4 car insurance FAQs

To help you better understand car insurance, here are four frequently asked questions.

1. What is the ideal civil liability coverage amount?

First, it’s important to know what civil liability is. In Quebec, the AMF (Autorités des marches financiers) defines civil liability as the insurance that “covers you when your vehicle damages the property, injures or causes the death of another person.”

This is the mandatory part of automobile insurance.

What amount is right for you? Well, that depends on how you use your vehicle.

If you only drive in Quebec, you don’t have to consider personal injury in your civil liability amount. This is because you’re already contributing to Québec’s Public Automobile Insurance Plan managed by the SAAQ (Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec), which protects individuals against personal injury resulting from road accidents. In this case, one million dollars is ample civil liability coverage.

If you drive outside Quebec, you will have to consider both material damages and personal injury in your amount. Damages for bodily injury can be very high, especially in the United States, where hospital bills are expensive. If you are deemed responsible for an accident, without this coverage, you would be forced to pay these bills out of pocket! In this case, it is a good idea to have two million dollars in civil liability coverage.

2. Why does my insurer want to see my credit report? How does it relate to car insurance?

To calculate a fair insurance premium, companies look at several criteria designed to predict the likelihood of you filing a claim. Your credit rating is one of them.

But why? Because experience shows that in general, people who are financially responsible are also more likely to maintain their vehicle and drive carefully.

However, insurers must obtain your permission to access your credit report. If you don’t give your consent, the insurer will not refuse to insure you, but may charge you a higher premium.

3. If I’m involved in a multi-car accident, how will insurance companies determine who is at fault?

In 1978, the Direct Compensation Agreement (DCA) was adopted by the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA). The agreement applies to all accidents involving at least two vehicles or one vehicle and the load of another, when both drivers have been identified.

If you are deemed at fault, the damages to your vehicle will be reimbursed as long as you have the applicable coverage (Section B).

If you are not deemed at fault, the damages to your vehicle will be reimbursed by the at-fault driver’s civil liability (Section A).

4. Must I pay a deductible for windshield repairs?

There is no deductible to pay when having a windshield repaired as long as you have All Perils (Section B1) or All Perils Other Than Collision or Upset (Section B3) coverage. Plus, this claim has no impact on your premium. You don’t even have to call the insurer! Simply call a glass repair expert approved by your insurer directly, and the expert will coordinate the claim for you.

Always have chips repaired as soon as possible! Putting off repair means that the chip can grow into a crack. A cracked windshield puts you and your passengers at risk. However, when a windshield must be replaced, you have to pay a deductible, and this could impact your insurance premium.

Don’t forget, you can always reach out to an insurance advisor for advice. This person is there to help you understand and choose the coverage you need!