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Types of Auto Coverage Hero image

Types of Auto Coverage

Regardless of where you live, if you own, lease or finance a vehicle, purchasing auto insurance is mandatory across Canada. Beyond securing the mandatory coverage set out by each province and territory, you can select additional coverages like loss of use coverage or collision forgiveness protection – amongst many others.

Know your coverage and options

Insurers design auto coverages to respond to common property and liability risks, including:

  • You as a driver, your passengers and anyone else involved in a collision involving your vehicle

  • Privately owned or leased cars, trucks, motorcycles and mopeds

  • Commercially owned or leased cars, trucks or fleets of vehicles

  • Motorcycles, mopeds, motor scooters and motor-assisted bicycles

  • Seasonal vehicles such as ATVs, off-road vehicles, recreational vehicles (RVs), snowmobiles and classic cars.

Your coverage is designed to respond if your vehicle is damaged because of a collision or other covered event. It may also provide protection if you are sued for causing damage to another vehicle or injuring someone.

Established by each province and territory, mandatory auto insurance is the minimum amount of coverage every vehicle owner must purchase and - depending on your province or territory - includes third-party liability, direct-compensation property damage, accident benefits and physical damage coverage. Additional auto insurance coverages may be available.

Collision, specified perils, comprehensive and all perils coverages are among the additional coverages available for your vehicle. In general, these coverages are very similar across Canada.

Mandatory auto coverage

Each province and territory sets the mandatory or minimum amounts of coverage every vehicle owner must purchase – and those mandatory car insurance requirements are subject to change.

Regardless of where you live, driving without insurance is a very serious offence. If you are convicted of driving without insurance, you may be considered a "high risk" driver by insurers and may be charged a higher premium or refused insurance.  Before you put license plates on your car, renew your vehicle registration or buy a temporary (trip) permit, you need to purchase car insurance. In the event of a collision that results in injuries to you, depending on your coverage and eligibility, your mandatory insurance coverage may:

  • Provide protection for liability for bodily injury or death of a person or damage to property because of the ownership/use or operation of your vehicle

  • Provide coverage for physical damage to your vehicle if you reside in a province where direct-compensation physical damage (DCPD) is mandatory and you have not opted out of that coverage.

  • Help provide the medical/rehabilitation care to get you well

  • Provide financial assistance to you if you are unable to work

  • Provide financial protection if you hurt someone and are sued

We recommend you consult with a local qualified insurance representative for further assistance.

Additional auto insurance coverages

Note that all loss or damage coverages are subject to the specific limits, deductibles and exclusions outlined in your policy.

The following examples are provided as general information only. Please review your insurance policy and talk to your insurance representative about your specific auto coverage.


An underground parking garage door closes on your car, or your vehicle slides off an icy road and is damaged. These are some of the types of situations that optional collision coverage is designed to respond to.

Collision or upset coverage pays for damage to your vehicle caused by a collision with another object or vehicle or if it rolls over. It’s also important to know that:

  • if your car is leased or financed, collision insurance is likely a mandatory requirement

  • non-collision related damage – for example, theft of your vehicle – is not covered

  • if you own your car, you may decide to not purchase collision insurance

  • if your insurer determines that repairs cannot be made to your vehicle (or it’s been “written-off), the amount you will receive is listed on your policy

  • property stolen from your car or damaged in a collision may also be covered by your home, condo or tenant insurance

Specified perils

A peril is an event that is unexpected and accidental, for example:

  • Your vehicle is stolen and never recovered or is recovered with substantial damage.

  • Fire engulfs your next-door neighbour's house, spreads to your garage and destroys your insured car.

  • Large hail from a severe storm damages your truck.

Specified perils coverage responds to losses caused by the perils specified in your auto policy and may include:

  • Earthquake

  • Explosion

  • Fire

  • Hail

  • Lightning

  • Riot or civil disturbance

  • Rising water

  • Theft or attempted theft

  • Windstorm

  • Falling or forced landing of aircraft or parts of aircraft or the stranding, sinking, burning, derailment or collision of any kind of transport


High winds cause flying debris that damages your car. Vandals break into your garage and damage your truck. These are examples of damage or loss covered by comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive coverage includes all perils, except for:

  • Collision

  • Upset of the insured vehicle, and/or

  • Damage caused by theft by a person who resides with you or who repairs your car

All perils

This optional coverage is designed to respond to all causes of loss except for those specifically listed as exclusions in your auto policy. An exclusion specifies the hazards, perils, circumstances or property not covered in your policy.

All perils coverage is also designed to cover loss or damage caused if your vehicle is stolen, used by someone else in your household or someone hired to drive your vehicle. A peril is a chance event that is unexpected and accidental.

How property and liability auto coverage work

  • Property coverage is designed to respond if your vehicle suffers damage due to a collision or other covered event.

  • Liability coverage will provide protection if you are sued for causing damage to another vehicle or injuring someone.

Ask your insurance representative about how your specific car insurance coverages will respond in the event of loss or damage.

Key facts about coverages

Commercial auto coverage is necessary for personally owned vehicles that are used for business purposes – such as ridesharing or food delivery.

A standard auto policy excludes coverage if the vehicle is used to carry paying passengers. If you sign-up to work for a ridesharing company, contact your insurance representative to make sure you have proper coverage.