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Car insurance in Quebec

Everything you need to know about how Quebec auto insurance works.

How Quebec car insurance works

Since 1978, Quebec car insurance has been a hybrid system. The two components of the mandated system are public (section A) and private (section B). To put it simply, the public, or government run coverage protects against bodily injury, whereas private insurers cover any property damage 

Section A - public insurance

The public policy is administered by the Société de l'Assurance Automobile du Québec (SAAQ). SAAQ ensures all Quebec drivers are covered for injury or death resulting from a car crash regardless of who is at fault. 

No-fault insurance in Québec is part of the basic plan. Any Quebecers who get into an accident in Quebec are covered by the plan, regardless of whether or not they are responsible for the accident.  No Quebec driver, or company, can sue against the person responsible for the traffic accident.

However, if you plan on driving outside Quebec, call your insurance provider to adjust coverage accordingly.  SAAQ will do their best to bring you back to Quebec to recover. 

The public coverage receives contributions from the automobile insurance fund to compensate accident victims. The contributions are collected from licensing and vehicle registration payments. 

Section B - private insurance (required coverage)

Private insurance companies in Quebec are responsible to enforce the following property damage coverages. Their full definitions are further down the page. 

  • Third-party liability - if you damage someone else's property
  • Uninsured Motorist Protection - to cover you in case the other driver has no insurance
  • Direct Compensation Property Damage - if you're not at-fault, the government can repair your car ($10,000 limit)

Optional car insurance in Quebec

You have the option to add to your Quebec auto insurance coverage to enhance your policy. The following are some common add-ons. 

  • Collision - protects your car if you're at fault in a collision
  • Comprehensive - protects your car while it's parked from vandalism or inclement weather. 
  • All perils - Collision, comprehensive, and if a person known to you steals your car
  • Specified perils - You can specify against a specific risk such as flood or lightning

Québec insurance endorsements 

You can also modify your existing coverage using Quebec Endorsement Forms (QEF). Here are some popular options. 

  • QEF 5c - extends coverage for a leased vehicle, no longer than 30 days. 
  • QEF 16 - Suspension of coverage during vehicle storage
  • QEF 17 - reinstatement of coverage after vehicle storage
  • QEF 44 - Allows you to carry your existing coverage into other specified countries

You can find a list of all the forms at the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) , an organisation responsible for financial regulation in the Canadian province of Québec

Auto Insurance Quotes

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  • Step 3: Save money

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Historical rate changes for car insurance in Quebec

Even though drivers in Quebec pay the lowest for car insurance in Canada, it still makes sense to compare car insurance quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal. More recently insurance rates in Quebec have started to rise after years of decline – up 2% per year since 2009.

The average premium in a specific region will increase as the claims in that region go up. Montreal makes up 15% of claims submitted by Quebec drivers, and, as a result, Montrealers pay some of the highest auto premiums in Quebec. At $426 annually, Bas St-Laurent takes the award for the lowest car insurance premium in la belle province.

The historical rate changes shown below are based on all the drivers insured each year by every company in Quebec. In order for an insurer to be approved for a rate change, as required by law, the proposed rates must be just and reasonable, not excessive, and not going to impair a company’s financial solvency. Insurers will submit their proposed changes to the government for approval along with supporting actuarial data.

Average car insurance in Quebec

source: GAA 
Note: The premiums are for private passenger vehicles and includes coverage for material damage only.

Mandatory coverage for auto insurance in Quebec

Mandatory insurance is mostly about protecting you from damage you may cause to others and their property. Protecting you car is in optional coverages.

Third-party liability

Accident benefits

Uninsured motorist

Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD)

Are you getting the best price for Quebec auto insurance?

In less than five minutes, you can compare multiple car insurance quotes from Quebec's top providers, for free.

Optional car insurance coverage in Quebec

You can personalize your coverage with these common additions that protect your car.

Collision insurance

Comprehensive insurance

Emergency roadside assistance

Specified perils

All perils

How to get cheap car insurance in Quebec

  1. Shop and compare

    Research which company provides cheap car insurance in Quebec, and also the best value for you and your vehicle. Rates may change up to four times a year, but lucky for you comparing Quebec car insurance with us is free.

  2. Stay with your current insurer

    Some Quebec auto insurance companies will give loyalty discounts to drivers who remain active with them for years. Especially if they add family members or multiple vehicles to their policy.

  3. Bundle your policies

    If you use the same insurance company for both your home and auto insurance needs, your insurer will often thank you with a dip in premiums.

  4. Get a multi car discount

    If you have multiple drivers and vehicles in the same household, by putting them all on one policy can save you money.

  5. Increase your deductible

    Your deductible is the portion you pay when settling a claim before your insurer will pay the rest. If you’re willing to double your deductible, it could save you money.

  6. Ask about discounts

    If you’re a member of a large corporation, union, or a school alumnus, it could help you get cheaper Quebec car insurance

  7. Pay premiums annually, instead of monthly

    Paying monthly adds administrative costs to your insurer, so if you’re able to pay in full annually you can lower your premiums.

  8. Maintain a good driving record

    If you’re a safe driver, obey the rules of the road and drive according to road conditions you can reduce your chances of an accident. Car crashes stay on your insurance record for up to ten years and can result in higher premiums.

  9. Install winter tires

    You can save up to 5% simply by adding winter tires to your car. Unless you're in Quebec, where it's mandatory.

Hot to get a Quebec driver's licence

Since July 1997, Quebec has used a graduated licensing system (GLS). This system requires each driver to progress through a 3-step educational program in order to be considered a fully licenced driver. Once you’ve successfully completed the GLS, you can legally operate a car, a motorhome, a tool vehicle, a service vehicle, a moped/motorized scooter, a tractor, and a 3-wheel T-Rex or Slingshot. Let’s take a quick look at this phased approach:

Class 5 learner's licence (or level one) eligibility criteria:

Class 5 probationary licence (or level two) eligibility criteria:

Class 5 regular licence (or level three) eligibility criteria:

What is the average cost of car insurance in Quebec?

According to IBC data, the average cost of car insurance in Quebec for 2020 is $717. Are you getting the best rate? See how much you could save today.


Frequently asked questions about Quebec auto insurance

How do I get the cheapest car insurance in Quebec?

What are the best insurance companies in Quebec?

Can I get Quebec car insurance with an Ontario license?

Who can drive my car under my insurance in Quebec?

Do I need auto insurance in Quebec?

Does my insurance cover me if I drive for Uber or Lyft?

Why is car insurance cheaper in Quebec?

Do I need winter tires in Quebec?

Is roadside assistance required in Quebec?

How do I file a car insurance claim in Quebec?

How long do driving offences last on my driving record in Quebec?

Author Bio

Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance

Matt started his professional career at CARPROOF where he honed his marketing and analytical skills for over 3 years. Matt then took his wealth of experience to’s Toronto offices, working with insurance providers, agents, and brokers to grow and expand the Insurance business unit. He is a thought leader in the community and a valuable insurance resource to respected publications like the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Huffington Post, Yahoo News, and 680 news radio in Toronto.

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