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08.29.2017 | AUTO

About High Risk Driving

Being labelled a High Risk driver can be a major inconvenience on your schedule & your wallet. Not only are you left searching for a new policy, you’ll be faced with 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.

What is a High Risk Driver?

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.

How do tickets affect my insurance?

It’s important to remember, only convictions can affect your premium. If you are 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 won’t be affected.

Do demerit points affect my insurance?

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.

Why was my insurance policy cancelled?

Once you’ve been labelled 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 policy is cancelled or non-renewed, you 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 you are caught 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%.

How long will I be a High Risk driver?

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.

Safe Driving Tips

  • Leave plenty of time for your commute
  • Avoid Driving Drowsy
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Avoid aggressive driving
  • Consider defensive driving school
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