Creating an emergency kit for your car


No one's car ever breaks down at a convenient time. It's always an unwanted surprise. But there are a few ways you can make yourself better prepared for the situation. Use the PC auto insurance checklist below to help create an emergency breakdown kit for your car. You'll be happy you did.


Keep some non-perishable food items, like energy bars, in case a sudden breakdown has you stranded somewhere with no sustenance.


This is a survival no-brainer. Stock up on a few bottles and make sure they're the plastic kind, so they won't crack if they end up freezing in the cold weather.

Blankets & rain jackets

Weather is unpredictable. And so are car breakdowns. Blankets and rain jackets will not only give you shelter and help keep you warm and dry in bad weather, but they can also be used for multiple situations (after all, an unexpected breakdown may even cause an accident). These situations could include everything from needing to tear strips of them into a tourniquet to throwing them over a small fire. It's amazing when you think about it, but a simple blanket can assist in so many ways.

First aid kit

Unfortunately a breakdown can come with injuries. You never know what you'll be dealing with, so keep a standard first aid kit including items like bandages, antiseptic and antibiotic ointment. You'll also want to keep a pair of good, strong scissors. They can prove critical in various situations after an accident.

Flashlight & batteries

Beyond weather and other external threats, you also have darkness to consider. If your car breaks down at night you'll want to have a flashlight handy. And in case you're stranded a while, make sure you have a back up set of batteries to keep things lit as long as you need.

Snow shovel & windshield ice scraper

At least one of these two items should already be in your car,, however having both might mean the difference between you being stranded and you being saved. An icy windshield can happen anywhere, and it can happen in just minutes. Without a scraper it may be impossible to remove the ice, and if you risk driving with an icy windshield you could wind up in an accident. Snow can also accumulate quickly, and if your car becomes surrounded by high piles of it, a shovel might be your only hope of getting on the move again.

Warning triangles

One of the worst places to break down is right in the middle of a busy road. In case you find yourself in such a nasty situation, keep three or four warning triangles in your car. These triangles will help you redirect traffic and avoid any accidents.

Jumper cables

Sometimes all you need is a good boost. Keeping a set of jumper cables in your trunk can mean the difference between you waiting for help and you being able to get the help you need. If you're only stranded because of a dead battery, all you need is a set of cables, someone else's car, and a few minutes. Just be sure to follow the instructions and ensure they are hooked up correctly.

Flat-repair sealant

This item is handy for repairing minor tire leaks, so you can drive to a gas station for more assistance.


You never know when a strong rope will be needed, so have one readily available.

Empty tank prevention

There are many ways you can avoid running out of gas mid-journey. Have your mechanic ensure your fuel gauge is working properly. Try to fill your tank up once you notice the gauge has reached the half-tank level. If you're taking a trip, do a little research on where the fuel stations are en route. You might want to consider purchasing a portable fuel container to keep in your trunk, in the event you've got to walk to a station to have it filled.

How to make a claim

Call 1-877-251-8656 to speak with a Claims Advisor.

Renewing your policy

Call 1-877-251-8652 for information regarding policy renewal.

Buying a new policy

Call 1-866-660-9035 for information on obtaining a quote.

Need help?

Take a look at the top 5 FAQs:

  • What are my choices in terms of auto coverage?

    What are my choices in terms of auto coverage?

    If you own or drive a vehicle in Canada, you must be insured. Different provinces have different requirements, but the four mandatory elements of auto insurance are:

    1. Liability - if you cause an accident and someone sues you
    2. Accident benefits - if you or someone in your vehicle is hurt in an accident
    3. Direct compensation – property damage (Ontario only)- if your vehicle gets damaged (and it's determined you're not at-fault or only partly at-fault)
    4. Uninsured motorist - if you're in an accident with an uninsured or hit-and-run driver
  • How do I reduce my insurance costs?

    How do I reduce my insurance costs?

    There are several things you can do to reduce your insurance premium costs:

    1. Work on your driving record
      Here's an easy, yet effective way to bring down your insurance costs: build a consistent accident and conviction-free track record with an insurance company.
    2. Choose your automobile wisely
      Do your research before you invest in a new car. Read consumer reports, and check with your insurance company to find out which cars tend to be targets for theft and vandalism. Remember, if you buy a car with a high theft rate, your premium will be higher.
    3. Adjust how you use your car
      By adjusting the way you use your vehicle, you can also bring down the cost of your insurance rates. If you live in a metropolitan area:
      • can you take the subway, train or bus to work?
      • has your job changed, or have you moved recently?
      • do you use your automobile to drive a short distance to work?
      • does your vehicle get used for low annual kilometers?
        If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be entitled to lower insurance costs. Another consideration is whether you let others use your car. It is sometimes possible to exclude certain high-risk drivers from your policy so that good drivers are not penalized with a higher premium.
    4. Choose a higher deductible
      If you choose a higher deductible up front, your premiums will be lower.
    5. Review your coverage
      Take a closer look at your coverage to make sure you're not paying for things you don't need.
  • How can I earn PC Optimum points?

    How can I earn PC Optimum points?

    When you use your President's Choice Financial Mastercard to pay your PC auto insurance premium, you'll get 20 PC Optimum points per dollar of your premium.

  • Are other drivers insured to drive my car?

    Are other drivers insured to drive my car?

    Yes, as long as he/she has your permission to drive the vehicle, has a valid driver's licence and has not been specifically excluded from driving the vehicle. However, all licensed drivers in your household must be listed on your policy—regardless of how often they use your vehicle.

  • What is a deductible?

    What is a deductible?

    A deductible is the amount that you agree to pay towards the repair or replacement of your vehicle before your insurance pays the rest. You choose your deductible amount when you purchase your auto insurance. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.

See all Auto Insurance FAQs


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