All About Traffic Tickets And Your Car Insurance
A recent InsuranceHotline.com survey found that 61 per cent of drivers at one time or another received a traffic ticket. No big shock when you consider that in Toronto alone, hundreds of thousands of traffic tickets are handed out every year. Since traffic tickets are the norm, rather than the exception, a traffic ticket "refresher" is needed because the warm summer months in Canada are, traffic ticket season.
All About Traffic Tickets
Traffic tickets are generally grouped into 3 categories: minor, major, and serious convictions.
Minor tickets are the most common traffic tickets and may include things like failing to wear your seat belt, tailgating or running a red light. It also includes speeding —the most common of them all—but this could also be considered a major ticket, depending on how fast over the posted limit you were going. Your first minor ticket, may affect your car insurance rate, but it may not—it will depend on your auto insurer. Get a second and third minor ticket and your car insurance rates will go up for sure.
Did you know? The rate increase that comes with a ticket will depend on the severity of the ticket, and the insurer. If you’ve recently got a ticket on your record, you should compare car insurance quotes to make sure you’re not overpaying for your coverage.
Major tickets are less common, but are more serious. Speeding (usually at least 40 to 50 over the posted limit), driving without insurance, speeding in a school zone, improper passing of a school bus, and failing to report an accident, are typically considered major infractions. Getting even just one of these tickets will result in higher auto insurance rates.
Did you know? If you get a ticket that comes with demerit points, it’s not actually the demerit points that affect your car insurance rate—it’s the ticket itself.
Serious, or criminal, convictions aren’t just about bigger fines, they could also include licence suspensions or even jail time. Serious convictions include things like racing, impaired driving, careless and dangerous driving.
Did you know? Tickets stay on your driving record for at least 3 years from the date that you are convicted-not the date of the offence.
A common misconception is that parking tickets affect your insurance rate; they do not. However, if they go unpaid they can come back to haunt you; you may not be able to renew your licence plate until you’re paid up.
Keep A Lid On Your Car Insurance, Don’t Get Tickets
Car insurance rates are determined, in part, on your driving record and the cleaner you can keep your driving history, the less you’ll pay for car insurance. And, if you do get a ticket, shop around to make sure you’re getting the best car insurance rate possible.