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To protect or not to protect? Insurance will cover a cracked or shattered sunroof, as long as you don't opt out on glass to save on cost.FCA US LLC/h

I saw a news story about a sunroof suddenly shattering. Would insurance cover that? And would rates go up? I’d be surprised that insurance would cover a sunroof because I didn’t think glass was covered. – Bill, Mississauga

If your sunroof shatters, your insurance should cover the overhead – as long as you didn’t exclude glass when you bought your policy.

“A shattered sunroof would be covered if the policyholder had purchased optional comprehensive or all-perils insurance,” said Anne Marie Thomas, director of consumer and industry relations with the Insurance Bureau of Canada. “As long as they did not choose to remove glass coverage as a cost-saving measure.”

Here’s a quick car insurance primer. There are three types of coverage in an auto insurance policy: liability, collision and comprehensive.

Liability coverage is mandatory – you can’t drive your car without it – and the other two are optional.

So what do they cover?

Liability insurance covers damage you cause to other people or their property, including their vehicle, if you’re at fault in an accident.

Each province requires you to buy a minimum amount of liability coverage. It is typically $200,000, but it varies. In Nova Scotia, for example, the minimum is $500,000. In Quebec, it is $50,000. You can pay extra to add more liability coverage.

Collision, comprehensive and all-perils

Liability doesn’t cover damage to your vehicle if you’re at fault.

That’s where collision insurance comes in. It covers the cost to repair your vehicle if you hit something.

Then there’s comprehensive insurance that covers almost anything else that’s not the result of a collision – including theft, vandalism, hail and flying objects.

There’s also all-perils coverage, which is a combination of collision and comprehensive.

You can also choose a cheaper version called specified-perils coverage, which only covers damage from specific things, such as fire or theft.

So, comprehensive and all-perils include glass coverage, but, to save money every month, you can choose to remove it.

“Many people in Alberta exclude glass because Alberta is notorious for stones and cracked windshields.”

How much could you save by skipping glass coverage?

“I couldn’t even guess – it all depends on the vehicle,” Thomas said.

Rates won’t take a hit

So if a flying rock shatters your sunroof and you have insurance coverage, would your rates go up if you make a claim?

“No. A comprehensive claim is considered not-at-fault, so it wouldn’t affect your premium,” Thomas said.

However, you would have to pay a deductible, an amount the policyholder must pay out of pocket before the insurer steps in, Thomas said. For comprehensive insurance, that’s typically about $500, although you can choose to increase it to $1,000, for example, to save money every month.

A London, Ont., woman whose 2023 Nissan Rogue’s sunroof shattered this month while she was driving told CTV News that it would cost $1,400 to repair.

Even though your rates won’t go up if you make a claim, there might be limits on how many comprehensive claims you can make.

If you have too many – for instance, a cracked windshield every six months or three cases of vandalism in a year – your insurance company might raise your deductible. Or, they might cancel the coverage, Thomas said.

Have a driving question? Send it to and put ‘Driving Concerns’ in your subject line. Emails without the correct subject line may not be answered. Canada’s a big place, so let us know where you are so we can find the answer for your city and province.