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You finally have your own car! Now, how do you get it insured?

In this article:

Insurance jargon explained

Let’s take a quick look at some auto insurance terms:

Premium

This is the total amount you have to pay every year for the insurance coverage provided under your contract or policy. Your premium is calculated based on a number of factors, including your:

  • Car (make, model, year, value, equipment, etc.)
  • Home address
  • Driver profile
  • Insurance coverage
  • SAAQ driving record
  • Past accidents

Policy

This is your insurance contract. It specifies the coverages and deductibles you selected.

Deductible

This is the amount you have to pay if you file a claim with your insurer. This amount is selected ahead of time, when you buy your insurance policy. You can lower your annual premium by increasing your deductible—just make sure you’ll be able to afford the deductible if you have to file a claim.

Loss

This term is used to refer to any type of incident (glass breakage, theft, car accident, etc.).

Settlement

This is the amount you’ll receive if you have a loss (assuming the loss is covered). For example, let’s say you have an accident, you’re at fault, the damage totals $1,580 and you have a $500 deductible. When you file a claim, you’ll first have to pay the deductible ($500) and then you’ll receive the difference, for a total settlement amount of $1,080.

Using your parents’ car insurance: A good idea or not?

“Piggybacking” on your parents’ auto insurance policy might be the right choice for you—it all depends on your individual situation.

If you drive your parents’ car

Whether you drive their car occasionally or every day, there are 2 very good reasons why your parents need to tell their insurer:

  • If you’re listed as a driver, you’ll build a driving history. This could help you save money later on when it’s time to get your own insurance.
  • If you’re not listed as a driver and you have a loss, it could be expensive. Your parents might not receive full compensation for the damages.

If you have your own car

If you have the budget for your own car, you should get an insurance policy in your own name.

Tips for shopping around for car insurance

Here’s some advice to help you get the right coverage and save as much money as possible.

Compare prices

It probably won’t come as a surprise that the price for the same insurance policy can vary a lot from one insurance company to the next. Get quotes from different companies, so you can compare prices and choose the one that’s right for you. Provide as many details as possible about your driver profile to get accurate quotes.

Good to know: Premiums also vary for different vehicle models. For instance, it costs more to insure a sports car than a sedan. And it’s also more expensive to insure a model that’s on the list of the most frequently stolen vehicles. Before you buy a car, it’s a good idea to get insurance quotes online to make sure you can afford the premium.

Compare coverages

When you compare quotes, make sure you’re comparing apples with apples. Be careful—not all insurers offer the same coverages. Once you’ve made sure the same coverages are included in each quote, you can compare prices and make the right choice!

Key coverages to get the insurance you need

Here’s an overview of the different types of car insurance coverage available.

Mandatory standard coverage

All drivers in Quebec are required to have civil liability coverage. It’s included in all basic insurance policies. This coverage protects you if you injure someone else or damage their property in Canada or the U.S. The minimum coverage amount is $50,000, but most people choose $1 million. If you travel outside the province occasionally, we recommend increasing your civil liability coverage to at least $2 million, considering the high cost of injury claims.

Optional standard coverage

2 other types of standard coverage are available to enhance your protection:

  • Collision and upset

This coverage protects you if your car is damaged in an at-fault collision or if it rolls over. If you don’t choose this coverage and you have an at-fault accident, you’ll have to pay for any damage to your vehicle yourself.

  • All perils other than collision or upset

This coverage protects you against fire, theft, vandalism, glass breakage and more. Again, if you don’t choose this coverage and you have an incident (for instance, your car is stolen), you won’t receive any compensation.

So, with the exception of civil liability, you’re free to choose only the coverages you want. Here are some examples of other optional coverages that are available:

  • The Value Plus OptionTM

This option protects your used vehicle against depreciation for up to 5 years.

  • Accident-Free Protection

With this option, you can avoid a premium increase after your first at-fault accident.

  • $0 Deductible Option

With this option, you’ll have no deductible to pay in the event of theft, vandalism or an at-fault accident.

It’s up to you to decide which options are right for you. And if you decide against optional coverage, make sure you can afford to pay for repairs in the event of a loss.

Money saving tips

There are lots of ways to save on your vehicle insurance. For example:

  • Be under 25

Whether you’re a student or working full time, we offer up to 20% in Young Driver savings.

  • Be a good driver

If you haven’t had any driving violations in the past 3 years, you can save up to 10% with our Zero Violations savings.

  • Sign up for usage-based insurance

With the Ajusto® program, your good driving habits can save you money. At Desjardins Insurance, we offer savings of up to 25% after only 100 days1 (you don’t need to wait until renewal). This program is free and will never penalize you. 

  • Be a Desjardins member

If you’re 25 and under, with Desjardins Member Advantages, you’re eligible for a $50 annual rebate2 for each insured vehicle you own, plus free roadside assistance.

  • Be a loyal Desjardins Insurance client

We also reward clients for their loyalty. You can save:

See how much you can save

Notes

Conditions, exclusions and limitations may apply. Offers and savings may be changed or withdrawn without notice. The terms and conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails. These tips are provided for information purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.

TM Value Plus Option is a trademark of Desjardins General Insurance Group Inc.

1. Ajusto is underwritten by Desjardins Insurance. ® Ajusto is a registered trademark of Desjardins Insurance. The discount does not apply to certain endorsements and additional coverages. The discount will automatically be applied to the premium after 100 days. The 100-day usage period required for new users starting September 15, 2017, must include at least 1,000 km driven. For all terms and conditions applicable to the discount, whether you enrolled before or after September 15, 2017, refer to the terms and conditions of the Ajusto program in effect on the date of your enrolment.

2. The policy must be in effect at the time of the deposit.

You finally have your own car! Now, how do you get it insured?

Are you the proud owner of a brand new driver’s licence? Did you just buy your first car? This gives you a lot more freedom, but it also comes with responsibilities—like getting car insurance. Read on to get a better understanding of how insurance works and where to start.