What’s the FCSA?

Automobile What’s the FCSA?

In Quebec, claims involving an automobile, motorcycle or off-road vehicle that were reported to an insurer in the last six years are listed in the Fichier central des sinistres automobiles (FCSA). Insurance companies use it to assess the level of risk a driver represents and to set their premium. Here’s how.

The custodian of the vehicle at the time of an incident

An incident is not necessarily assigned to the owner of a vehicle, or even to a person insured under the policy. Instead, a collision or any other covered event (e.g., theft, vandalism or damage caused by certain weather events) is entered in the record of the person who had custody of the vehicle at that time. Example:

  • You’re with your child, who has a learner’s licence, as they polish their driving skills using your vehicle. While changing lanes, they collide with another vehicle. Although you were present, it was your child who was driving, so the incident is entered in their record.
  • You’re accompanying a friend to the airport in his van so you can return the vehicle to their home afterwards. You have a fender bender on the way back. Even if it’s not your vehicle, you’re still considered the custodian of the vehicle and, therefore, the incident is entered in your record.
  • Your partner is on vacation and offers you the use of their electric car to drive to work. At the end of the day, you notice that your parking space is empty—the vehicle was stolen! Since you had custody at the time of the theft, the incident is entered in your own record.

Your record may even contain unreported incidents

Any auto incident that involves you and is reported to an insurer is added to the FCSA—even if you haven’t made a claim. If you have a minor fender bender without any damage and the other driver reports the accident to their insurance company, the incident will be added to your record. Thus, it’s in your interest to report any incident involving you and the circumstances surrounding the event, so that your version of the facts is logged in your record. This holds even if you don’t intend to claim the amount of damages suffered.

How to access your FCSA file

Since the FCSA is a public database, you can view the information in your record at no cost. All you have to do is request it from the Groupement des assureurs automobiles. If any of the information seems incorrect, you can ask that your insurer verify it.

claims

claims file

Fichier central des sinistres automobiles

accident

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