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Do Speeding Tickets Affect Insurance in Ontario?

Driving over the speed limit is considered a traffic violation, and if a driver is caught, he or she may face a speeding ticket. The consequences of getting a ticket go beyond just paying a fine; it can lead to increased insurance premiums and affect a driver’s ability to get insurance coverage. In this article, we’ll discuss how speeding tickets can impact insurance rates in Ontario and what drivers can do to minimize the effects.

How Insurance Companies View Speeding Tickets

Insurance companies consider speeding tickets as a factor when calculating a driver’s insurance rate. A driver who receives a ticket is seen as a higher risk driver, which means that they are more likely to be involved in an accident. This increased risk is reflected in higher insurance premiums. How much the insurance rates increase depends on the severity of the infraction, the driver’s driving history, and the insurance company’s policy.

How Insurance Companies Find Out About Speeding Tickets

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) records all traffic convictions, including speeding tickets, on a driver’s record. Insurance companies have access to this information, so they use it to determine the driver’s risk level. Insurance companies can also obtain information about a driver’s speeding tickets from other sources, including:

  • Public records
  • Municipal police services
  • Provincial police services
  • Electronic databases
  • How Much Will Insurance Rates Increase?

    The amount of an insurance rate increase due to a speeding ticket varies. However, on average, a single speeding ticket can increase a driver’s insurance rates by anywhere between 5% to 20%. The severity of the ticket and the driver’s driving history plays a significant role in this calculation.Insurance companies in Ontario use a system called Minor Conviction Protection (MCP) to give drivers some leeway. If a driver has a single minor infraction (which includes speeding tickets) and has been an accident-free driver for at least six years, the insurance company may not increase the driver’s insurance rates. However, drivers who have multiple infractions, regardless of how minor, may experience a more significant rate increase.

    How Long Do Speeding Tickets Affect Insurance Rates?

    Speeding tickets in Ontario can affect a driver’s insurance rates for up to three years from the date of the conviction. The impact of the ticket decreases over time, but it takes at least three years for the ticket not to affect the driver’s insurability. Also, depending on the insurance company, some may stop considering the ticket after only two years.

    Ways to Minimize the Impact of a Speeding Ticket on Insurance Rates

    Getting a speeding ticket is not a pleasant experience, but there are some actions drivers can take to minimize the impact of the ticket on their insurance rates. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Consider taking a defensive driving course: Some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who complete an approved defensive driving course. The course can help drivers learn safe driving techniques and demonstrate to the insurance company that they are committed to being a responsible driver.
  • Choose a high deductible: Increasing the deductible amount can lower the insurance premium. This way, if an unfortunate event happens, the driver will have to pay more out-of-pocket, but the monthly premiums will be lower.
  • Shop around for insurance: Different insurance companies have different policies when it comes to speed tickets. Some may be more forgiving than others. It is worth shopping around to get the best possible rates after a speeding ticket.
  • Ask the insurance company about payment options: Insurance companies may offer payment options such as monthly or quarterly instead of yearly. This way, drivers can better manage their finances and reduce the immediate financial impact of an increased insurance premium.
  • Conclusion

    In conclusion, a speeding ticket can have a significant impact on a driver’s insurance rates in Ontario, but drivers can minimize this impact if they take some specific actions. The most important thing to do is to drive responsibly and avoid getting speeding tickets in the first place. However, if a driver does get a ticket, they should follow the tips above and take proactive steps to mitigate the effects of the ticket on their insurance rates.