If you’re moving to the Greater Ottawa area, you may be able to save $1,000 a year on car insurance simply by choosing to live on the Quebec side of the border. Nowhere else in Canada is the contrast between car insurance rates greater. Ontario is notorious for the highest car insurance rates in Canada while Quebec, on the other hand, is at the most affordable end of the scale. Gatineau, on the north side of the Ottawa River, is well-connected to Ottawa by bridges, making it an ideal first level suburb city for the nation’s capital. While inexpensive car insurance may not be your main reason to choose Gatineau, it’s a nice perk.
Quebec’s Auto Insurance Program
The Societe de l’assurance automobile Quebec is a government-run agency that administers parts of car insurance in the province. Of the four provinces that have public insurance programs, only Quebec’s has resulted in reduced car insurance costs. It’s a no-fault system, meaning that all Quebec citizens involved in accidents are protected by the plan regardless of who caused the accident. The program even has provisions to cover visitors to the province as well as residents anywhere in the world.
The public insurance portion does not cover all aspects of car insurance, only the personal injury component. Civil liability coverage – usually called third-party liability – is required in the amount of at least $50,000. It’s common for motorists to opt for more coverage. This covers property damage you may cause to others.
Public Plan Components
Coverage under the SAAQ public plan is quite extensive. Ten general categories of coverage are included, protecting anyone affected by a traffic accident. These categories include:
- Compensation for Monetary Loss – things like income loss replacement, coverage for temporary and permanent disability
- Private Health Care Coverage – health care coverage beyond that provided by the provincial health plan, including chiropractic and physiotherapy treatments
- Home and vehicle adaptation – covers the costs of changes needed to your car or home while you recover from an accident
- Occupational and educational therapies – pays for personalized treatment needed to return you to work or school
- Clothing and accessories – covers the cost to clean, repair or replace the clothing you were wearing at the time of the accident. This includes motorcycle helmets and protective wear
- Medication and assistive devices – drug costs required for post-accident treatment, rentals or purchase of devices such as crutches or wheelchairs
- In-home assistance – in-home nursing or attendant care
- Family Business coverage – the plan will cover substitute labour costs under certain conditions if you are unable to work at a family business due to the accident
- Death Benefits
- Hit and Run coverage
Protection of your car and damage to it falls under the private insurance umbrella. Collision and comprehensive coverage for your vehicle are available through private insurance companies, and a wide range of options and protections are available to meet your needs.