Cannabis and auto insurance

Automobile Cannabis and auto insurance

The law legalizing cannabis in Canada1 brought about significant changes in recent years, since a substance that was illicit is now legal.

But how does this affect your driving habits and your car insurance?

Impaired driving = any substance

Impaired driving is dangerous, whether you are impaired by alcohol or any kind of drug.

Québec's Highway Safety Code already states that you must not drive when impaired by alcohol, drugs, or medication. While a blood concentration of 0.08 is tolerated for alcohol, the Quebec Highway Safety Code has a "zero tolerance" policy for drugs.

It is therefore prohibited to drive a vehicle or to have the custody or control of it if there is detectable presence of cannabis or another drug in your saliva. Note that this provision, adopted at the same time as Québec's Cannabis Regulation Act, came into force, will be applied when detection equipment is approved in Québec.

Accident coverage

As for damages to your vehicule, Québec's auto insurance policies do not have any exclusion related to the use of drugs or alcohol. Depending on the provisions of your policy, your insurer might be required to compensate you for damages to your vehicle in case of an accident, even if you were driving while impaired.

Consuming could affect your premiums

Studies clearly demonstrate that, despite some beliefs, cannabis does impair our ability to drive, as it affects judgement, motor coordination, and reaction time. Thus, if you use cannabis on a regular basis, you could be involved in more accidents, which would in turn increase your premium when you renew your auto insurance. Also, as is already the case for demerit points caused by impaired driving, any cannabis-related offence might complicate your access to auto insurance and make your premium go up.

What about home insurance?

Find out in our other article:
Cannabis and home insurance


1 Cannabis Act (S.C. 2018, c. 16)

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