Newcomer to insurance: starting out right

Automobile Newcomer to insurance: starting out right

The cost of auto insurance can vary a lot from insurer to insurer. We strongly suggest you shop around and compare prices.

But be careful! A lower premium could mean less coverage … Make sure you ask for quotes for the same kind of coverage. If you have decided to buy “replacement cost” coverage, let the agent or broker know so that they can compare the same products.

Is insurance mandatory?

The insurance that covers damage to a third party is mandatory. It's called liability coverage. Insurance coverage for one's vehicle is optional. It's up to you whether or not you insure your car.

Modifying your parents' policy

You have started to drive. Whether you have a learner's licence, a probationary licence or a Class 5 driver's licence, you must inform the agent or broker immediately. Don't wait for the renewal date to modify the policy. Call as soon as you start to take driving lessons.

If you will be using the family vehicle, you may be considered an occasional driver under the existing insurance policy. It's therefore necessary to add you to your parents' policy. Your agent or broker can confirm the additional premium, if applicable. You and your parents are thus adequately covered and you'll avoid nasty surprises in case of an accident.

Who pays for injuries caused as a result of an accident?

Unlike property damage, bodily injury is covered under the public plan administered by the Société d'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).

Several factors impact the cost of insurance (the premium)

  • What car you drive (make, model, year, value, repair costs, equipment, etc.).
    It costs more to insure a car that has expensive parts.
  • What you use your car for.
    Do you drive to work? Do you use it for your work? Or just on weekends?
  • Where you live and where you use your vehicle.
    You may more easily be the victim of a car accident or theft in a large city.
  • Driver profile (age, sex, etc.).
    Claim requency varies considerably according to the driver's profile.
  • Coverage and deductibles chosen.
    A higher deductible may lower your insurance premium.
  • The number of accidents you've had and the number of claims you've made, whether or not you were at fault.
    This information can be found in the claims data base Fichier central des sinistres automobiles.
  • Your driving record at the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).
    This record contains information on your driving experience and your demerit points.

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