07 April 2020

Does your car insurance cover it if something hits your car?

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One thing’s for sure, we haven’t seen the last of extreme weather and the unpleasant surprises it can bring! So we may as well get used to it as best we can while prioritizing prevention and good insurance coverage.

In any case, an object hitting your car—whether blown by the wind like in our ad below or caused by something else—is a pretty common occurrence. How do you know if your car insurance policy will cover this type of damage? Keep reading to find out.

CAR INSURANCE IN QUÉBEC: AN OVERVIEW

Let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture. How does car insurance work in Québec? Basically, there are two parts: mandatory coverage and optional coverage. Understanding the scope of each will help you answer the broader question of what’s covered when you have a car accident?

The two parts of a car insurance policy

Mandatory coverage: Third party liability insurance

You must have at least $50,000 in third party liability by law, but it’s advisable to have $1 to $2 million in coverage, especially if you ever travel to the States. In the insurance world, this is called Section A of your policy. In layman’s terms, it’s what’s meant by “one way” insurance. Third party liability covers:

  • Damage to your vehicle in an accident in Québec for which you are not at fault, as determined by the Direct Compensation Agreement (DCA)
  • Bodily injury and property damage caused to a third party and occurring outside Québec for which you are civilly liable
  • Bodily injury and property damage caused to a third party for which you are civilly liable and that is not covered by SAAQ

The mandatory piece is very important, as you can see. You may be thinking, “That’s interesting and all, but does it apply when something hits my car?” The answer is no, but we’ll get to that.

Optional coverage: With and without collision

On top of the mandatory third party liability insurance, you can add options to cover different types of damage to your vehicle. This is known as Section B, or “two way” coverage. There’s a wide range of options to fit your insurance needs and situation.

Now we’re finally getting to the question of whether your car is covered if something hits it (something like a basketball hoop, as we saw in the video). The main optional insurance add-ons are:

A) Perils of collision and upset – Covers damage to your vehicle from a collision or upset if you are at fault (e.g., your car hits another vehicle, a wall, or a lamp post, or you lose control of it). It also applies if you are the victim of a hit and run.

B) All perils other than collision or upset – Covers damage to your car not caused in a road accident. That includes a collision with an animal; vehicle theft; a broken windshield; damage caused by wind (bingo!), hail, or water; or something falling on your car (bingo again!).

C) All perils −Includes the other two types of coverage above. It’s comprehensive because it covers all insurable risks, except those excluded by your auto insurance policy.

D) Specific perils – Limited coverage for risks specifically listed on the policy.

So how do you decide? Different factors come into play: Is it a new car, a used car, a lease? If you’re driving a new car, it’s in your interest to cover most perils. Lessees and creditors also usually require you to have coverage with and without collision.

One smart option is to combine A and B above and choose two different deductibles instead of a single blanket deductible for all perils coverage. There are also riders you can add, the most popular being replacement cost, and all-in-one plans offering better coverage for the vehicle and driver. At Promutuel Insurance, we offer PROPLAN, which includes more third party liability, expense reimbursement, coverage for rented and borrowed vehicles, and more.

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH

So, if the wind knocks your basketball hoop over onto your car, are you covered or not? Have you figured it out? Since it’s an accident without a collision, you’re covered if you have “all perils” or “all perils other than collision or upset.” It’s a little like tornado insurance, which is also included in these plans. Tornadoes are rare in Québec, but if one blew something onto your car, you’d be covered for that, too.

But what if that something belonged to your neighbour—a tree from their yard, for instance? The first thing to do is call your insurer. Your neighbour will likely do the same. Since the object that hit your car doesn’t belong to you, who will pay? If your car insurance policy covers this risk, your insurer will pay. Otherwise you may have to pursue the matter through your neighbour’s insurer..

There’s no shortage of examples, but now you know enough to figure out whether something will be covered under the available options. Starting to think you don’t have all the coverage you need? Call your representative to find out for sure. Request a home insurance quote while you’re at it. We’re THERE to deliver singular service and premium protection!