What is Comprehensive Car Insurance? The Ultimate 2024 Guide

verified information


Information verified by  Alexandre Desoutter

Our articles are written by experts in their fields (finance, trading, insurance etc.) whose signatures you will see at the beginning and at the end of each article. They are also systematically reviewed and corrected before each publication, and updated regularly.

Discover the methodology
Sunny Yadav updated on 15 March 2024

When you're shopping for car insurance, you might spot something called "Comprehensive Car Insurance." Ever wonder what that's all about? We got you covered.

Comprehensive Car Insurance is an extra layer of protection for your car, covering things like theft, vandalism, and damage from natural disasters—stuff that doesn't involve crashing.

This guide will break down everything you need to know about Comprehensive Car Insurance, from how it works to the best plans, pros, cons, and more. Plus, we've got a free tool to help you compare the best car insurance quotes for free, tailored just for you.

Comprehensive Car Insurance: 5 Key Takeaways

  1. Provides extensive coverage for both your vehicle and third-party liabilities.
  2. Typically covers accidents, theft, natural disasters, vandalism and glass breakage.
  3. Cost varies based on factors like driving profile, car details, location and more.
  4. Offers broader coverage and optional add-ons for personalized protection.
  5. Premiums are higher compared to third-party insurance.

What does comprehensive car insurance mean?

Comprehensive car insurance, also known as full coverage, is the most extensive type of car insurance policy available. It safeguards you from financial losses due to various unforeseen events, offering peace of mind on the road.

Comprehensive car insurance offers protection in two main areas:

  1. Own Damage Cover
  2. Third-Party Liability Cover

Essentially, comprehensive car insurance:

  • Offers broader coverage than mandatory third-party insurance, which solely covers liabilities to others.
  • It provides financial peace of mind knowing your car and legal responsibilities are protected in various situations.
  • It comes with specific terms and conditions, exclusions and limitations based on the insurer and chosen plan.
  • Typically, it has higher premiums than third-party insurance due to its wider coverage.

Before you choose any car insurance — comprehensive, collision or third-party insurance — compare quotes from multiple providers. This will help you get a better deal. You can use our comparator below to explore the best comprehensive car insurance quotes in Canada based on your unique needs.

Compare Canada's best car insurance plans

Start saving today

What are the pros and cons of comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance covers a wide range of events, including accidents (regardless of fault), theft, vandalism, fire, natural disasters and even animal damage. This provides financial security and avoids unexpected high repair costs.

Here are its pros and cons to help you make an informed decision:


  • Protects your car: Regardless of who's at fault in an accident, comprehensive insurance covers repairs or replacements for your own vehicle. This is especially valuable for newer, expensive cars or those heavily relied upon.
  • Third-party liability coverage: It typically includes mandatory coverage for injuries and property damage caused to others in an accident. This protects you from legal and financial burdens.
  • Optional add-ons: Many companies offer additional coverages like roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and loan/lease gap protection, customizing your policy to specific needs.
  • Financial stability: In case of a major claim, comprehensive insurance ensures you're not left paying hefty repair bills out of pocket. This can be crucial for unexpected situations.


  • Higher cost: Comprehensive insurance has higher premiums compared to third-party liability, mainly due to the broader coverage it offers.
  • Deductible: You still have to pay a deductible before insurance kicks in, and higher deductibles lower premiums but increase your out-of-pocket cost in case of a claim.
  • Coverage limitations: Specific exclusions and limitations may apply depending on the policy and plan, so carefully review the details to understand what's covered and what's not.
  • May not be necessary for everyone: If you have an older, less valuable car with limited driving frequency, the cost might outweigh the benefits, and third-party insurance might be sufficient.
  • Potential misuse: Comprehensive insurance can lead to unnecessary claims if you're not mindful of responsible driving habits.

What does comprehensive car insurance cover?

Comprehensive car insurance is a broad type of coverage offering financial protection for both your vehicle and third-party liabilities. 

Here are the details about comprehensive car insurance coverage:

Own Damage Cover:

  • Accidents: Repairs or replacements for your car damaged in an accident, regardless of fault.
  • Theft: Financial compensation if your car is stolen.
  • Natural disasters: Coverage for damage caused by floods, earthquakes, hailstorms, etc.
  • Fire: Protection against losses due to fire, explosion or lightning.
  • Vandalism: Reimbursement for repairs if your car is vandalized.
  • Riots and strikes: Covers damage caused during such situations.
  • Glass dreakage: Coverage for broken windshields and other car windows. (Note: Some insurers include this, while others offer it as an add-on).
  • Engine and gearbox protection: Coverage for repair or replacement of internal car parts in case of damage (maybe an add-on).

Third-Party Liability Cover:

  • Third-party bodily injury: Covers medical expenses and other costs associated with injuries caused to pedestrians, passengers in other vehicles, etc.
  • Third-party property damage: Pays for repairs or replacements of property damaged by your car (e.g., other vehicles, buildings).

Additional Benefits:

  • Roadside assistance: Help with emergencies like flat tires, breakdowns and towing (often an add-on).
  • Personal accident cover: Financial compensation for the driver or passengers in case of accidental death or injuries.
  • Zero depreciation cover: Reimbursement for the full cost of car parts without accounting for depreciation (usually an add-on).

How much is comprehensive car insurance?

The cost of comprehensive car insurance varies significantly depending on several factors, making it difficult to give a single answer.

Here are the main factors that can affect its cost:

  1. Your driving profile: Age, driving experience, claims history and annual mileage significantly impact cost. Younger drivers, those with recent claims and high mileage drivers typically pay more.
  2. Your car: Make, model, year, value and safety features influence the premium. Newer, more expensive cars with poor safety ratings cost more to insure.
  3. Your location: Premiums are higher in densely populated areas with higher accident rates and theft risks.
  4. Your coverage: The specific inclusions and limits of your policy affect the cost. Adding optional riders like roadside assistance or zero depreciation will increase the premium.
  5. Your insurance provider: Different insurers have varying pricing structures and discounts. Comparing quotes from multiple companies to get the best deal.

Recent data suggests Canadian drivers pay an average of $1,300 to $1,800 annually for car insurance, but comprehensive coverage generally falls within a range of $100-$300 on top of that.

Also, costs can vary considerably across provinces. Here is the average annual cost for comprehensive insurance in various Canadian provinces:

ProvinceAverage Annual Cost ($CAD)
British Columbia
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
Cost of comprehensive car insurance in Canada

If you want to get personalized quotes for comprehensive car insurance from leading providers in Canada, use our comparator. Just fill in some basic details and get car insurance quotes on the go.

Compare Canada's best car insurance plans

Start saving today

What are some good options for comprehensive car insurance?

Here are some well-regarded private car insurance providers in Canada to consider:

Aviva Canada Car Insurance

  • Offers a wide range of car insurance products, including comprehensive coverage, with customizable options and add-ons.
  • Known for its competitive rates and good customer service.


  • A subsidiary of Intact, one of Canada's largest insurance companies, offering online-based car insurance with competitive rates and convenient features.
  • Popular for its user-friendly website and mobile app.

Desjardins Car Insurance

  • One of the largest cooperatives in Canada, offering car insurance through its subsidiary, The Personal.
  • Known for its competitive rates and commitment to customer service.

Intact Insurance

  • One of Canada's largest car insurance companies, offering a variety of coverage options and discounts.
  • Has a strong reputation for financial stability and claims processing.

Pembridge Insurance

  • A subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings, offering competitive rates and various coverage options, including comprehensive insurance.
  • Known for its commitment to customer service and innovation.

Allianz comprehensive car insurance

  • Offers a variety of comprehensive car insurance plans with customizable options and add-ons like roadside assistance, loan/lease protection and accident forgiveness.
  • Strong financial stability, reputation for good customer service, various discounts available (e.g., multi-car, good driver, safety features).

Eventually, the best car insurance company for you will depend on your individual needs and circumstances.

Comprehensive car insurance vs third-party car insurance

Choosing between comprehensive and third-party car insurance depends on your priorities and budget.

Here are the key differences between the two:


  • Comprehensive: Offers the most extensive coverage, protecting your vehicle from accidents, theft, fire, vandalism and natural disasters. Additionally, it covers third-party liabilities (injuries and property damage caused to others).
  • Third-Party: Only covers third-party liabilities, meaning you're financially responsible for repairs to your car in case of an accident, regardless of fault.


  • Comprehensive: More expensive due to the wider coverage.
  • Third-Party: Significantly cheaper but offers minimal protection for your vehicle.

When to choose which:

  • Comprehensive: Choose this if you want peace of mind knowing your car and legal responsibilities are protected in most situations. Consider it for newer, expensive cars or if you rely heavily on your vehicle.
  • Third-Party: Opt for this if you're on a tight budget and have an older, less valuable car or a limited driving frequency. However, be aware of the financial risks involved if your car gets damaged due to any reason.

Additional factors to consider:

  • Deductible: This is the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in. A higher deductible lowers your premium but increases your upfront cost in case of a claim.
  • Add-ons: Both types of insurance often allow you to add optional coverages like roadside assistance, personal accident cover or zero depreciation.
  • Driving record: A clean driving record can qualify you for discounts on both types of insurance.

Here's a quick summary of the key points:

Own vehicle + Third-party liabilitiesThird-party liabilities only
More expensiveSignificantly cheaper
When to choose
Peace of mind, newer/expensive car, frequent drivingTight budget, older/less valuable car, limited driving
Additional factors
Deductible, add-ons, driving recordDeductible, driving record
Comprehensive car insurance vs third-party car insurance

Ultimately, the best choice for you depends on your individual needs and risk tolerance. Carefully evaluate your driving habits, car value and budget before making a decision.

How to find cheap comprehensive car insurance?

Here are some tips for finding cheaper comprehensive coverage:

  1. Maintain a good driving record: Avoiding accidents and tickets keeps your premiums low.
  2. Choose a higher deductible: Opting for a higher deductible lowers your premium but requires you to pay more out-of-pocket in case of a claim.
  3. Bundle your insurance: Combining car insurance with other policies like home insurance often gets you a discount.
  4. Take advantage of discounts: Many insurers offer discounts for things like completing defensive driving courses, having security features in your car or being a student or senior citizen.

And don’t forget to compare comprehensive car insurance quotes from different providers to find the best deal. Use our comparator to get personalized quotes for comprehensive car insurance in Canada.

Compare Canada's best car insurance plans

Start saving today


Start saving today! Get a free car insurance quote

Did you like this article?
Sunny Yadav Copywriter

Sunny has over six years of experience curating engaging content spanning across industries. Specifically in finance, his expertise is insurance reviews and lending and investment topics.