Auto Insurance 101: What you need to know about the SAAQ
Learn what’s covered by the Quebec public auto plan

If you live in Quebec, you have the reassurance of knowing that you’re covered by the SAAQ (Société d’assurance automobile du Québec) auto insurance plan. That means, in the event of injury or death in a traffic accident anywhere in the world, you’re covered whether you’re responsible or not. Good news, right? But there’s a lot more to it that you should know about. 

Here’s a breakdown to help you understand exactly what you’re covered for:

  • Financial Compensation for Monetary and Non-Monetary Damage
    The SAAQ may cover your loss of income, expenses to help care for your children, and compensation for permanent physical or psychological impairment. Are you a student? The SAAQ may even cover the cost of your school year if you’re unable to continue your education.
  • Private Health Care Expenses
    You may be covered for medical expenses related to your injuries such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dentistry or other treatments.
  • Automobile and Home Adaptation Expenses
    If you have a physical disability caused by a car accident, you may be covered for certain types of expenses needed to adapt your home or automobile.
  • Occupational, Educational or Social Reintegration Expenses
    Having trouble going back to work or school or just returning home after a car accident? The SAAQ may cover that cost of personalized solutions to help make things a little easier.
  • Clothing and Accessories
    You may be covered for the cost to repair or replace clothing, contacts, eyeglasses, prostethes and orthoses that you were wearing at the time of an accident. Sorry, this doesn’t include handbags, wallets, jewellery or sports equipment.
  • Medication and Medical Supplies, Devices and Reports
    The SAAQ may reimburse you for medical reports, various medications, medical supplies and devices that are needed because of your injuries.
  • Personal Home Assistance
    Need help taking care of yourself on a daily basis? The SAAQ may cover the cost to have someone help with washing, getting dressed, preparing meals and other personal and household activities.  
  • Labour Costs Incurred for a Family Business
    If you were working without pay in a family business at the time of your accident and need to hire someone to work in your place, you may be covered for those labour costs.
  • Death & Funeral Expenses
    If you pass away because of a traffic accident, your family is taken care of with death benefits and a lump-sum payment for funeral expenses.
  • Hit-and-Run Expenses
    You may be covered for the property damage to your vehicle or other property if you’re involved in an accident and the at-fault driver flees the scene, if you don’t have hit and run coverage under your insurance policy.

Need to know more about eligibility requirements, reimbursable amounts or how to make a claim? For what’s covered and how, visit the SAAQ Public Automobile Insurance Plan website.

What options are available through a private insurer?
The Public Automobile Insurance Plan is a great foundation of accident benefits coverage. So why consider buying other coverage through a private insurer? Often, the amount of compensation provided by the SAAQ is relatively low compared to the expenses you’ll incur in an auto accident. Because of this, many Quebec drivers purchase additional Accident Benefits from a private insurer. Not only do you benefit from the public insurance plan, you’ll also receive private accident benefits coverage. 

The private accident benefits coverage offers compensation for medical expenses that may not be covered by the SAAQ auto insurance plan. It will also replace part of your paycheque in addition to your government benefits through the SAAQ if you’re hurt in an accident. If you pass away, lose the use of an arm or leg, or lose vision in an eye, your family will be provided with an additional lump sum benefit.

What else should I know?
The SAAQ Public Automobile Insurance Plan only provides coverage for personal injuries. You’ll also need to buy coverage for physical damage to your property through a private insurer. Check out Auto Insurance 101: What is perils coverage and why should I care to make sense of your physical damage options.