Does One Traffic Conviction Impact My Insurance?
Law-abiding Ontarians don’t purposely intend to break the law when driving, but speeding does happen from time to time. Whether conscious or unconscious, sometimes our lead foot can get the best of us and, before we know it, we are being pulled over.
At Jeffery & Spence, we know that most people don’t understand the impact that one driving conviction can have on their insurance premiums. This impact can be felt in a number of ways, including financially, and even criminally.
Read on for everything you need to know about traffic convictions and how they can impact your insurance premiums in Ontario.
Types Of Offences
When it comes to driving offences, there are three categories classified by most insurance companies: minor, major, and criminal.
These classifications are different from those in the Highway Traffic Act, which means that demerit points are not used to determine how your insurance will be affected.
While demerit points will not be used in determining your insurance premium, it’s worth noting that demerit points stay on your record for two years from the offence date. If you collect enough points, you can lose your driver’s licence.
Minor Driving Offences
Minor driving offences typically include:
- Receiving a conviction for driving anywhere between 1 – 49 kilometres over the posted speed limit
- Failing to stop at a stop sign
- Failure to wear a seat belt
Major Driving Offences
Major driving offences include:
- Receiving a conviction for going 50+ kilometres over the posted speed limit
- Distracted Driving
Criminal Driving Offences
Criminal driving offences include:
- Driving under the influence
- Careless driving
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Driving without insurance
- And more
What Happens If I Fight The Ticket?
If you choose to fight the ticket, you will not be penalized until you are convicted and are required to pay the fine. Your insurance premiums will not increase unless you are convicted of a driving offence.
What Does A Ticket Mean For My Insurance Premiums?
According to most insurance companies, it doesn’t matter if you were going 1 km or 49 kms over the speed limit: a ticket is a ticket.
Criminal convictions and distracted driving convictions will automatically put you into a high-risk category and can cost you severely. Depending on your age, history, and insurance provider, it could cost you several thousand dollars in additional insurance premiums annually. Even minor convictions can increase your premiums a few hundred dollars annually.
What Happens If I’ve Been Convicted Of A Driving Offence?
It will take three years for the conviction to be removed from your record in the eyes of your insurance provider. Unfortunately, once you have been convicted of a traffic-related offence, there isn’t much you can do to prevent your insurance premiums from increasing.
However, you can purchase Ticket Forgiveness Coverage which will exempt you from repercussions from your first minor conviction.
If you have additional questions or need information about auto insurance, contact Jeffery & Spence Insurance Brokers.