Do I Need "full" Coverage?


Do I NEED "Full" Coverage?

The slang word "Full coverage" is used often, many times without one fully understanding what "full coverage" means.  

In Canada, you are legally required to have Liability Insurance on your vehicle.  Liability is not what is referred to as full coverage.

Liability coverage protects you legally, if you cause an accident, causing damage and/or injuries, the liability coverage (in Canada, 1 million dollars is common) will extend to fix what YOU broke, it will NOT fix your vehicle.

Full coverage to a consumer typically means collision and comprehensive coverage.  These are 2 separate coverage options that can be purchased together or separately that protect YOUR vehicle.

Collision:  Collision covers physical damage to your vehicle that is caused when you make impact with anything that is attached to the ground, or a roll over.  

Comprehensive:  Comprehensive covers physical damage to your vehicle caused my fire, theft and vandalism.  It also extends coverage for multiple possible perils including water, damage from pets, flying objects and what I like to refer to as the stupid factor (accidentally dump a can of paint in the interior, ruining the material and carpet for example)  Yes, this has happened, more than once.   

When I was taking my General Insurance course over 10 years ago, my teacher helped me fully understand the difference with this one example:

Imagine you are driving behind a truck with a large barrel in the box.  

The barrel bounces out and lands directly on the hood of you vehicle = Comprehensive

The barrel bounces out of the box of the truck, lands on the road and you run into it = Collision

So to answer the question, "Do I NEED "full" coverage?  The answer all depends on YOUR current situation and needs.

Questions to ask yourself:

Is my vehicle leased or have a loan?  If you answered yes, the leasing or finance company requires you to have comprehensive and comprehensive coverage in place.  If you are in an accident or the vehicle is stolen, you still have to pay off that loan.  When you lease a vehicle, you are in theory "renting" it, the leasing company needs to protect their property/asset.  If you bought the vehicle but have a loan, the finance company needs to ensure that if the collateral (the vehicle) is stolen or damaged, that it is replaced or fixed.

2) What is the market value of your vehicle?  If you do not have a loan or it is not leased, you have an older vehicle, if it were stolen tomorrow, could you afford to replace it?  If you have an older car that is worth $3000.00, and adding comprehensive and collision coverage to your auto policy is going to cost you $2000.00 a year and you have a $500.00 deductible, is it worth it?  There are personal decisions that you have to make based on your situation.

There are the 2 main questions we ask our customers when reviewing their coverage needs.  

There are many other reasons WHY having collision and comprehensive coverage on your policy is a benefit, but we will cover that in another blog.

As always, we are here to help answer all of your questions and help you make the best choice that protects your needs.  Call us at 403-526-1345 or email

Do you have a specific question you would like us to answer in one of our blogs?  Email it to us at

Crystal Metz