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Insuring your car from the elements

By SmartCoverage Team on September 28th, 2018

Sometimes, the best of drivers can fall victim to natural elements out of their control. Not everyone has a covered garage to protect their vehicle during heavy rain, snow or sustained wind.

Below, we’ll look at some natural events and circumstances that could impact your vehicle, and which insurance type will go on to cover the specific occurrence.

Falling trees

If you usually park on a leafy, residential street you may be at a higher risk of damage from falling trees, especially in older neighbourhoods.

Persistent rainfall, thunderstorms or nasty winter weather can damage branches and send them crashing down to the streets, homes and vehicles below.

The type of auto insurance needed here is called comprehensive coverage, which can help pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it’s damaged or destroyed by falling objects, such as a tree in this case.

The damage needs to be extensive to go beyond your deductible here, and policyholders should take note of their coverage limit, as both categories will go on to impact your out of pocket expenses.

Ice storm or hail damage

Comprehensive coverage would come in here to save the day again. Comprehensive coverage takes care of damage when it’s caused by something other than a collision.

According to the Insurance Board of Canada, hail storms hit the Prairies the hardest with frequent and severe weather events occurring from June to September, affectionately referred to as hail season.

Damage to vehicles from wind, hail or water is typically covered by comprehensive coverage or all perils auto insurance. Look over any named policies to see if hail damage is covered, it will be noted explicitly.

Comprehensive or perils insurance is not mandatory; it would have to be purchased ahead of time for you to receive any protection.

Flood damage

You may think flood coverage is a myth, but you can actually protect your vehicle from heavy water damage if you purchase the proper insurance coverage.

Finding your car in the middle of a pool of water or backed up sewer route can easily damage it beyond repair, chalking it up to a total loss.

The only way to get an insurance company to pay for any flood damage is to again, carry the non-mandatory comprehensive coverage, especially if you live in (or normally park in) a low-lying area or high-risk flood zone.

End of the day

Comprehensive coverage is an optional form of insurance, one that goes above simple liability, and beyond collision coverage.

As you can see from the scenarios above, comprehensive coverage will not only come in handy for theft and vandalism damages but also many damages caused by falling trees, hail, ice storms and even floods.

If you’re living in a high-risk area, city or town where one of these events seems to happen every calendar year, decide if a comprehensive, all perils or named perils policy is right for you.

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