Auto Insurance in Quebec
Quebec’s auto insurance system is unique in Canada, blending public and private insurance. A government-run public insurance company provides insurance for bodily injury, while private insurance companies provide coverage for property damage. This system works well for the province, resulting in the lowest average insurance rates in Canada at $642 per year.
Bodily injury coverage is purchased from the public provider, while Quebec drivers can shop around to more than 100 different insurance companies to obtain property damage coverage and any optional coverage they may wish to purchase.
Quebec Car Insurance Laws
Because of Quebec’s unusual mix of public and private insurance, the legal minimum for an insurance policy is a little different from other provinces. All bodily injury claims are handled by a government insurance plan, so there is no limit to medical payments and thus no legal minimum. There are, however, some legal minimums you must carry:
- $50,000 in property damage liability, which also covers you for both property damage and bodily injury claims when outside of Quebec
- Accident benefits including disability, death, and funeral expenses
Drivers in Quebec cannot be sued as a result of bodily injury in a car accident; by law there is no right to seek damages above and beyond the accident benefits.
There are also a variety of coverage options that Quebec drivers can choose to add to their insurance policy to protect their own vehicle in the event of an at-fault accident or theft, as well as to provide for other unforeseen events. Drivers may choose to carry more than the legal limit for property damage coverage, and it is common especially for those who frequently drive outside of Quebec.
Auto Insurance Rating in Quebec
Insurance rates in Quebec are determined by individual insurance companies based on a variety of factors. Among the factors that are weighed when deciding rates for a particular driver are the driver’s age and experience, how frequently the driver uses the vehicle, length of commute, and where the driver lives. Additionally, factors about the car itself will help determine the rates, such as the value of the car, the make and model, and the car’s safety features.
Last but not least, the driver’s record has a major impact on rates. Traffic tickets and at-fault accidents are a major part of insurance rating.
Accident Fault and Claims in Quebec
Quebec insurance companies use a Fault Determination Chart to decide who is at fault in an accident based on the facts of each particular incident. Quebec uses a direct compensation system for property damage in an accident; regardless of who is at fault in the accident, each driver will deal with his or her own insurance company to handle repairs.
Bodily injury claims are handled by the government-run public insurance, so once again they will be handled by this same company regardless of fault. All accident benefits are available to everyone involved in an accident no matter who is found to be at fault.
Laws Affecting Drivers in Quebec
Drivers in Quebec must carry the legal minimum for insurance at all times, and must present proof of that insurance when requested by a police officer. It is also illegal for a Quebec driver to leave the scene of an accident. A police report must be made whenever there are injuries or fatalities, or when there is serious property damage.
Quebec drivers can be charged higher insurance rates as a result of traffic tickets and at-fault accidents. The amount of the increase depends on the insurance company and on the type of violation.
Shopping For Insurance in Quebec
Quebec drivers can shop around and compare rates to find the best deal on their property damage and optional coverage. There are a large number of insurance companies to choose from.
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