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Frequently Asked Questions

Accident Victim

Would you like to know what protection is offered under Québec's public automobile insurance plan? Before taking steps to contact a private insurer, consult “The Insurance Policy for All Québecers.”



Q1: Am I insured?
A: Yes, if you are a Québec resident, you are protected for bodily injury under this universal plan even if you don't own a car, hold a driver's licence or have not paid for this insurance.

Q2: Who pays for this insurance?
A: The owners of vehicles registered in Québec and the holders of Québec driver's licences, since the insurance contribution is collected from the vehicle registration and driver's licence fees, based on a person's driving record

Q3: Must I also be insured by a private insurance company?
A: Yes, everything pertaining to the property damage to a vehicle must be covered by mandatory liability insurance. The insurance that you hold with the SAAQ covers any bodily injuries you may sustain, in addition to medical care, clothing reimbursement, personal home assistance and loss of income.

Q4: What should I do if I am injured in an accident?
A: If you are hurt, here is what you must do:

  • Call the police to the scene of the accident and have an officer write out an accident report;
  • See a physician as soon as possible and have all symptoms relating to your traffic accident listed in the medical report. Keep the report and submit it to the SAAQ if you file a claim for compensation;
  • If you must claim compensation, file a claim with the SAAQ;
  • Notify your private insurer if the accident caused property damage.

Q5: How do I file a claim with the SAAQ?
A: For fast, highly secure processing, you can simply file your claim for compensation online. If you wish to file a claim using a paper form, you must first call one of the toll-free numbersThis link will open a new window.under the “To Reach Us” heading. A SAAQ employee will take the necessary information to open your file and send you the forms to fill out. It's as simple as that.

Note: For work-related accidents.

Q6: Do I have to declare the compensation I receive from the SAAQ to Revenu Québec?
A: Yes, declare the amounts you receive from the SAAQ on your Québec income tax return. The compensation received by an accident victim is not taxable.

Q7: If I am wholly or partly responsible for the accident, do I have the right to receive compensation?
A: Yes, under the no-fault system, all Québec residents are insured regardless of their responsibility in the accident. You cannot be sued nor can you sue the other party if the accident occurred in Québec.

Q8: Am I insured outside Québec?
A: Yes, you are insured for bodily injuries sustained anywhere in the world.

However, if you are wholly or partly responsible for an accident outside Québec, you can be sued. Elsewhere in Canada and in the United States, mandatory private liability insurance ($50,000 minimum) protects you. Check with your private insurer to know if you have sufficient coverage before leaving Québec.

Q9: If I pay the registration fees for a vehicle, am I automatically covered if I am involved in an accident with the vehicle?
A: No, certain types of vehicles are excluded from insurance coverage even if they are registered. For example, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-road motorcycles, etc.

Q10: Is my employment income covered?
A: If you were employed or if you had a guarantee of employment at the time of the accident, you will receive income replacement indemnities.

If you were staying at home to care for a disabled person or a child under 16, your care expenses indemnity will take into account how many dependants you have.

If you were unemployed, we recognize your potential loss of income as of the 181st day following the accident. Compensation will then be calculated based on employment determined by the SAAQ.

These indemnities are not taxable. To help you return to the labour market, you can benefit from various physical, cognitive and emotional rehabilitation programs as well as employment, social and academic integration programs.

Q11: What if the traffic accident occurred while I was on the job?
A: Send your claim to the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travailThis link will open a new window. (CSST). If your claim is refused, submit a claim to the SAAQ and include the letter of refusal from the CSST.

Q12: How much time do I have to file my claim?
A: Three (3) years from the date of the accident, or the death, or the appearance of bodily injury.

Q13: What types of compensation does the SAAQ provide?
A: The automobile insurance plan can compensate you, within the limits of the law, for:

  • The loss of your employment income or Employment Insurance benefits;
  • Your inability to take care of a disabled person or a child under the age of 16;
  • The loss of an academic term or a school year;
  • Expenses incurred because of the accident (e.g.: ambulance transportation, personal assistance, clothing, glasses, etc.);
  • Diminished quality of life (physical suffering and pain) caused by the accident;
  • Expenses incurred as a result of your rehabilitation;
  • The death of your spouse or a dependant.

Q14: How soon does the SAAQ respond once a claim is filed?
A: The SAAQ's goal is to issue an initial cheque within 30 days following receipt of the claim, on the condition that you have provided all the necessary evidence and supporting documents.

Q15: Can I consult my family physician for treatment following an accident?
A: Yes and as soon as possible. Your physician plays an essential role. His or her opinion is important and invaluable in the follow-up of your file.

Q16: My neck has been hurting since the accident. What should I do?
A: You may have whiplash. Consult your physician without delay. He or she will be able to direct you to the Personalized Care Program for Strains and Sprains.

Q17: How much did the SAAQ pay out in 2004 for costs relating to accidents?
A: The SAAQ paid out $828.9 million for accident victims and increased its actuarial liabilities by $623.9 million mainly to honour future commitments made toward accident victims over the course of that year.

On December 31, 2004, the total amount in compensations and contributions to health services paid out since 1978 was $11.8 billion.

Q18: Are there many claims for compensation?
A: The SAAQ receives an average of 32,000 new claims for compensation each year, with a total of 855,000 claims since its inception in 1978.

Q19: Can I receive assistance for housecleaning if I am unable to manage it because of my accident?
A: Yes. You can also receive assistance for cooking, personal care and the alteration of certain features of your environment, such as a bathroom adapted to your disability... This assistance may be provided if it is required.

Q20: I currently receive a surviving spouse’s pension from the Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ). Will the amount of the pension I receive change?
A: If you receive an indemnity from the SAAQ for a particular disability and you have been deemed to be disabled by the RRQ for the same disability, the amount of your surviving spouse’s pension may be reduced. For more information, visit the Web site of the Régie des rentes du QuébecThis link will open a new window..

Last Modification: 2016-01-05