Quebec car insurance

How car insurance coverage works in Quebec

Quebec car insurance is mandated both publicly (section A) and privately (section B). The public policy is administered by the Société de l'Assurance Automobile du Québec (SAAQ) and ensures all Quebec drivers are covered for injury or death resulting from a car crash regardless of who is at fault. The premiums are flat for each driver but increase depending on demerit points for each user. The minimum civil liability through the public policy is $50,000, however, most people will select a coverage base between $1 million and $2 million. Quebec also mandates private auto insurance where you can add optional coverages, such as collision and comprehensive. Check out the chart below for available car insurance coverages, what they mean, and whether they are available and/or required.

Here is an overview of the available car insurance coverages in Quebec:

Coverage Description
Public Insurance

Basic auto insurance coverage provided by the Quebec governement (Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec). This includes liability, accident benefits and uninsured motorist coverage.

Available: Yes
Required: Yes

Private Insurance

Auto insurance policies created & sold by private insurance carriers. Though these carriers must still abide by Federal and Provincial regulations.

Available: Yes
Required: Yes

No-fault insurance

Having no-fault insurance doesn’t mean you can’t be found at fault. This coverage means you must first deal with your own insurance company for all claims, whether you’re at fault or not. But, Quebec will allow a no-fault driver to sue an at-fault driver for additional damages and costs that are not covered by their accident benefits.

Available: Yes
Required: Yes

Third-party Liability Insurance

Protects against damage caused by you while driving, and includes injury and death to others and property damage. This is the only insurance coverage that is mandatory across Canada. Minimum coverage for Quebec is $50,000.

Available: Yes
Required: Yes

Accident Benefits

Covers your medical benefits if you’re injured in a crash, whether you’re at fault or not. The coverage includes your medical costs, while also paying for additional recovery costs, such as rehab, income replacement, and payment for and attendant care, if needed.

Available: Yes
Required: Yes

Direct Compensation-Property Damage (DCPD)

Covers damage to your vehicle and its contents, and for the loss of use of your vehicle when damaged – if another person was at fault. This coverage only applies if the crash occurs in a province where DCPD is mandatory, if two or more insured vehicles are involved, and if both insurers are licensed within that DCPD province.

Available: Yes
Required: Yes

Uninsured Motorist

Uninsured motorist coverage protects against injuries you and your family members sustain in a crash caused by an uninsured motorist. It can also cover your vehicle damages, if the uninsured driver is able to be identified.

Available: Yes
Required: Yes

Collision Insurance

Protects against damages sustained in a collision. This insurance covers you if your car is damaged in a crash – in both cases whether you crash into another other car or whether you crash into a stationary object.

Available: Yes
Required: No

Comprehensive Insurance

Protects against any losses a car owner may suffer, from events not related to driving. Such losses could include theft or damage from attempted theft; vandalism; environmental damage to a car from floods, fallen trees, and hail, etc.

Available: Yes
Required: No

Specified Perils

Covers your financial losses for damage caused specific perils – but only for perils chosen specifically for your policy. Available coverages are for theft; fire; damage from hail, lightning, wind, or flooding; earthquakes; explosions; riots; aircraft crash damage; and damage sustained during any transportation relocation.

Available: Yes
Required: No

All Perils

This combines the coverages you get with collision and comprehensive insurance. Additionally, all-perils also covers you if an employee, or someone who drives or services your car, steals it. It also covers you if someone you live with steals your vehicle.

Available: Yes
Required: No

Emergency roadside assistance

This service covers you for roadside callouts for emergencies such as dead batteries, towing, flat tires, keys locked in your car, empty gas tank, etcetera. Many insurance companies offer roadside assistance either included or in addition to other coverages.

Available: Yes
Required: No

*Table information sourced from http://www.ibc.ca (2017)

Historical Quebec auto insurance rates

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 just over +2%. 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 pays 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. The rates are approved and tracked by the provincial government. 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 Rate Change By Year

*Information and data sourced from https://gaa.qc.ca/en/statistics/automobile-insurance-rates/

Factors that impact your Quebec car insurance rates

To find the best car insurance rate in Quebec, it pays to shop around. Yes, an insurance application is pretty standard, but you’ll find that insurance rates can vary between providers. The variance is due to a few factors like who they currently insure, the number of active claims on financial statements, and their overall comfort with risk. There are also several other factors beyond your control that can negatively impact an insurance rate calculation. Historically, the frequency of claims decreases with age for both men and women, so older, more experienced drivers will typically pay less. The average premium in a given area is a result of claims frequency and the average cost per claim, which means if you live in a densely populated area, you’ll probably pay more. In Quebec, you must have four winter tires installed between December and March. In some provinces, installing winter tires can save you money, but in Quebec, driving without winter tires can cost you a fine of $200 to $300.

Here are 7 factors that determine your car insurance premium.

How to get cheap car insurance in Quebec?

Shop and compare

Infoassurance.ca recommends shopping around and asking for quotes from at least three car insurance providers. At Ratehub.ca, we generate car insurance quotes from Canada’s top providers all from one easy-to-use form for free. Research which car insurance company provides the best value for you and your car. In Quebec, rates change often, but lucky for you shopping for rates with us is free.

Stay with your current insurer

Some auto insurance companies in Quebec 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.

Research your vehicle

The model of car you drive, its safety rating, its price, the amount of times it gets stolen – all affect your automobile premium.

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.

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.

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.

Ask about discounts

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

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.

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.

Keep track of your driving

You can even install a telematics device to collect driving data. With user-based insurance (UBI) you can earn discounts based on not driving far or often, and on advanced stats like how carefully you brake and accelerate.

Take a course

If you’re new to driving, a driver’s education course will save money. Your car insurance provider will think of you as a safer driver if you’ve been trained by professionals.

How to get an 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:

  • You need to be at least 16 years of age

  • Have the consent of your parents, or legal guardian, if you are under 18

  • Present two official pieces of ID (one with a photo)

  • Complete the required questionnaire before starting the driving course

  • Register for a driving course recognized by the Association Quebecoise des transports

  • Get a login for the Road Safety Education Program and complete all the learning phases

  • Pass a vision test

  • Pass a written test about the rules of the road administered by your driving school

  • Have your file opened at a service outlet

  • Pay the associated written test fees

  • Can’t consume alcohol and drive

  • Must be accompanied by an eligible licenced driver

  • Can’t drive between midnight and 5am

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

  • Have a learner’s license for at least 10 months

  • Book and pass your first road test with the SAAQ

  • Pay an administrative fee for the road test and the license

  • Have fewer than 4 demerit points on your driving record

  • Can’t consume alcohol and drive

  • Can’t drive between midnight and 5am

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

  • Must have probationary license for 24 months

  • Pass a more advanced 30-minute road test and 1-hour knowledge test with the SAAQ

  • Must remain suspension free for a 2-year period

  • Must wait at least 24 months to attempt the road test

  • There is also another administrative fee to pay

Frequently Asked Questions about Quebec auto insurance

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