What is the Direct Compensation Agreement in Quebec?
Female driver

Quebec’s Direct Compensation Agreement (DCA) is something you should familiarize yourself with for protection, in the event of a car accident. It’s used by your insurance company to determine whether you’re responsible or not.

What is the Direct Compensation Agreement?

The DCA is designed to simplify the claims settlement process. Instead of the driver at-fault reimbursing the costs for the damages of the driver not-at-fault, both of the drivers involved are compensated for material damages by their own insurer, regardless of fault.

When does the Direct Compensation Agreement apply?

It only applies to accidents that happen in Quebec between at least two vehicles where the drivers are identified. This means that it doesn’t apply to accidents that occur in another province or in the US, a hit and run, or a collision with an object (like a tree or post).

Have friends or family visiting from out-of-province? The DCA also applies to tourists renting vehicles registered in Quebec.

How does the Driver’s Fault Chart work?

Responsibility is determined by your insurance company by using the Driver’s Fault Chart. Depending on the details of the collision, the driver may be found 0%, 50% or 100% responsible.

Let’s break this down...

If you are at-fault, and you have collision coverage, you’ll be compensated by your insurer, and will pay a deductible based on the percentage of fault.

If you are at-fault and you don’t have collision coverage, this means you don’t have a deductible. Your insurer may pay your damages based on your percentage of fault.

If you are not at-fault, you will be compensated by your insurer (even if you don’t have collision coverage), without having to pay a deductible.

The fault chart outlines around 15 scenarios that include:

Vehicles travelling in the same direction on the same roadway

Example: Your classic fender-bender. If Driver A rear-ends Driver B, Driver A is 100% responsible.

Vehicles travelling in the same direction in different lanes

Example: If Driver A sideswipes Driver B while driving (without changing lanes), liability is 50/50. If Driver A was changing lanes and sideswiped or clipped Driver B, total responsibility would be given to Driver A.

Vehicles traveling in opposite directions

Example: This may be a given, but let’s say Driver A turns left a little too late and ends up getting clipped by on-coming Driver B. Driver A would be 100% at-fault.

Vehicles entering from side roadways or crossroads

Example:In this case, it comes down to who has the right of way. If Driver A is merging onto a highway and doesn’t yield onto on-coming traffic and hits Driver B, Driver A would be 100% at-fault.

Other Cases

These can range from things like failure to obey signs or signals, turning right on a red light, to making a U-turn.

It’s important to note that the chart always takes local laws and the Highway Safety Code (enforced by the SAAQ) into account. Read more on the Driver’s Fault Chart here.

What’s not covered by the Direct Compensation Agreement?

The DCA only covers physical damages, meaning it doesn’t apply to bodily injuries. In that case, you would be covered and compensated by Quebec’s SAAQ.

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