What seems like a straightforward question like “What Tickets Affect My Auto Insurance Premiums” can be somewhat complicated to answer. Varying types and degrees of severity of tickets and the diverse, but regulated, auto insurance company rules can change the answer.
In this blog we answer this commonly asked question by offering general details in order to cover the broadest number of experiences.
NOTE: Your personal experience may be different based on the specific details of your driving history, claims, suspensions, and tickets.
Does a minor conviction mean a minor impact on my auto insurance?
Generally speaking, parking tickets, some administrative-type tickets, and red light camera tickets will not affect your insurance premiums. As for all other minor convictions, the answer is: they could!
Minor convictions, such as:
- Speeding (49 kms per hour or under)
- Failure to stop
- Failure to carry your insurance card
- Following too closely
- And many others
are all tickets under the Highway Traffic Act, which can affect your premiums.
Some insurance companies have a discount for being totally and completely conviction or ticket-free. This does not necessarily mean that they are the lowest or best rate, but it does mean that even a single, minor ticket could have an impact on your rate.
Will a window tinting ticket affect my auto insurance?
If you stay within the legal percentage of tinting allowed in Ontario, you will have nothing to worry about! If you have a tint darker than allowed under the Highway Traffic Act, you can be charged. If you are charged, it will show up on your driving record and has the potential to impact your insurance premiums.
The bottom line on tinting is to have a professional advise you of the acceptable level of darkness and stick to it to avoid being ticketed!
Does a major conviction mean a major problem on my auto insurance?
Major, or criminal, convictions like impaired driving, racing, speeding in excess of 50 km of the speed limit, or careless driving will always affect your insurance premiums. Because of the severity of these types of convictions, they can also impact your ability to obtain insurance, as you will be pushed into a riskier category for insurance ratings.
Often, going to court can help reduce the conviction from serious to a more minor one. If that is the case, you may be able to save yourself a major hike in premiums!
Driving without insurance is not a good idea!
When you drive without insurance, you are not only risking coverage for yourself, you are at risk for coverage for others as well! Coverage aside, the “driving with no insurance” ticket is considered a major conviction that many people don’t realize. So, for the good of yourself, and everyone you share the road with, get the appropriate insurance coverage you legally need to operate your motor vehicle.
How long do auto convictions last?
Whenever you are shopping for a new policy, driving record reports are ordered from the Ministry of Transportation and are reviewed. In truth, your insurance company may also order these at the time of your renewal.
Any tickets appearing within the last 3 years will be evaluated to determine the premiums you will be expected to pay. The 3-year rule referred to here, counts for 3 years from the date a ticket is paid, also known as the “conviction date.” Once the ticket is no longer on your record, your premiums will be adjusted on renewal.
If you stick to the rules of the road and avoid Highway Traffic Act convictions, you should stay on the lower end of average premiums. At The Ostic Group, we are happy to help you by answering questions about your driving record. For a quote on Auto Insurance, contact us!