Insurance coverage

Prepare for the road trip with the right auto insurance coverage

Whether you’re traveling out-of-province or out-of-country, confirm your coverage throughout the trip

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It’s that time of year for relaxed warm-weather commutes and road trips. Although you probably already know the importance of having a roadside emergency kit ready when you embark on a road trip, you may not have given much thought to your insurance.

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For example, should you buy collision insurance if you drive in areas with high wildlife populations? And what if you have a collision with another driver while you are out of province or country?

Here are some of the nuances of a road trip when it comes to proper insurance coverage and how you can make sure you’re ready for the trip.

Check your existing auto insurance coverage

The first step is to review your current insurance coverage. This way you know exactly what you are and are not protected against.

If you have trouble deciphering your policy on your own, your insurance broker or agent should be able to guide you. It doesn’t matter where you are in Canada, you must have basic car insurancealthough it varies by province and territory.

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At a minimum, you will need to have liability insurance. This coverage provides compensation if you cause damage to someone or their property, including if someone is killed or injured as a result of a collision where you are found to be at fault. EExperts recommend buying a policy worth $500,000 to $1 million.

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Carefully consider the need for collision and comprehensive coverage

The next coverage option you should consider is collision insurance. This is often optional if you own your vehicle, but required if you finance or lease it. If the value of your car is less than the price of your deductible, it is often recommended to skip this coverage.

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If you don’t have collision insurance and you’re going to an area with a high population of large animals, like deer or moose (think New Brunswick, Newfoundland and southern Alberta) , you might want to add it to your font. Collision insurance protects you if your car is damaged in a collision with another vehicle, an object or even an animal.

Finally, comprehensive coverage covers you against anything that could damage your vehicle outside of a collision, such as hail, theft and flooding.

Whereas Consumer Reports recommends If you miss comprehensive coverage when your annual premium is equal to or greater than 10% of your vehicle’s cash value, you may want to add it to your policy if you plan to take a road trip.

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How to handle collisions in another province

If you take a travel by car to another province and have a collision outside your province, will your insurer accept your claim? And do the police in your province of residence still protect you?

Since auto insurance is regulated provincially, the rules vary from province to province. This is why it is important to check with your insurer before leaving the province. The good news (at least for Ontario and BC. drivers) is that the minimum insurance requirements require insurers to offer coverage for collisions that occur in Canada and the United States

One thing to keep in mind about collisions abroad, however, is that your insurance claim will likely be governed by the laws of where your accident happened. This means that if your collision took place in Texas, any legal proceedings will also have to take place there.

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Driving out of province and country

Although you are technically not required to notify your insurance provider that you will be driving out of province, it does not hurt.

Auto insurance covers you anywhere in Canada and often in the United States, so you’re usually protected when drive out of province. However, if you want to make sure you have the right level of coverage, a call to your provider is the wisest course.

If you drive further – to the sandy beaches of Mexico, perhaps? – you should take out additional car insurance from a Mexican supplier. This can be purchased at the border or online before your trip. Be sure to print a hard copy of your policy.

If in doubt, talk to your broker or insurance provider before you hit the road. is a free, independent rate comparison website that allows Canadians to compare rates for various financial products, such as home and auto insurance, mortgages and credit cards.


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