Frequently asked questions about auto insurance

A. Yes, it's the law.

Any driver caught driving without auto insurance in Canada will be fined. Also, if you damage someone's property, or you accidentally cause an injury or fatality and are sued, you'll have to pay for the damages in full.

A. No. However, to keep yourself and your family safe, it's very important to have winter tires on your car from December 15 to March 15. Quebec winters can hold some nasty surprises, and you should be prepared.

What's more, if you don't comply with Bill 42, you're liable to be fined anywhere from $200 to $300.

For more information, see the new provisions applicable to winter tires in the Highway Safety Code.

A. If you lend your car, you also lend your insurance. If anything happens, your friend will be covered under your auto insurance policy as long as he or she has a valid driver's license and meets the other conditions of your policy.

If your friend is involved in an at-fault accident while driving your car, it could affect your insurance premium. If you lend your car to someone, remember that your auto insurance coverage may not apply if he or she does not have a valid driver's license.

A. Insurance companies check your credit file only to offer you the best insurance premium possible. It has been shown that credit files are effective in predicting future insurance claims. That's why insurers use this, along with other information about your property or automobile, in order to determine the best insurance premium for you.

When you take out an insurance policy, your insurer also uses your credit file to determine your payment terms. Afterwards, when it's time to renew or change your insurance policy, the information collected is updated so your insurer can continue to offer you a customized price.

Credit agencies distinguish between consulting for insurance purposes and consulting for a loan. This means that when they verify your credit file, it isn't affected.

What happens if I don't want my credit file to be checked? Insurance companies will respect your decision and offer you an insurance premium, although you might not receive the best insurance premium.

For more information, refer to the All about credit information and insurance (PDF, 70 KB) brochure published by the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

A. To drive a vehicle in Quebec, you must have, at the very least, Civil liability insurance. This coverage protects you if you're involved in an accident and damage someone's property, or if you accidentally cause an injury or fatality. According to provincial law, you must have at least $50,000 in civil liability coverage for a private passenger vehicle and at least $500,000 for a recreational vehicle such as a snowmobile or a VTT, but most people choose a limit of $1,000,000 or $2,000,000.

Other coverage is optional but is often required by creditors or lessors if your vehicle is financed or leased.

A. Where you live is one factor that affects the cost of your auto insurance. Generally speaking, drivers who live in a city pay higher auto insurance premiums than those who live in the suburbs.

There are several reasons for this:

  • More traffic increases the risk of accidents.
  • There's a higher risk of vehicle theft.
  • Vandalism is more common.