As Montreal’s largest suburb, Laval could have been Quebec’s Brampton, subject to high car insurance rates due to big city proximity factors. However, Quebec has an automobile insurance system that is unique in Canada and it provides some of the most affordable car insurance in the country. Within the province, accident benefits coverage is provided on a true no-fault basis, with all Quebecers, drivers or not, eligible for the same medical and rehabilitation treatment after an accident.
Commuting Conditions in Laval
Though a long-time bedroom community of Montreal, economic diversity has made Laval more independent, a true community in business as well as social factors. Though there may be less traffic heading for Montreal on a percentage basis, growth over the years has kept actual numbers up. With the Montreal Metro finally expanded to Laval, and with the AMT commuter trains and STL buses, there are many non-driving options for Laval residents who work in Montreal. Though personal injury car insurance is covered through the Quebec public insurance program, collision coverage remains covered by private insurers. The costs of coverage will, like other private systems, depend on how much and how regularly a car is driven. Long, daily commutes reflect in higher collision insurance premiums.
Insurance Costs Under the Quebec System
A 2011 comparison of car insurance costs across Canada showed that Quebec had the lowest car insurance rate in the country. As well, Laval residents benefit from the most affordable coverage too, since it takes only 2.5 percent of the average person’s disposable income to cover car insurance costs. This is fully 2 percent lower than Ontario, the country’s most expensive car insurance hotspot.
At the time of the study, Quebec’s average auto insurance premium was about $640 annually, which meant that an average Laval resident paid almost exactly half compared to the average motorist in Ontario. Quebec’s provincial insurance is not tightly regulated, as Ontario’s is, and the complete removal of personal injury lawsuits cuts the burden on the public insurance system, compared to other provinces which have hybrid no-fault systems. In these, there is direct compensation in personal injury cases, meaning that a driver’s insurance company pays these benefits, regardless of who is at fault, but the at-fault driver may still be sued for additional amounts.
Civil Liability Insurance
Most often called third-party liability in other parts of Canada, in Quebec, civil liability in the amount of $50,000 is required. This is provided by private insurers, not the Quebec public insurance portion. This covers damages from the collision, car damage and personal injury outside Quebec and damages to third parties in certain at fault situations. The base amount is somewhat low, so most Quebecers opt for $1 million in civil liability coverage.