MONTREAL -- The automobile insurance board (SAAQ) coffers are overflowing to the point where Quebec drivers will not have to pay insurance premiums in 2022 and 2023.

For the average driver, this will mean a savings of nearly $185 in total for the two years, and nearly $340 for those with a driver's licence for a car or motorcycle. Drivers will only have to pay the fees and charges when they renew their driver's licence, a bill of about $23.

In total, almost $1.16 billion will be left in Quebec drivers' pockets.

Bad drivers, who pay a premium based on accumulated demerit points, will continue to pay the portion of their contribution that represents the extra premium for their poor driving record. This is a matter of statutory fairness, which states that each class of contributor pays for the costs they generate for the plan.

In the same vein, future drivers will not be eligible for this rebate as they were not licensed at the time of the accumulation of the fund's capital surplus from drivers in recent years.

In announcing the measure, Transport Minister Francois Bonnardel explained that the significant drop in the number of road accident victims and claims paid out over the past 10 years has allowed the SAAQ's Automobile Insurance Fund to accumulate more investment income than anticipated.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published April 30, 2021.