When it comes to Automobile Insurance, there is a lot of misinformation floating around. At Pacific Insurance Broker Inc. we strive to provide accurate and truthful information to our clients. This blog post can hopefully clear any inquiries you may have on tickets and how they really affect your insurance premiums.
What Tickets Affect My Insurance?
This is a great question that we at Pacific Insurance Broker Inc. get asked very often. To get started, we do not recommend you to do anything that will get you a ticket but if you are reading this, chances are that you may have already received one. If it is a parking ticket, you have nothing to fear. Parking tickets will not affect your driver’s license, insurance record or your driver’s abstract. It does, however, affect your ability to renew your license plate. So if you want to keep driving your car, it is in your best interest to pay your parking tickets. There are 3 classifications of tickets that influence your insurance rate; Minor Infractions, Major Infractions and Serious Convictions. All three classes of tickets will result in a larger premium, but the more severe the infraction the higher the insurance premium you will receive.
Minor infractions can range from not wearing a seat belt to speeding 10-15km/hr over the speed limit. There is an extensive list of minor infractions that could land you a ticket, but that is for a whole other blog post. What you are interested in is how these tickets affect your insurance rate. If it is your first ticket, chances are that you will be excused. Most insurance companies will disregard your first ticket. However, every ticket after that will lead to higher insurance rates. This is because receiving multiple tickets demonstrates dangerous driving behaviour, which then means that the risks that insurers need to take on are increased.
Major infractions are worse versions of minor infractions that come with more serious penalties, such as receiving demerit points and higher fines. These can range from failing to report an accident to driving without insurance. These tickets may result in suspension of your license should you accumulate too many demerit points.
Serious convictions are to be avoided as they result in severe penalties. They can range from drag-racing to Driving under the Influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. Serious convictions can cause you to lose your license and/or face criminal charges.
What About Demerit Points?
Gaining more demerit points does not have a direct effect on your insurance rate. This is because any ticket you have been charged with will have already increased your rate. Thus, the additional number of points you gain or not gain will not change anything. However, should you accumulate 15 or more demerit points, your license could be suspended. In this case, the suspended license will significantly affect your insurance premium. So in a way, gaining demerit points indirectly affects your insurance.
How Do I Lower My Rate?
If you have already received a ticket or two and obtained a few demerit points, maybe even been charged with a DUI, you should know that your insurance rate can get very expensive. But rest assured, it will not last forever. A Driver’s Abstract is a tool that the Ministry of Transportation uses to keep track of your driver history. Generally speaking, tickets will stay on your abstract for 3 years whereas accidents for 6 years. The Driver’s Abstract is also a tool that your insurance company uses to determine your insurance rate. This means that, eventually, should you stop getting into accidents and receiving tickets, your insurance rate should lower. If you have an Ontario License and wish to check your own driver’s abstract you may visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/uncertified-drivers-record.