The quick answer is, yes, it can, but in Canada, it’s not guaranteed. While car insurance coverage is mandatory to drive on any Canadian road, this applies only to minimum coverage, usually third-party liability insurance, to protect at-fault drivers if they are sued for damages suffered by others in a car accident. When a car is damaged or destroyed due to non-collision incidents such as vandalism, minimum, mandatory car insurance offers no protection for the car owner.
The Purpose of Comprehensive Insurance
If you’re living in an area that experiences a high incidence of vandalism and you lack a secure place to park your car, comprehensive car insurance coverage is the product you need to protect yourself against financial loss. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario defines comprehensive coverage as:
“This coverage pays for losses, other than those covered by Collision or Upset, including perils listed under Specified Perils, falling or flying objects, missiles and vandalism.”
All Perils coverage combines comprehensive coverage with collision or upset coverage into one product, and provides the same protection against vandalism as comprehensive insurance alone.
How Car Insurance Deductibles Work
The comprehensive portion of your car insurance is subject to deductibles for each claim. A deductible is an amount paid by the car owner for repairs in a claim before the insurance company is obligated to pay. A car owner can choose the amount of the deductible. A lower deductible, meaning the insurance company pays sooner, means a higher annual premium, while a high deductible saves the driver on car insurance costs. For example, if a vandalism incident costs $600 to repair and a driver has a $250 deductible, the driver pays $250 and the insurance company pays the remaining $350. Another driver faced with the same thing, but who carries a $1,000 deductible must cover the entire $600 repair himself.
Insuring Stored or Seasonal Vehicles
In Ontario, there’s no short-term, temporary insurance policy. If you want to register a vehicle, you must purchase a minimum of 6 months’ mandatory coverage. This may apply with a used vehicle you want to restore. While the mandatory coverage is necessary for changing and registering ownership, comprehensive coverage is not.
However, it can be a good idea, since a car that’s not being driven may still be at risk of vandalism damage. If the car is an antique or a collectible, there could be a good deal of value at stake, even before you start spending money on restoration. Collision insurance isn’t necessary, since the car is not currently being driven. Once it’s road ready, you can add collision on, while the vehicle was protected right through with the comprehensive portion of the policy.