Marie-Claude Dulac

By Marie-Claude Dulac

November 12, 2018

Car

Do you know exactly what is covered by your car insurance?

Article revised on 13 March 2019

When we think about auto insurance, it’s likely in connection to a collision involving two vehicles. However, you can also have a collision with an object, or your vehicle can sustain damage not even related to a collision. Do you know exactly what damage is covered by your car insurance policy? Here’s a handy overview to find out about the various coverages!

Quebec auto insurance: a standard contract with two sections

In Quebec, all auto insurance contracts are divided into two sections, covering different situations. The first section is mandatory and consists of basic coverage essential for insuring a car. The second section is optional and includes various coverages that can be added.

The two parts of the contract determine what types of accidents are covered by your insurance policy. Let’s look in more detail to see what events are covered by each one!

Section A – Coverage for civil liability resulting from bodily injury or property damage caused to third parties (mandatory insurance).

The Quebec Automobile Insurance Act requires all car owners to take out a minimum amount of coverage under Section A. This is referred to as having “one-way insurance.” It’s civil liability insurance that covers you in the event of:

  • Bodily injury or property damage caused to third parties in the event of an accident occurring in Canada or the United States
  • Damage to your vehicle in the event of a collision with another vehicle occurring in Quebec, for which you are not liable, if the responsible party is identified. This means the coverage does not apply in the case of a hit-and-run.

Section B – Protection for damage to insured vehicles (optional coverage)

Section B has four optional coverage packages to cover a wider range of potential damage to your vehicle. When you elect to add one or two coverages from Section B to your auto insurance, you then have what’s known as “two-way insurance.” In some cases, taking out Section B coverage may not be optional, for example, if you lease or finance the purchase of a vehicle. Here are the coverage packages available in this section:

The most comprehensive: Protection B1 – All-perils coverage.

This insurance covers damage caused by any type of insurable risk (not including risks that are always excluded in auto insurance contracts.) It includes all the coverages available in Sections B2, B3, and B4, described below.

Customized insurance: Protection B2 – Coverage against perils of collision and upset

Protection B2 covers the cost of repair or replacement of the insured vehicle in the event of damage caused by:

  • Upset; or
  • Any collision that you are held liable for, or for which the responsible party is not identified (hit-and-run).

Protection B2 covers the insured vehicle in the event of collisions with:

  • Another vehicle
  • The ground (e.g. ditch, embankment or pothole)
  • An object on or in the ground (e.g. tree, guardrail, concrete column or low wall)
  • A person or an animal

This coverage must be combined with coverage under B3 or B4, described below. When you lease or finance your vehicle, usually you are required to take out a combination of Protections B2 and B3.

You should also know that it is more advantageous for most insureds to combine Protections B2 and B3 rather than taking out All-perils coverage under Protection B1, even though you get almost the same coverage. Combining two sections allows you to select two deductibles instead of one overall deductible. This way you could save money on your premium by selecting a $500 deductible in the event of collision (B2) but opt for a $100 or $250 deductible to cover fire, theft, vandalism and glass breakage (B3).

Fire, theft and vandalism: Protection B3 – Coverage against perils other than collision or upset

Commonly called “fire, theft and vandalism,” this coverage can be taken out separately or in combination with Protection B2. Similar to Protection B4, it covers damage caused to your vehicle by:

  • Fire or explosion
  • Theft or attempted theft
  • Lightening, wind storms, floods, hail or earthquakes
  • Riots or rebellions

It also covers the following risks:

  • Vandalism
  • Falling or flying objects
  • Glass breakage
  • Collisions between the insured vehicle and a person or an animal

Limited: Protection B4 – Coverage against specified perils

Available separately or in combination with Section B2, this coverage only covers damage sustained by your vehicle due to specific events excluding collisions. The main risks covered are:

  • Fire or explosion
  • Theft or attempted theft
  • Lightening, wind storms, floods, hail or earthquakes
  • Riots or rebellions

So, what types of auto accidents are you covered for?

Here’s a table summarizing the types of covered risks according to the various types of auto insurance coverage. Take the time to check the Declarations section of your auto insurance policy to know what you are covered for.

INSURANCE ►

Section A

Mandatory civil liability

Section B
Optional coverage

TYPES OF ACCIDENTS ▼

B1

B2 B3

B4

All-perils

Collision or upset All-perils excluding collision or upset

Specified perils

Collision with a vehicle

Non-liable insured
and identified third party

COVERED

Collision with a vehicle

Insured at-fault

OR

Non-liable insured
and unidentified third party (hit-and-run)

COVERED COVERED

Collision with
the ground or an object

COVERED COVERED

Collision with
a person or an animal

COVERED COVERED COVERED

Upset

COVERED COVERED

Glass breakage

Vandalism

Falling or flying objects

COVERED COVERED

Fire

Theft

Hail, windstorm, flood, etc.

COVERED COVERED

COVERED

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