Insurance & the Traffic Ticket

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The insurance industry in Ontario categorizes convictions on your driving record as MAJOR and MINOR offences. Major offences include all criminal-driving offences i.e.. Impaired Driving, and the following Highway Traffic Act offences: Fail to remain at an accident, Fail to stop for Police, Careless Driving, Fail to stop for school bus, Racing, Speeding over 50 km/h, Fail to report accident, Driving while under suspension, and any G1 or G2 Drivers license conditions offences.

A major conviction can result in a premium increase of 50-300% or higher. Your insurance company may also choose not to renew your policy; you would then be labeled as a high-risk driver, and placed into facility insurance where the premiums are very high. You could remain there for 3 years (minimum) or longer.

Fraud or misrepresentation to the insurance company is also considered a major offence and will be held against you for up to 6 years. Minor offences include any other Highway Traffic Act, Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, or Municipal traffic bylaw offences. Speeding convictions between 30-49 km/h over the limit are treated more seriously than a minor offence by some insurance companies but not as serious as a major offence. These higher speeding convictions can have an immediate premium increase. By-law parking tickets may not affect your driver’s license and they may not reflect on your driving record.

Some insurance companies will not renew your policy if you have 3 or more convictions on your record within a 3-year period. The insurance companies for a minimum of 3 years before they forgive and forget hold convictions against you. Insurance companies hold all convictions against you whether they are equipment or minor offences that carry no demerit points. Insurance companies are not interested in demerit points in most instances, but insurers of commercial fleets can consider driver’s demerit and CVOR points. If the driver has 6 or more demerit points on their record, the insurance company can deem them un-insurable.

All convictions remain on your driving record for the rest of your life. Only demerit points subtract off your record after two years from the date of the offence. Pardons only apply to criminal driving offences, if granted.

Insurance companies assess fault in relation to accidents. If you are assessed an at fault accident, it will be held against you for a minimum of 5 years before the insurance company forgives and forgets. Additional at fault accidents within the 5 years will further increase your risk factor as a driver and further increase your premiums.

Insurance companies differ on their policies with regards to number of convictions and time limits etc. A few things to make note of if you receive a ticket. Before you act on the ticket consult with someone as to the repercussions. Some charges carry very high fines, into the thousands of dollars, drivers license or motor vehicle permit suspensions, demerit points, and even jail.

It is not unusual for some unfortunate drivers to be paying several thousand dollars for car insurance because they didn’t react properly to a ticket. Before you pay that ticket get the facts first.

*WE WIN DOES NOT IMPLY OR SUGGEST WE HANDLE IMPAIRED DRIVING MATTERS, OR ANY SUPER SUMMARY OFFENCES UNDER THE CRIMINAL CODE OF CANADA. ALL OUR IMPAIRED DRIVING CHARGES ALONG WITH ANY OTHER CHARGES WE ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO REPRESENT IN COURT , ARE HANDLED BY LICENSED LAWYERS UNDER THE LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA.

“Failure to stop” occurs when, due to the presence of a vehicle on a road, an accident has occurred and the owner of the vehicle fails to stop at the scene, and when he or she is required to do so, does not exchange or provide their details.