Has your child just passed their SAAQ theory test and is now begging you to let them drive home? It is better to talk to your insurer before letting your teen drive! Why take unnecessary risks? Accidents happen so fast!
In this article, Assurances Multi-Risques will provide essential information so that you and your child can be as well-protected as possible.
Learner’s licence and probationary licence
The learner’s licence allows a young person aged 16 or over who has passed their theory test to drive accompanied by a driving school instructor or a person who has held a valid driver’s licence for at least 2 years.
The probationary licence is the last step before obtaining a regular driver’s licence. It is valid for 24 months and carries specific restrictions:
- Accumulating 4 or more demerit points on your driving record will result in immediate revocation of your probationary licence for a minimum of 3 months.
- Zero alcohol tolerance: it is strictly forbidden to drive after consuming alcohol.
- You may not accompany another person who is learning to drive a car, and vice versa.
Additional restrictions for those 19 years old or younger who have had their probationary licence for less than 12 months:
- If the probationary licence was obtained less than 6 months ago, you may not carry more than one passenger aged 19 or under between midnight and 5 a.m.
- If the probationary licence was obtained more than 6 months ago, you may carry up to three passengers aged 19 or under between midnight and 5 a.m.
Note that no matter how many months the young driver has been driving with a probationary licence, immediate family members are excluded from the passenger count.
In addition, the restrictions on the number of passengers do not apply if the driver is accompanied by someone who has been licenced for at least two years and can provide advice and assistance, as long as that person is seated in the front passenger seat.
Is insurance required for a young driver?
In Quebec, a minimum of $50,000 in liability insurance is mandatory for all drivers. However, we advise all drivers to opt for $2,000,000. This insurance covers material and physical damages that could be caused to others in the event of an at-fault accident.
Insurance for property damage to your vehicle or your child’s vehicle is optional.
Adding a young driver to your car insurance policy
No matter what kind of licence your child has, if they drive the family vehicle, even if it is only a few kilometres a month, you must add them to your car insurance policy as an occasional driver. You do not need to wait for your contract renewal to make this addition.
Forgetting or deliberately failing to declare your child as an occasional driver could have serious consequences. Your insurer could go so far as to refuse to indemnify you in the event of a claim under Article 2411 CCQ.
If your child has their own vehicle, they must be insured as the primary driver on their own auto insurance policy.
Choosing the right insurance
A quick tip: a lower premium can mean less coverage, so be careful!
If you opt to compare quotes from various insurers to find the lowest premium on your own, make sure you are getting quotes for the same types of coverage.
For example, if you call Insurer X and the agent includes replacement cost coverage in your quote, be sure to mention it to insurance Agent Y. If Agent Y’s quote is $100 less, but you do not have replacement cost protection, you are not comparing apples to apples!
Another quick tip: if you want the best possible coverage at the best possible price, contact an independent insurance broker instead. They will shop around to find the best insurance contract for you based on your specific needs.
Moreover, your broker will be able to give you lots of tips and tricks to save money year after year!
Parents, we hope this article has enlightened you about the importance of having proper insurance. Car insurance should never be taken lightly, for you or your children.
Make your child’s first driving experiences simple, enjoyable and definitely insured!
For more information or to find the best insurance coverage at the best price, click here.
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