Speeding tickets in Ontario are the most common type of all traffic tickets. And it’s really no surprise when you consider that over 80% of Ontario drivers admit to speeding daily.
We’ve all had a similar experience. You’re doing 15 km/h over the speed limit when suddenly you notice a white car parked just up ahead on the side of the road. Is that a police car? You quickly hit the brakes. Did you slow down in time? Did they catch you? You hold your breath while frantically checking your rear-view mirror as you pass by. Then, you see the flashing blue and red lights appear, and that sinking feeling hits your stomach. You’re getting a speeding ticket.
If you’ve ever been pulled over, after that initial shock and disappointment passed, you were probably left wondering, how will this speeding ticket affect my car insurance? The truth is, all speeding tickets in Ontario can have a negative impact on your car insurance rate. How much money each ticket will end up costing you in the end will depend on the type of violation, your license class, and your recent driving history.
Types of convictions
Understanding speeding tickets in Ontario and other infractions is a good idea for all licensed drivers. One of the first things you need to understand is that all convictions are divided into three categories:
Minor convictions are the least serious type of offence. These include the majority of common infractions like speeding (under 15 km/h over limit) or improper lane change. Other examples of minor convictions would be:
- Failing to yield
- Failing to signal
- Improper turn
- Failure to use seat belts
- Failure to carry an insurance card
Major convictions are offences that are a little more serious and usually come with a heavier fine and demerit points. Common examples of major convictions include:
- Stunt driving
- Driving with no insurance
- Fail to report accident
- Improper passing of a school bus
Serious convictions usually include something involving the Canadian Criminal Code. These offences are obviously more severe and if convicted, can result in jail time. For example, alcohol-impaired driving or drug-impaired driving charges. These are clearly the worst type of infractions and can have a big impact on your car insurance. Other examples of serious convictions include:
- Careless driving
- Failure to remain at the scene of an accident
- Street racing
- Driving under suspension
- Class G1/G2 driver with alcohol in blood
HOW DO SPEEDING TICKETS IN ONTARIO AFFECT MY CAR INSURANCE?
When it comes to car insurance, any minor speeding tickets in Ontario will stay on your record for 3 years from the conviction date. (This is the day you actually pay the fine) This applies to all other minor convictions too. This doesn’t mean that your car insurance premium will increase as soon as you get a ticket. Insurance companies can not increase your rate in the middle of your term. However, when your policy renews, some insurance companies will review your driving abstract to see if you have any new convictions. If you do, they will adjust your premiums. This could result in a premium increase anywhere from 5% to 50%, depending on the company you’re insured with, how many convictions you have, and the type of convictions.
Major and serious convictions become a little more complicated. These type of tickets can often include license suspensions, insurance cancellations, and extended periods without car insurance. If you have a major or serious conviction in the past 5 years, it is a good idea to contact a broker directly to discuss your insurance options.
HOW DO DEMERIT POINTS WORK?
The biggest misconception is that you lose points when you get a ticket. However, demerit points are not deducted, they are accumulated. But these points aren’t like Air Miles®, you definitely don’t want to collect them! How it works is, all drivers in start out with zero demerit points, and accumulate points with convictions based on the severity of the infractions. For example, speeding tickets in Ontario for exceeding the posted limit by 16 to 29 km/h will get you three demerit points.
It doesn’t take a lot for demerit points to start adding up. Although, these points do not directly affect your car insurance rate in Ontario, there can still be indirect consequences for accumulating too many. For example, if your drivers license is suspended as a result of too many demerit points, that suspension could negatively impact your future insurance rates.
Here’s a quick look at how demerit points could affect you as a fully licensed G driver:
- 2 – 8 points: you will receive a warning letter
- 9 – 14 points: you may be requested to attend a demerit point meeting to discuss your driving and potentially face a license suspension. There is a $50 fee
- 15 or more points: You will receive an automatic 30-day license suspension. If you do not surrender your license upon request, you could face a 2-year suspension
HOW LONG DO DEMERIT POINTS STAY ON YOUR DRIVING RECORD?
The good news is you get a clean slate every couple years. Demerit points in Ontario reset two years after the date of each offence.
WHAT IS THE NEW MINOR CONVICTION PROTECTION?
Similar to accident forgiveness, some companies are offering drivers a way to protect themselves from future rate increases resulting from speeding tickets in Ontario. Now, drivers who have at least 6 years of experience, and do not have any convictions in the previous 3 years can add the minor conviction protection endorsement to their policy. This will protect their car insurance rate from increasing after one minor conviction. This optional coverage could end up saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars because you’re protected for all three years that the conviction is on your driving record.
Do you have more questions about speeding tickets in Ontario, or would you like to learn more about adding minor conviction protection to your car insurance policy? Give one of our local branches a call.