Quebec is unique because it’s the only province that uses both public and private car insurance systems at the same time. The public side relates to personal injury, while the private side covers property damage.
All Québecers are covered by the province’s public auto insurance plan. It provides compensation in the event of injury or death resulting from a motor accident.
The public portion:
The public plan includes “no fault coverage.” This means that everyone involved is covered for injury or death, regardless of who was at fault. You can’t be sued as a result of a collision in Quebec.
Public insurance does not replace private insurance in Quebec. Drivers need public AND private insurance!
The private portion:
No, you need valid car insurance to legally drive in Quebec. It’s the law across Canada. In addition, Quebec drivers must have a valid driver’s licence (Class 5 licence is required to drive a passenger vehicle), and a copy of the vehicle registration.
By law you need both public and private car insurance in Quebec. As a driver in Quebec, you must have public auto insurance plan issued by the SAAQ. This covers minimum limits for bodily injury, including:
In addition, Quebec’s drivers must purchase a minimum of $50,000 in civil liability coverage from a private insurer. This covers:
While $50,000 is the mandatory minimum required by law, most drivers increase their civil liability limit to $1 or even $2 million.
You are not legally required to purchase insurance coverage for repairs to your own vehicle, but coverage is available and recommended most of the time. The most common optional auto insurance coverages in Quebec are:
According to the latest stats from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the average car insurance premium in Quebec is $717 per year, or $59.75 per month. Drivers in Montreal and other dense urban areas face the highest premiums in the province, while rural Quebec has the cheapest rates.
Under Quebec’s public insurance model, all Quebecers involved in motor accidents are covered for bodily injury, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. You will receive compensation from SAAQ and not the other driver. This is called no fault insurance. As a result, you cannot sue the person responsible for an accident in which you were involved.
In Quebec, car insurance companies must join the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA). This organization regulates pricing. They use two tools to determine fair rates in the province:
The Automobile Statistical Plan analyses last year’s premiums and claims to calculate how much insurers should charge for coverage. If the cost of claims outweighed the total written premiums, individual rates are likely to increase the following year.
The Fichier central des sinistres automobiles is essentially a record of accidents and claims for each driver in Quebec. It is managed by the GAA, but private insurers can access it to evaluate an individual driver’s risk before quoting a premium.
Quebec’s car insurance companies base your premiums on a number of different factors, including:
Yes, cars registered in Quebec are legally required to install winter tires from December to mid-March, every year. If you get caught driving without winter tires during this winter period, you will face a fine of $200-$300.
Follow these tips for maximum savings:
Practice defensive driving and don’t speed. A clean driving record is the easiest way to get the cheapest rates.
Increase your deductible, the amount you are able to pay in the event of a claim, in exchange for a lower premium.
Bundle insurance policies. Many insurance companies offer a discount if you purchase both your auto and home insurance with them.
Average auto insurance premiums by province
On average, Quebec drivers pay the lowest car insurance premiums in Canada.
|Province||Average Annual Premium||Annual Monthly Premium|
|British Columbia||$ 1,832.00||$ 152.67|
|Ontario||$ 1,505.00||$ 125.42|
|Alberta||$ 1,316.00||$ 109.67|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||$ 1,168.00||$ 97.33|
|Saskatchewan||$ 1,235.00||$ 102.92|
|Manitoba||$ 1,080.00||$ 90.00|
|Nova Scotia||$ 891.00||$ 74.25|
|New Brunswick||$ 867.00||$ 72.25|
|Prince Edward Island||$ 816.00||$ 68.00|
|Quebec||$ 717.00||$ 59.75|
While Quebec’s average premiums have been creeping up in recent years, they have remained remarkably stable over the last decade.
|Year||Average premium||Changes (year over year)|