There are a lot of factors that go into calculating your car insurance premium. For example, there’s the type of car you drive, your driving and insurance history, as well as where you live, just to name a few. How much each factor influences your rate is decided by each provider individually, but one sure thing is the fact that you’ll get a better deal on your car insurance if you don’t have traffic tickets and collisions on your record.
In a nutshell, if you have a clean driving record, you will be rewarded with lower premiums. On the other hand, if you get a ticket (or two), you can usually expect your premiums to climb. However, not all tickets will affect your policy in the same way.
Did you know that tickets issued under the Highway Traffic Act, Insurance Act or Criminal Code not only affect your driving record, but can also increase your car insurance rate? Our insurance expert Anne Marie explains what types of convictions can lead to a change in your premium. Watch #AskAnneMarie below.
Minor and Major Traffic Infractions
There is a long list of minor infractions that may affect your insurance premium if you get a ticket. Some of the most common are speeding, stop sign or traffic light infractions, improper passing or lane changes, not using a seatbelt, and not signalling when required.
Then there are also major infractions and these come with a more severe penalty. Not only are the fines often bigger, but the affect on your insurance are usually bigger too. They include driving with no insurance, failing to report an accident, failing to stop for (or improperly passing) a school bus, speeding in a school zone, giving false insurance statements, etc.
Finally, there are serious convictions which might also cause you to lose your licence and even face criminal charges. These include racing, careless driving, and driving while impaired, among others. It is safe to say these will have a severe effect on your insurance policy.
Most traffic infractions come with demerit points. The more serious the infraction, the more demerit points you’ll earn on your driver’s licence. Every province has a demerit point system and if you accumulate too many, it may result in a licence suspension.
For example, in Ontario, if you accumulate nine to 14 points, your licence could be suspended. If you accumulate 15 or more, and your licence will definitely be suspended for 30 days. If you continue to acquire more points after your licence is reinstated, your licence could be suspended again, but this time for a longer period of time.
By themselves, demerit points do not affect your insurance rate. Tickets will increase your premiums regardless of how many demerit points come with the ticket. However, having a licence suspension on your driving record can increase your premiums significantly.
Parking tickets are also a common type of infraction, but they have no effect on your insurance policy, your rate, or your licence because they are not a moving violation. It should be noted though that you will not be able to renew your licence plate until you have paid all of your accrued parking tickets.
Tickets and Insurance Quotes
Even if you have a traffic ticket or two on your driving record, you still may be able to save money on your car insurance. Shop around for car insurance quotes online to see if a better rate is available. At InsuranceHotline.com you’ll be able to compare quotes from our network of over 30 insurers and with so many quotes, there’s sure to be one that’s better than what you pay now. In fact, on average, InsuranceHotline.com shoppers save $700 after shopping with us.
Article updated to include video