Insurance Rate Impact


Will this traffic ticket affect my insurance?

Yes if it is a moving violation. Parking tickets won’t have any effect. Moving violations affect your driver’s abstract which insurance companies look at. Even if the traffic ticket has no demerit points, if you are convicted, you now have a conviction on your driving record.

Some insurance companies have a "rate protector" clause or similar policy that forgives your first "minor" conviction. Since they don't give away anything for free the higher rate was already built into your annual cost or you are paying an extra annual fee for that first "free" conviction.

It is very tempting to use this "free pass" since you've already paid for it. However you won’t have it for the next traffic ticket you get. If you are thinking, "I’m not going to get another traffic ticket," you were probably thinking that before you got this traffic ticket!

If you have the free pass you can fight your traffic ticket without risking very much. If you don’t do anything, the insurance hit from your next traffic ticket will be far more severe.

If you don't have the free pass, your insurance will go up even for the most minor traffic offence.

Insurance Rate Increase

Most Ontario insurance companies look at the number of convictions you have and the severity of the offence. In other provinces, some provincially run insurance schemes look at the number of demerit points you have. Others use a combination of the three (number of convictions, severity of offence, number of demerit points).

For an Ontario driver, even a minor $60 traffic ticket can produce an annual increase of $300 or more that will last at least five years. In other words, your minor $60 traffic ticket will end up costing you $1,500.

The following charts show what the likely insurance impact will be based on the number and type of convictions. For a specific rate, you can use to obtain an anonymous online quote.

Insurance Increase by Conviction
# of ConvictionsMinor MajorSerious
Each additional conviction15%25%100%

Conviction Classifications
Minor MajorSerious
Any traffic convictions related to the operation of a vehicle, other than those listed as Major or Serious. It can be under an Act governing highway traffic, the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act or a similar offence committed within or outside Canada. See below… Any of the following traffic convictions under an Act governing highway traffic, the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act or a similar offence committed within or outside Canada… Any of the following traffic convictions under an Act governing highway traffic, the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, a similar offence committed within or outside Canada, or any convictions which appear on a Driver Record Abstract identified as Criminal Code convictions…
  • Crowding Driver’s Seat
  • Defective Brakes
  • Drivers License Violations
  • Failing To Share The Road
  • Failing To Signal
  • Failure To Use Seatbelts
  • Failing To Yield
  • Failing To Yield To A Pedestrian
  • Failure To Surrender Your License
  • Failure To Produce Evidence Of Insurance
  • Failure To Produce Or Carry Insurance Card
  • Following Too Closely
  • Headlight Offenses
  • Improper Driving In A Bus Lane
  • Improper Lane Change
  • Improper Opening Of Door
  • Improper Passing
  • Improper Towing
  • Improper Turn
  • Improper Use Of Divided Highway
  • Insecure Load
  • Obstructing Traffic
  • Overloading
  • Use Of Radar Warning Device
  • Improper Railway Crossing
  • Speeding
  • Stop Sign Infraction
  • Traffic Light Infraction
  • Trailer Passenger
  • Unnecessary Noise
  • Unnecessary Slow Driving
  • Unsafe Move
  • Unsafe Or Prohibited Turn
  • Unsafe Vehicle
  • View Obstructed
  • Wrong Way On One Way
  • Obstruction Of View
  • Obstruction Of License Plate
  • Driving without an up to date Inspection Sticker
  • Speeding 50 km/h over posted speed limit (or set limit in your province or state)
  • Failing To Report An Accident
  • Failure To Report Damage To Highway Property
  • All Insurance Offenses
  • False Statement Of Insurance 
  • Operating Motor Vehicle With No Insurance
  • Driving With No Insurance
  • Produce False Evidence
  • Driving In Contravention Of Restrictions
  • School Zone, Improper Passing Zone
  • School Bus, Improper Passing, Fail To Stop
  • Speeding in a construction zone is double the fines and points
  • Driving Impaired, Blood Alcohol Over .08
  • Careless Driving; Undue Care Or Attention
  • Criminal Negligence
  • Dangerous Driving
  • Driving While Under Suspension
  • Failing To Obey Police
  • Failing To Remain At An Accident Scene
  • Motor Manslaughter
  • Racing
  • Refuse Breathalyzer
  • Stunting / Drag Racing
  • All Serious Convictions; Can Be Unspecified

How long will this last?

Motor vehicle convictions stay on your Ministry of Transportation driving record for three years, demerit points for two years. Insurance companies keep this information usually for five years. Law enforcement can see your complete driving record and criminal history including every conviction going back to the day you were born.

So expect to pay higher insurance for at least five years. Also expect to be ticketed more often. The clock starts ticking from the day you are convicted, not the day you were charged. Your insurance will increase when you renew your policy.

At Fault Accidents

If you are in an accident your insurance company will use the Fault Determination Rules to determine who is responsible. This is a separate procedure than what the police will use to decide whether to lay charges. A police accident report may be used as evidence at trial and the insurance company may rely on it to determine fault. Accidents will affect your insurance record up to six years.

Facility Insurance

Facility Association insurance is insurance of a last resort for high risk drivers. It was established by the insurance industry to ensure that automobile insurance was available to all owners and licensed drivers when they cannot obtain insurance through the voluntary automobile insurance market. The maximum Facility Association surcharge is 250%.