Understanding Auto Insurance in Canada
On a simplified level insurance is primarily a means of sharing risk across more individuals. Insurance providers require each individual to pay an insurance premium while in return agreeing to pay for the individual's financial loss resulting from a vehicle accident. On average not all individuals purchasing insurance policies are involved in accidents and as a result the insurance providers use the insurance premiums paid by all policyholders to pay for the smaller percentage of policyholders that are involved in an accident. Beyond a basic understanding of how insurance coverage works it is also necessary to understand the different types of insurance coverage options available in order to choose the right fit of insurance for your vehicle
Liability insurance is the only form of mandatory insurance that has to be purchased on all vehicles in Canada regardless of province. This type of insurance provides a two-fold coverage. Part one of this type of insurance coverage provides financial support to the operator of a vehicle in covering for losses sustained by other individuals in the form of injury, death or damage to property. The second part of liability insurance which is also referred to as accident benefits provides financial assistance to the operator of the vehicle against financial losses they may personally suffer as a result of an accident in the form of medical expenses and loss of income. Apart from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, accident benefits coverage is mandatory across Canada.
Collision coverage is designed to pay for the repair or replacement of a policy owner's car in the event of an accident regardless of whether the collision was with another car or stationary object. Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage is designed to pay for the repair or replacement of a policy owner's car in the event of damage not resulting from an accident. This can include damage to the policy owner's vehicle due to the actions of others such as vandalism and theft, environmental occurrences such as floors, windstorms etc and damage from flying objects while parked such as construction pylons.
Minimum Insurance Required
By law in Canada the Liability Insurance is the minimum level of insurance required however individuals with newer vehicles may prefer to purchase additional collision coverage to protect their vehicles. In additional when leasing or financing a vehicle many dealerships require Collision and/or Comprehensive coverage to be purchased to protect the vehicle until either the end of the lease term or the vehicle is paid off is full.
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