Have you ever wondered, what will that ticket I just got on the highway do to my insurance? How much will it go up? Should I be worried? Well, here at Breckles, we believe in 100% transparency with our clients, so as shown below, you no longer have to worry as you can easily figure out an estimation of what getting into an accident or getting a ticket will do to your insurance.
Driving Infractions – Tickets will increase your insurance premium
Tickets are mainly divided into 3 categories- Minor, Major and Serious. Whenever you receive a conviction, you may find your insurance premium impacted
Minor tickets have the least impact on your insurance. The impact however will vary depending on your insurance provider. Some examples of how a minor ticket affects your insurance may include:
– Loss of conviction free discount (if applicable)
– Increase in annual cost of insurance
– Multiple minor tickets may lead to policy cancellation. This may force you into the high risk auto insurance market, which is much pricier.
Let’s look at an example of someone affected by a minor ticket. John is driving to work along the 404 southbound and is in a rush. John exits the highway, and fails to use his turn signal. He does not realize that there is a police officer behind him and is immediately pulled over. On John’s car insurance renewal, he learns he has lost his 15% conviction free discount and his annual premium has now increased accordingly. This is an example of how a minor ticket will affect your insurance.
Some examples of minor tickets include:
– Speeding 9 km/h over the posted limit
– Disobey traffic signal (Going through a red light)
– Failure to wear a seat belt
– Failure to show proof of insurance
Major Tickets have more of an impact on your insurance compared to minor tickets. As stated above, the impact will also vary depending on your insurance provider. Some examples of how a major ticket affects your insurance may include:
– Increase in annual premiums
– Having a major ticket(s) may force you into the high risk insurance market, or the facility association
To use a similar example, Jane, like John, also found herself in a hurry to get to work. Using her cell phone, Jane decided to call into work and advise that she would be running late this morning. The police saw her, and pulled her over for using a cellphone. Jane obtains a major ticket for driving while using a handheld device. On Jane’s next insurance renewal, she learned that her premium had increased from $1700 per year to $2380 per year, a 40% increase as a result of this major ticket.
Some examples of major convictions include:
– Speeding in a school zone
– Stunt driving
– Failing to report an accident
– Driving using a handheld device; commonly called distracted driving
– Failure to report damage to highway property
– Speeding in a construction zone
– False statement of insurance, or any other insurance offence
Serious tickets have the largest impact on your insurance. While the impact may vary slightly with your insurance provider, most providers have the same consequences. This will most often lead to the non-renewal of insurance. Most of these offences will lead to a suspension and/or cancellation of an Ontario driver’s license.
Let’s look at an example. Tim is young guy, and he just passed his G2 test a week ago. His parents have just bought him a car and he takes it out with his friends. That night after having a beer with friends, Tim is pulled over because he was caught speeding 40 km/h over the limit. The officer convicted him of reckless driving, and driving while impaired. This effectively kills Tim’s chances of getting normal insurance, forcing him potentially into the high risk market, but more likely into the Facility Market.
Some examples of serious tickets or criminal convictions Include:
– Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or over in Ontario
– Failing to remain at the scene
– Dangerous/Careless Driving
– Driving without Insurance
– Speeding in excess of 50 km/h of the posted limit
– Failing to obey police
– Failure to remain at the scene of an accident
Do all insurance companies rate for tickets the same way?
The short answer is no. Each insurance company will use tickets differently to price and accept your insurance policy. Some companies might allow for insurance when there is two convictions and some might only allow for one. It’s also worth noting that some insurance companies will rate for convictions differently. For example, distracted driving is a major conviction, but there are a few insurance companies that might rate it as a serious conviction. On the more lenient end, some insurance companies have identified minor convictions they will not rate for. Example, failure to show proof of insurance is an example of a minor ticket. Although you might still need to pay the traffic violation fine, some insurance companies will not increase your rates if you actually had insurance.
What happens if I already have high risk insurance and I get into another serious violation?
– After high risk insurance, you would be forced into the facility market.
– The facility market exists for the purpose of when you are unable to purchase auto insurance anywhere else.
– Facility takes on all comers, regardless of driving record, however they charge big fees.
– If you are insured through the facility association, you should probably be looking to find another company to insure you, as facility is created for the purpose of allowing people to buy coverage when they have no other options.
How the insurance industry determines accident fault
To explain it in basic terms, all car accidents are assessed using the Ontario fault determination rules, R.R.O., 1990, Regulation 668. This is a document, made available on the Ontario government website here: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/900668. This is essentially is a document outlining all the rules that determine fault in the event of a collision. Once the insurance company has determined the fault in an accident, they calculate a percentage of everybody involved and their fault. I.e. Car 1 was 25% at fault and Car 2 was 75% at fault. This is an example of a scenario and the fault determination rules in practice.