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Driving without insurance or without proof of insurance can have serious consequences

Reprinted from L’Unique General Insurance’s Prevention newsletter, March 2016

If you own a car, motorcycle, snowmobile or other road vehicle, you must have valid civil liability insurance for it. If you drive any of those vehicles, whether it belongs to you or not, you must be able to present proof of insurance. L’Unique General Insurance explains why.

What does the law say?

The Automobile Insurance Act requires anyone who owns a road vehicle to hold civil liability insurance to cover any damage caused to others. That insurance must cover at least $50,000, or more depending on the type of vehicle.

The Highway Safety Code stipulates that you must have proof of insurance in hand when you are the driver or custodian of a road vehicle. You must be able to present proof of insurance in the event of a traffic violation or an accident that causes property damage to others.

What happens if you have an accident and you don’t have proof of insurance?

You may be required to send your proof of insurance to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) before your vehicle can be returned to the road.

A tip: ask your broker for a copy of the insurance certificate for everyone who drives your vehicle so they can keep it with their driver’s licence.

What happens if you have an accident and you are not insured?

You may land a hefty fine (hundreds of dollars), depending on the type of vehicle. And if you are involved in an accident that causes property damage of more than $500 to another person:

  • you automatically lose your driver’s licence or the right to get one,
  • you are immediately prohibited from returning any of your road vehicles to the road, and
  • you must pay for the damage you caused.

Finally, to have your licence reinstated and your vehicle allowed to return to the road, you must show proof that you paid for the damages and you have taken out civil liability insurance.

In short, it’s worth paying a few bucks for civil liability insurance—and making sure you always have proof of insurance when you drive!

Your insurance broker is here to help you prevent accidents. Feel free to get in touch!

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