Tuesday August 29, 2017
https://wwwBeing labelled a High Risk driver can be a major inconvenience on your schedule & your wallet. Not only will you need to search for a new policy, you will have higher insurance rates as a result.
Understanding what it means to be a “High Risk Driver” can help you avoid costly mistakes so that you can get back to standard insurance and avoid returning to the High Risk category.
While the definition of High Risk can vary slightly by insurance provider, in general, a High Risk driver has had accidents, tickets or even a major driving conviction. You can even be labelled a High Risk driver if you’ve missed scheduled insurance payments.
It’s important to remember, only convictions can affect your premium. If you charged with a traffic violation, it’s important to know your options. In Ontario, payment of a ticket you’ve received is considered an admission of guilt and the infraction will appear on your driving record. However, if you choose to fight a traffic ticket in court and win, your insurance rate will remain the same.
Many drivers wrongly assume that demerit points affect their insurance. In truth, individual demerit points do not affect your insurance. However, the infractions that caused those demerit points or a license suspension due to an accumulation of too many demerit points can impact your insurance and end you up in the High Risk driver category.
Once you are High Risk, your standard insurance provider may cancel or non-renew your policy. They do this because statistically, missed payments, infractions and suspensions indicate that you’re more likely to make a claim on your policy. If your insurer cancels or non-renews your policy, you will need to obtain a new policy with a non-standard insurance provider before you can get back behind the wheel.
Remember, driving without insurance is illegal. If convicted of driving without insurance, it is considered a serious offence and comes with a hefty fine of $5,000.00, plus a surcharge of approximately 20%.
While it can be discouraging, being labelled a High Risk driver doesn’t mean you will always be High Risk. On average, infractions affect your insurance premiums for 3 years from the date of your conviction. More serious convictions may affect your insurance for up to 5 years. So, if you continually practice good driving habits and keep a clean driving record, you can eventually return to a standard insurance policy.