.)
Falling objectsYes.
Repair or replacement costs for a driver's vehicle following a collision with an object, property or another vehicleNo, this is a separate, optional add-on known as collision (or upset) coverage.
Medical expenses or loss of income after an accidentNo, this is covered in accident benefits insurance, which is mandatory coverage in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador.
Protection against loss if your vehicle is taken by someone living in your homeNo, this is covered in All Perils coverage which covers damage by an additional driver or household member, as well as damage or loss if your vehicle is stolen.
Transportation replacement in case your vehicle suffers loss or damage for a peril you are covered for. (ex: A rental car or taxicabs)No, requires optional coverage like Ontario’s OPCF 20: Coverage for Transportation Replacement or Alberta’s SEF 20: Loss of Use Endorsement.
Damage to an automobile you operate but don't own, like one which is borrowed or rentedNo, requires optional coverage like Ontario’s OPCF 27: Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobile(s) or Alberta’s SEF 27: Legal Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobile Endorsement.
Coverage for you or an eligible family member in case of injury or death in a not at fault automobile accident with a driver who carries no insurance or is underinsuredNo, requires optional coverage like Ontario’s OPCF 44R: Family Protection Coverage or Alberta’s SEF 44: Family Protection Endorsement.

Reasons to get comprehensive car insurance

Comprehensive automobile insurance coverage can give you peace of mind when the unexpected happens. It is commonly recommended to drivers in a number of situations, along with collision insurance coverage which helps cover repairs or replacement in case your car collides with another vehicle or object. Several reasons why comprehensive car insurance coverage might be a good idea for you include the following:

Living in a high-theft area: If you live in an area with lots of car theft or drive a model which may be desirable to thieves, this coverage could be right for you.

Living in a high-risk weather area: Some parts of Canada are more prone to weather disasters like flooding or hail storms than others.

Leasing or financing your vehicle: Many lenders require financed or leased vehicles to be covered by comprehensive auto insurance. If you’re not sure if this applies to you, double-check your paperwork or call your lender. (This coverage is optional if you own the car—either by purchasing it outright from the beginning, buying out your lease or paying out your financing plan.)

Owning a high-value vehicle: If you own a newer model, high-value vehicle this coverage is often recommended as these automobiles can be expensive to fix. If your vehicle is older and only worth a few thousand dollars, comprehensive coverage may not be worth it. In some cases, it may not be permitted.

Not wanting to pay out of pocket: Some drivers are comfortable with the risk of not purchasing a comprehensive policy because they can afford to pay out of pocket if repairing or replacing their car is necessary. If you can’t then comprehensive vehicle insurance can be a prudent option.

Comprehensive car insurance coverage cost & deductible 

Several factors impact the cost of your comprehensive car insurance policy and one is the deductible. The standard auto deductible offered by most insurers for comprehensive coverage is $500. With higher deductibles, like $1000 or $2000, you typically pay less for the policy, though you’ll pay more out of pocket when making a claim. Meanwhile, a lower deductible can increase policy costs, but then you pay more when making a claim.

Because of the various factors used to calculate car insurance costs, quotes can vary depending on the age, make and model of your automobile. For example, newer model luxury cars are generally more expensive to insure than recent economy models. Insurance for the same driver and car can differ between companies, depending on how they weigh these factors, by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It’s possible your comprehensive auto insurance policy might cost a few hundred a year, depending on your deductible, car and driving history.

Since comprehensive car insurance quotes can vary, use our search tool to find your cheapest car insurance rate by comparing quotes from 30+ providers in a single search!

When is comprehensive car insurance not a good idea?

Comprehensive insurance isn't available for everyone, generally because of issues related to a vehicle’s age or condition. For instance, if your car is 15 years or older it may not be possible to get comprehensive auto insurance coverage. (It also may not be economically sensible to purchase this optional coverage if your car has little replacement value.) If your vehicle has been modified, particularly for aesthetic reasons, you may not be able to get this coverage either. It’s best to check with your insurer before making modifications. Not disclosing modifications can lead to denied claims or cancellation of your policy when discovered.


How to file a comprehensive car insurance claim

Claims for comprehensive coverage get filed with your insurer, online or by phone, as they would any other car insurance claim. They will walk you through the rest of the process.

Frequently asked questions about comprehensive car insurance in Canada

Does comprehensive car insurance cover damage caused by rodents?

Comprehensive auto insurance coverage will cover rodent damage, like chewed wires. However, if multiple rodent damage claims are made you may have to prove to your insurer that you’re taking action against the pests.

Does comprehensive car insurance cover hail damage?

Yes, it does. A surprise hailstorm can cause both cosmetic and structural damage to vehicles, but you’re covered with a comprehensive car insurance package. (Hail damage isn’t part of your standard coverage.) This is particularly helpful for those who live in the southern parts of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario or Saskatchewan where hail can be most prominent.

Is comprehensive car insurance expensive?

Adding an optional comprehensive car insurance package to your policy will increase your premium over standard coverage. However, the coverage costs can be dramatically less than what you’ll spend on repairs should an incident occur.

The cost will be impacted by the factors used to calculate your premium, like your driving history and your vehicle’s age, make and model. To get the best deal on comprehensive auto insurance, like any policy, you’ll want to compare prices at different companies. You can use our online tool to compare quotes from 30+ providers in a single search to get the best price on comprehensive car insurance.

What are the main differences between comprehensive and collision car insurance?

These two policies are often recommended together because they complement ech other. Comprehensive has a greater non-collision coverage, covering falling or flying objects, inclement weather like hail, theft and vandalism. Collision coverage covers the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle following a collision with an object, property or another automobile. One way to view it is that collision coverage helps with damages you get while driving, whereas comprehensive coverage assists with damages you get while parked.

Can I add comprehensive car insurance coverage after an accident?

Yes, you can but the coverage isn’t retroactive. Your insurance company will look at the date the accident occurred, not the date of the claim. This is why it’s a good idea to think about getting comprehensive car insurance quotes when buying a new or updating a policy. Find your cheapest automobile insurance rate by comparing quotes from 30+ providers in a single search.

When should I consider dropping comprehensive car insurance?

At some point, your car will depreciate to the point where it would be cheaper to replace rather than continue paying for collision and comprehensive insurance. Vehicles five years old or more typically don't need collision or comprehensive insurance.

The following rules of thumb can help you decide whether to keep collision and comprehensive.

  • Drop these covers if your car's value is approximately twice your insurance deductible.
  • If the cost of collision and comprehensive coverage is more than 10% of your car's current value, drop them.

But before you cancel these add-ons, make sure you can handle the cost of repairing or replacing your car.

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Alexandra Bosanac, Content Manager

Alexandra Bosanac, content manager at, focuses on auto insurance. She has covered the topic since 2017. Alexandra holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University. Prior to joining in 2021, she contributed to publications such as Canadian Business, the Toronto Star, the National Post, and the CBC.


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