If you’re a driver, you’re probably familiar with the most common features of car insurance policies. (If you’re not, read our article on mandatory car insurance in Canada.) But there are some surprising things that your auto insurance policy might cover when you buy the right add-ons.
Here are five surprising things your car insurance policy can protect you from with optional coverage:
1. Emergency roadside assistance
From something as simple as running out of gas, to an unexplained loss of power, if you’re stuck at the side of the road, it’s nice to know the cost of getting someone out to help is covered, especially if it ends up requiring your car to be towed.
This coverage can be purchased individually or from the same company you bought your insurance from.
2. Temporary vehicle replacement
Just because your car’s in the shop, it doesn’t mean your life comes to a standstill. You need a set of wheels to keep you moving while your car is repaired. The good news is that your insurance company can take care of the cost of renting a car. It can be more convenient than doing it yourself.
3. Windshield repair
In some areas of the country, a scratched or chipped windshield is a common occurrence, especially in winter with salt or gravel on the road. There’s also the risk of an occasional hailstorm. If your windshield is chipped and it severely impacts visibility or the structural integrity of the glass, it can make sense to claim it if you’ve got comprehensive coverage.
Simple repairs may be completely covered by your insurer without even affecting your premium. But if you make multiple claims per year, you may see your monthly bill go up. If the damage is bad enough to require a complete replacement of the windshield, you may have to pay your deductible before your insurer covers the rest.
4. Vet bills
If your best riding buddy has paws instead of hands, be sure that they are also covered in the event of injury. Veterinary bills can be almost as costly as human medical bills. You can make a liability claim against an at-fault driver for any damage done to your pet, since according to the Globe and Mail, the law treats pets the same as any other property you may have.
5. Pothole damage
Potholes can be a huge headache for drivers in spring. While some cities process damage claims for potholes, you are likely to be compensated a lot faster if you go through your own insurance company. If you have collision coverage you can file a claim from hitting road hazards like potholes. However, unless the damage caused costs more than your deductible, it may not be worth it.
Read your policy, and understand the coverage you have. Then determine if it’s financially worth to get additional coverage.