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5 Questions About Auto Insurance

Experts from the Insurance Information Centre, at Groupement des assureurs automobiles, regularly field questions from auto insurance industry professionals. Here are answers to five of the most frequent questions.

A policyholder borrows a trailer for personal use, such as a boat trailer, which he tows with his vehicle. If he were to have an at-fault accident, who pays for the damage to the trailer?

The insurer who covers the vehicle towing the trailer will pay for the damage, to both the trailer and to third parties if, for example, the trailer hits a fence. However, at the time of the accident, the trailer must not have been used for commercial purposes, or be a travel trailer or a tent trailer. If the insurance coverage for the towing vehicle is insufficient, civil liability coverage under the owner’s auto insurance policy could cover part of the damage.

Can a Quebecer insured under Q.E.F. No. 1, who has a no-fault accident in Quebec, sue the third party responsible if the latter is not insured?

No. The Automobile Insurance Act requires that he file a claim with his own insurer. However, the insurer has the right to recover the compensation amount paid from the at-fault third party.

Does the Direct Compensation Agreement apply to collisions between two shipments?

Yes. The Direct Compensation Agreement (DCA) applies in such a case, for example if a wooden plank from a vehicle trailer hits goods transported in the back of a pick-up truck. While the definition of “collision” in the DCA does not explicitly mention this type of scenario, the auto insurance industry has determined that it should apply in such instances.

If a student driver, accompanied by a parent, is involved in an accident, to whom will the loss be attributed in the Fichier central des sinistres automobiles?

The loss will be attributed to the individual driving the car and registered in his file at the Fichier central des sinistres automobiles. In this instance, the insurer will provide the student driver’s information.

Can an insurer refuse to add an occasional driver to Q.E.F. No. 1, if he does not meet its underwriting standards?

No. An insurer cannot prevent a particular individual from driving the insured’s vehicle. All vehicles must be insured at all times for at least the minimum mandatory civil liability insurance required under the legislation, regardless of who drives the vehicle. However, if the insurer considers that the individual represents too great a risk, it can add Q.E.F. No. 28 – Limitation of coverage for named drivers to limit coverage when that individual drives the vehicle, taking into account the minimum required by law.


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