Who sets auto insurance rates in Quebec?
In Quebec, individual insurers set auto insurance rates for the property damage portion of your policy. A government agency called the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec sets rates for the personal injury portion of your auto insurance coverage.
All auto insurers doing business in Quebec are members of the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA). The GAA ensures that Quebec drivers have access to fair rates by using two important tools: the Automobile Statistical Plan and the Fichier central des sinistres automobiles.
What factors determine auto insurance rates in Quebec?
Auto insurance rates in Quebec are determined by a number of factors:
- Your age and gender.
- The number of miles on your vehicle.
- Your driving record and vehicle usage.
- How long you've held a driver's licence.
- Whether or not you use your vehicle for business.
- Whether or not you've been in or caused an accident.
- Whether or not you've taken a driver's education course.
- Whether or not you've violated the Highway Safety Code.
How do Quebec auto insurance rates compare to other provinces?
Since 2009, Quebec residents have consistently paid the lowest average auto insurance premiums in Canada. A 2020 report from the Insurance Bureau of Canada found that Quebec drivers pay an average of only $717 a year for auto insurance. That's about half the cost of a comparable policy in Ontario or B.C.
Average auto insurance rates by province
|Newfoundland & Labrador||$1,168|
|Prince Edward Island||$816|
Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada, 2020, "BC - Better Auto Insurance."
*Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada, 2017
Why are insurance rates so low in Quebec?
Two factors contribute to the province's low insurance rates: the fact that Quebec's insurance regulations aren't as strict as several other provinces', and the fact that the province limits the public insurer to bodily injury claims coverage only.
How can I get cheap auto insurance in Quebec?
There are many ways to get cheap car insurance in Quebec:
- Pay premiums on time.
- Compare quotes among competing insurers.
- Insure all your vehicles with the same company.
- Bundle your home insurance with your auto insurance.
- Use winter tires when needed (insurers offer discounts).
- Choose appropriate, but not excessive, insurance coverage.
- Choose a car with low repair costs and/or a great safety record.
- Maintain a good driving history (drive carefully and obey the rules of the road).
Is auto insurance required in Quebec?
Yes. The law requires you to carry insurance on your vehicle.
What's the minimum requirement for auto insurance in Quebec?
The public auto insurance plan covers personal injuries in Quebec. This plan is provided by the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), known as the Quebec Automobile Insurance Corporation in English.
Private insurers provide coverage against property damage. The minimum legal coverage is $50,000.
What kind of auto insurance system does Quebec have?
Quebec has a no-fault system. That means drivers deal with their own insurance companies, regardless of who's at fault in an accident.
In addition to vehicle repairs and property damage, what else will my auto insurance policy cover?
No matter where an accident happens, in Quebec or in another province, all residents receive SAAQ benefits, which includes the following:
- Medical payments.
- Funeral expenses: up to $4,913.
- Disability income: 90% of net annual income, up to $67,500/year.
- Impairment benefits: up to $229,887.
What are the penalties for driving without insurance in Quebec?
Don't take the risk. Carry the minimum amount of insurance required. If you're convicted of driving without insurance in Quebec, you'll have to pay a minimum fine of $325.
And if you're in an accident that causes more than $500 in third-party damages and you're not covered, your licence, or right to get a licence, will be automatically suspended .
What's the minimum legal driving age in Quebec?
You can begin the licensing process at 16. However, if you're under 18, you must submit written consent from a parent or guardian.
Then there are several steps you have to take to get a Class 5 driver's licence in Quebec. First, you have to register for, and complete, a mandatory driving course at a driving school recognized by the Association Québécoise du transport et des routes. This driving course includes theoretical and practical components.
After you've registered for the mandatory driving course, you can begin the process of obtaining your learner's licence. This requires that you pass Phase 1 of the driving course, which includes five theoretical modules. The learner's licence gives you limited access to the road. Drivers with this licence level must have a Blood Alcohol Level of 0, and must drive with a supervising, fully licensed driver. The supervising driver must sit in the passenger seat next to you and have a BAC that's no higher than 0.08.
How do I get a probationary licence in Quebec?
After holding a learner's licence for 10 months, you may take a driver's knowledge test. If you fail, you have to wait a mandatory period of 28 days before retaking it.
Once you pass the knowledge test, hold the learner's licence for 12 months, and successfully complete the driving course, you can take the road test to earn your probationary licence. Once again, if you fail and must retake the test, you have to wait 28 days.
Upon successful completion of the road test, you'll be granted a probationary licence. Drivers with this licence still have to maintain a BAC of 0.
How do I get a full licence in Quebec?
To get your full Class 5 Quebec driver's licence, you have to hold your probationary licence for 24 months and pass a final road test.
Is usage-based insurance available in Quebec?
Yes. While usage-based insurance hasn't seen the same uptake in Quebec as it has in neighbouring Ontario, Quebecers have lots of usage-based insurance plans to choose from. If you're a careful driver, you can enjoy dramatically lower premiums with a usage-based plan.
Learn more about usage-based car insurance here.