It has happened to most drivers, we get pulled over and are given a ticket. The question though, is how is this going to affect me past paying this fine? We cannot answer to all the consequences if you were to get a ticket, but we can answer questions about tickets and your auto insurance.
Hopefully you are just reading this article out of curiosity about what would happen to your insurance policy if you were to get a ticket, but if you recently did get a ticket, this article should get you up to speed on what is most likely going to happen next.
Does Getting a Ticket Affect My Insurance Policy?
Yes, getting a ticket will affect your auto insurance. The first thing that will happen is on your insurance renewal you will lose your “Conviction Free Discount” if this is your first ticket. A conviction is just simply another word used in the insurance industry for a ticket. These discounts vary with every insurance company, but they can be upwards of 10% off various categories of your insurance policy. That 10% does add up, so you will be expecting your premiums to go up on your renewal.
Depending on the company you are insured with, if this is your 2nd or 3rd ticket, they may add a surcharge to your policy, or they may not renew your auto insurance policy at all. At that point, you would have to get your auto insurance through another company and there is a good chance that the premium will be quite a bit higher than what you’re currently paying.
What if I Bought the Conviction Protection Endorsement”?
If you bought the conviction protection endorsement and this is your first ticket, your rate will be protected by this endorsement. Do be aware that this protection is only in place with your current insurance provider. If you were to switch insurance companies on renewal, your new insurance company will not honour this protection since the new company hasn’t been receiving money to protect you from a conviction.
If you were already being protected by your conviction protection endorsement and you got another ticket within 3 years, you will lose your conviction free discount as the protection only protects you against your first conviction.
Keep in mind, the conviction protection endorsement offered by most insurance companies is for minor tickets only such as speeding under 49 km over the speed limit or failure to renew your licence sticker. Major or serious convictions such as driving with a licence suspension or distracted driving would not be protected by this endorsement.
How Long Does a Ticket Stay on My Insurance Record?
Convictions will stay on your driving record for 3 years from the date that you paid the ticket.
Does it Matter What Type of Ticket I Received?
Yes, it does matter what type of ticket you received. Every company has their own rules, but they are all similar. If you get a speeding ticket for 10 kilometres over the speed limit, that would be considered a Minor ticket. If you were to get a stunt driving ticket, that would be considered a Serious or Major ticket and could severely impact your ability to get insurance at a decent rate.
Different insurance companies have different rules as to what type of drivers they are willing to insure. Some insurance companies will decline anyone who has had 2 tickets for distracted driving in 3 years, or some will decline to write anyone who has received 1 major ticket in the last 3 years.
Due to this being different between each company, we will stick to the broad subject for the purpose of this article. If you want to place your insurance with a company who will offer good premiums, its always best to stay conviction free.
I Have Too Many Tickets, and I Can’t Get Insurance
This is simply just not true in Ontario. You can always get auto insurance, but you may not always be able to afford that auto insurance. If you have hit the point where no insurance company is willing to write your auto insurance, you can always get a quote with the Facility Association . This association is basically a pool of money that all insurance companies are required to contribute to. They contribute to this association so it will write the higher risk auto insurance policies that no other insurance company wants to write. The premiums are extremely high if you get this far, and it’s simply not worth saving those 5 extra minutes by speeding or driving outside of the law.
When I Am Getting Insurance Quotes, Should I Tell Them About My Tickets?
Yes, you should tell them right away. As we have mentioned a few times above, all of the insurance companies have different rules when it comes to tickets. Your broker will have to find a company where you will fit into their rules.
There is no point in hiding the fact that you have a ticket as your broker, or the insurance company will pull your driving record for any new policy. If you have forgotten or didn’t tell them about the ticket(s), they will know well before anyone issues you an insurance policy. Being upfront should avoid any surprises during or after the quoting the process.
In the End
In the end, it’s simply not worth risking getting a ticket. Mistakes do happen though, and if you want to fully protect your insurance policy from an uncharacteristic ticket, it might be best to put that minor conviction protection endorsement on your insurance policy. That endorsement will protect your conviction free discount for your first ticket and it could save money in the long run.
Call your broker today and find out if you can add this endorsement to your policy or if you have any further questions about convictions and auto insurance.