Will My Car Insurance Cover It?
Have you been in an accident, hit a deer on the road, or had your car stolen?
Once you’ve contacted emergency services and made sure everyone is safe, the next thing on your mind is probably insurance. If you’re wondering whether your car insurance will cover the costs of your damage or loss, we can help.
At Jeffery & Spence, we understand how to handle these situations and navigate the claims process. In this blog, we will cover nine situations that help to answer the question, “Will my car insurance cover it?”
If you do find yourself in one of these situations, remember that the first thing to do is submit a claim. As your broker, we’re your partner in navigating the claims process and we’ll be the best people to contact. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions about your auto insurance.
What’s Included in Auto Insurance in Ontario
Auto insurance is designed to provide coverage for a wide range of scenarios from major accidents to fender benders and theft to vandalism. However, it is important to remember that a standard insurance policy will not protect you from everything.
Our team will often recommend additional coverage options. For example: If you are leaving your car unattended for a long period of time, you should consider Comprehensive Coverage.
Find out more about what’s required to keep your car protected in these situations:
- Break Downs
- Hitting a Deer
- Parked Car
- Rental Car
- Weather Damage
“If I get into an accident, will insurance cover it?”
Yes, your insurance will cover you in the event of a car accident. Statutory Accident Benefits Coverage is required by law to be part of every auto insurance policy issued in Ontario. This coverage will provide protection if you, your passengers, or others are injured in an accident on the road — and it applies regardless of who is at-fault for the accident.
Since this type of coverage is legally required, all insurance providers offer the same protection. Statutory Accident Benefits will provide coverage for income replacement, relevant medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, attendant care, compensation for non-earners and caregivers, and more.
However, it is important to note that various optional coverages are available, in addition to the standard Statutory Accident Benefits. Depending on your individual circumstances, it may be valuable to consider some of these optional coverages. Talk to your broker for more information.
“If my car breaks down, will insurance cover it?”
No, car insurance will not typically cover breakdowns, unless the breakdown is caused by an insured peril (i.e. collision, vandalism, etc.). Mechanical failures or other issues with your car are your responsibility as the owner, and you need to ensure that your car is kept in good working condition.
Hitting a Deer
“If I hit a deer or another animal, will insurance cover it?”
If you hit an animal and damage your car, your protection will depend on the type of coverage you have on your policy. Deer, moose, and other animals can be a concern in rural areas, especially parts of Northern Ontario.
If you own a cottage up north and you’re concerned about encountering deer on the road, the best way to protect yourself is to add both Collision Coverage and Comprehensive Coverage to your policy. It is important to have both options because a different coverage will apply, depending on the details of the situation.
If a deer or another animal runs in front of your car, this is typically covered under Comprehensive Coverage. This coverage provides protection from random, unavoidable events, such as falling or flying objects, vandalism, and so on.
If the deer is already dead in the road when you hit it, or if you swerve to avoid it and run into something, then you would need Collision Coverage. This coverage protects you from losses if your vehicle collides with another object (i.e. a fence, a tree, etc.). It is important to note that a deductible typically applies to both types of coverage.
“If I am the victim of a hit-and-run accident, will insurance cover it?”
Your car insurance will cover you in the event of a hit-and-run accident, as long as you have Collision Coverage on your policy.
If you do find yourself in this situation, try to make note of the other driver’s license plate number and the type of vehicle, then report the accident to the police as soon as possible.
If you have Collision Coverage on your policy, then this protection will cover the damages from the accident. You will be responsible for paying the deductible, but if you are not at fault your premiums will not increase.
“If something damaged my parked car, will insurance cover it?”
If your car is damaged while parked in a lot, garage, or on the street, it is typically covered by Comprehensive Coverage. This type of coverage is optional for most policies and will cover things like falling tree branches, hail, fire, theft, vandalism, and more.
However, when someone backs into your vehicle while you’re parked, or even dings you with their door, then different coverages will apply. If the other driver leaves a note to identify themselves, then the damage will be paid under direct compensation as property damage.
However, if the other driver does not identify themselves, then the incident will be treated as a hit-and-run scenario and it will be covered by Collision Coverage (see section on Hit-and-Runs above). Make sure that you report any damages to your insurer and, if it was a hit-and-run, report it to the police as well.
“If I get a rental car, will insurance cover it?”
Most auto insurance policies in Ontario will provide a number of additional coverage options for rental vehicles. These options include:
- OPCF 20 — This is a loss of use coverage, which applies if you are in an accident. If your vehicle is unable to be used, it will cover the lease for a rental car while your primary vehicle is being fixed.
- OPCF 27 — This policy option will extend your typical coverage to rented or leased vehicles while travelling or on vacation. This coverage means you don’t need to buy coverage from rental car companies and includes rentals in both Canada and the United States. It does not apply to other international car rentals, or cover drivers that are not listed on your policy.
It is important to check your policy coverages before booking a rental vehicle, so you can be sure you’re protected on vacation. If you have any questions about this, talk to your local broker.
“If my car is stolen, will insurance cover it?”
The theft of your car is covered if you have Comprehensive Coverage as part of your auto insurance policy. This coverage will pay for any repairs or the replacement of your vehicle, in the case of theft or attempted theft.
One common auto insurance myth is that this coverage will not apply if the car was left unlocked or if the keys were left inside — but this is not the case. However, any contents of your vehicle, such as a purse, laptop, etc. are not covered under your auto insurance policy. These items will be covered by your home insurance policy instead.
“If my car is damaged by hail or broken branches, will insurance cover it?”
If your car is damaged by severe weather, including extreme winds, hail, lightning or flooding, then you will be covered if you have Comprehensive Coverage. This is an optional coverage that includes a range of other types of damages, many of which have been mentioned above.
Large hailstones can cause significant damage to your vehicle, including cracking the windshield or denting the roof. Extreme winds may cause large branches or trees to fall on your car. These types of damages are included in Comprehensive Coverage, regardless of where your vehicle is parked. Bear in mind that a deductible will apply for this coverage.
“If someone keys or scratches my car, will insurance cover it?”
Yes, you can get auto insurance to protect your car from vandalism with Comprehensive Coverage, but this option does not come standard with most auto policies. If you live in an area where you’re concerned about keying, broken windshields, or spray paint, then it is possible to get coverage to protect your vehicle from vandalism.
Comprehensive Coverage will offer protection from a range of risks, including specified perils, as well as falling or flying objects and vandalism. It is important to note that most policies will require you to pay an out-of-pocket deductible for this coverage. If the vandalism is minor, the costs of repairing it may be less than the deductible.
If you’re looking for auto insurance that will keep you protected in any situation, the team at Jeffery & Spence can help create a custom policy that’s right for you. Contact us today to get started.