The Fichier central des sinistres automobiles (automobile claims database or the "FCSA") was first introduced on July 1, 1990. Since July 1, 1991, it has been providing insurers licensed to operate in Québec with information on all insurance claims involving Québec drivers.

This information, which is provided for under section 179 of the Automobile Insurance Act (CQLR, c. A-25), is subject to the provisions of An Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information (CQLR, c. A-2.1), given that the database includes personal information on Québec drivers involved in accidents.

The database does not, however, include any information on violations of the Highway Safety Code or demerit points.

Consulting the database

Any person with a valid driver's licence may consult, request confirmation of and, if applicable, correct information entered in the database. Any insured with doubts as to the accuracy of the information in the database should not hesitate to request a confirmation by contacting his insurer or the GAA (Groupement des assureurs automobiles) This link will open in a new window directly.

Use of the database by insurers and its role in rate-setting

Information in this database enables insurers to verify statements made by clients when underwriting new risks. Insurers may also check the database at the time of policy renewal, but such instances are much less frequent. The significance of the available data is reflected in the high number of consultation requests from insurers, which now total more than one million a year.

The purpose of these verifications is to determine whether drivers have declared all of their claims. Insurers who consult the database are not seeking to identify good or poor drivers, and thereby reward the former and penalize the latter. In consulting the database, insurers simply wish to confirm the validity of information provided by clients.

The nature and scope of information requested by insurers from clients as well as their rate setting criteria have not in any way been adjusted as a result of the introduction of the database. Insured persons must provide the same information as previously, and insurers have access to no more information than they used to. The data obtained by insurers are simply more reliable.

The automobile claims database therefore provides insurers with reliable data for certain rate setting criteria, i.e. the statistics observed now adequately match the definitions of applicable criteria in driving records. This was not always the case prior to the introduction of the database. As a result, the database helps improve risk-sharing and ensure more equitable premiums by making it difficult for an insured person to benefit from failure to report losses, which could be detrimental to other insured persons.