Blog Will Distracted Driving Increase Your Insurance Premiums?

Apr 10, 2024

Insurance rates can spike if you’re caught driving distracted in Ontario

man wearing suit changing radio stations inside car

Distracted drivers may face fines, demerit points, and insurance repercussions. In Ontario, getting a ticket for distracted driving will impact your car insurance rate for at least three years.

According to Woodstock Police Service, driver distraction is a contributing factor to 80% of collisions and 65% of near-crashes. With Ontario’s distracted driving laws, limiting distractions on the road for safety and keeping your rates low is crucial. If you are caught driving distracted, you can expect an increase in your monthly payments.

Three main takeaways about distracted driving and insurance

  • If you have a distracted driving fine, you will likely see an increase in your monthly and yearly insurance payments
  • Insurers will see distracted driving as a red flag and may not offer coverage or renew your policy.
  • You can expect more repercussions and increases if there are other charges involved, such as careless driving.

What’s on this page

Will distracted driving affect your insurance?
How will distracted driving impact your driving record?
Example of how distracted driving could increase your insurance
How many demerit points for distracted driving in Ontario?

Will distracted driving affect your insurance?

A distracted driving conviction can significantly impact your car insurance. In addition to fines and demerit points, you may need to get high-risk auto insurance. Getting a distracted driving ticket can also lead to:

  • Increased premiums: You will see an increase in your car insurance in Ontario
  • costs for the next few years.
  • Loss of discounts: This causes you to lose your current safe driving or conviction-free discounts you have.
  • Cancellation: This causes your insurer to refuse to renew your policy.
  • Difficulty getting a policy: Getting future insurance may make getting coverage difficult when it’s time for your auto insurance renewal. Insurers, as you may not qualify for regular insurance anymore, put you into a high-risk driver category.

How will distracted driving impact your driving record?

If caught driving while distracted, you will face fines and have demerit points on your driving record. Starting in 2019, you will also face a licence suspension.

Example of how distracted driving could increase your insurance

On a Tuesday afternoon in Toronto, Sarah, a 28-year-old graphic designer, was driving home from work. While navigating through the traffic, her phone started buzzing with notifications from her group chat. Tempted to check the messages, Sarah picked up her phone from the passenger seat, and for a moment, she took her eyes off the road.

Unbeknownst to Sarah, a police officer stationed at a nearby intersection noticed her actions. With a keen eye for distracted driving behaviours, the officer immediately pulled Sarah over. The officer approached her car and issued her a ticket for distracted driving under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.

In the following weeks, Sarah received a renewal notice from her insurer. Due to her distracted driving charge, her Toronto car insurance premium increased from $120 to $200 a month.

How many demerit points for distracted driving in Ontario?

Distracted driving tickets come with three demerit points. Under the new laws in Ontario, you could receive up to 6 demerit points for multiple convictions within 5 years. So, additional distracted driving tickets can have a compound impact on your driving.

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Distracted driving can lead to other fines and increase your rate

Choose safety over urgency. You can make roads safer in the province by refraining from texting and driving, never driving impaired, and focusing on the road. Practicing defensive driving can make a significant difference in road safety and insurance payments.