Automobile – FAQ

I am having difficulty obtaining insurance for my automobile. What can I do?

According to the Automobile Insurance Act, every owner of a motor vehicle in Québec must carry compulsory civil liability insurance of at least $50,000.

The Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA) acts as an intermediary between insurers and consumers who are having difficulty buying insurance. The GAA provides free assistance to individuals who have taken the necessary steps to obtain insurance, but have been refused.

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I own an old car and I have collision insurance. I just had a major accident and my insurer has informed me that my vehicle is a total loss. It does not want to have the car repaired,...

...because the cost of the repairs exceeds its market value. Does my insurer have the right to do this?

The answer varies from case to case. An automobile insurance policy states that in the event of a total loss, the insurer agrees, at the option of the insured and subject to supporting evidence, to cover reasonable expenses incurred to restore the automobile to the same condition as it was before the loss.

Following an accident I had with another driver, the other driver has offered me a certain amount of money provided I agree not to declare the accident to my insurer. Should I accept this amicable settlement or should I declare the accident to my insurer?

The Civil Code of Québec provides that an insured must notify his insurer of any loss that may give rise to an indemnity. Moreover, the Automobile Insurance Act and the direct compensation agreement stipulate that the only recourse available to a motorist who has been involved in a collision in Québec is a recourse against his own insurer.
(Civil Code of Québec, art. 2470)

My automobile insurance is up for renewal in two days and I have still not received anything from my insurer or my representative. What should I do?

Contact your representative as soon as possible in order to follow up on the matter. Generally, an automobile insurance policy is renewed automatically, for the same premium and for the same period of time, unless the insurer or the insured has sent a written notice to the contrary.
(Automobile Insurance Act, s. 90)

I have an old car that I have always insured against collision. I?m told that this coverage is not mandatory and is in fact a useless expense, given the value of the car. Is this true?

Collision insurance is not mandatory. To determine whether such coverage is in your interests, you have to take into account factors such as the value of your car, your insurance premium, the risk of your having an accident and your financial ability to sustain the loss of your car. You might like to contact your insurance representative for advice.

How can I determine whether an insurer is in good standing?

Any insurer that conducts business in Québec must be licensed to do so by the AMF. Check the register of insurers on our website or contact our Information Centre.

What is the direct compensation agreement?

This agreement is a method for settling automobile insurance claims established by the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA). It is based on the principle that an insured who incurs property damage in an accident involving another driver is compensated by his own insurer. The agreement covers only collisions that occur in Québec involving at least two vehicles where the owners have been identified.

If I am eligible under the agreement, how am I compensated?

Your insurer will cover the costs of repairs to your vehicle and take your degree of liability into account when calculating such coverage. Specific accident tabulations based on circumstances have been set for determining liability. If you are not satisfied with the settlement, you may take action against your insurer based on the general rules of law.

I recently had an automobile accident. How much indemnity will my insurer pay?

If you are not liable for the accident, your insurer will cover 100% of the damages. You will therefore not have to pay a deductible. If you are liable for the accident and carry collision insurance, you will have to pay the deductible. Otherwise, you will not be compensated.

What happens to the deductible for collision insurance when the compensation agreement applies?

The insured assumes the deductible based on her degree of accident liability. The insured will not have to pay a deductible if she is not liable for the accident.

What steps must an insurer take if it plans to amend my automobile policy or does not want to renew my policy?

It must notify you at least 30 days before the policy expires if you deal directly with the insurer. If the notice was sent to your representative, the latter is required to forward the notice to you promptly.

I sold my car and no longer need insurance. The policy is expected to be renewed in a week. Should I notify my insurer that I no longer need car insurance?

If you decide not to renew your policy, you should notify your representative or the insurer. Otherwise, the renewal will be automatic and you may have to pay a premium for the period during which the contract was effective.

Over the past four years, I filed three claims with my insurer, including two for no-fault accidents and one for windshield damage. At the time of renewal for my automobile insurance policy, the insurer notified me that it would no longer cover losses of

An insurer has the right to deny coverage under section B of the automobile insurance policy. A person who files frequent claims may have trouble finding insurance coverage.

If coverage is being denied, you may want to contact another company. Or you could suggest that your insurer increase your policy deductible.

While driving a rented golf cart, I had an accident and broke my arm. Should I file a claim with the Société de l?assurance automobile du Québec for the injury?

A rented golf cart is not an automobile as defined under the Automobile Insurance Act. A claim with the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec would therefore be denied. However, medical expenses would be assumed under the Québec health insurance plan (Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec). Disability (salary) insurance may also apply in this case.