Feb 27, 2023
Think before you put the pedal to the metal – speeding tickets can impact insurance
Many Canadian drivers underestimate the insurance repercussions of speeding tickets. Reports show that 27% of traffic fatalities on roads are the direct result of speeding, yet many continue to drive well beyond the speed limit.
People speed for a variety of reasons. They may be frustrated with traffic, are running late, are distracted and not paying attention to their speed or they’re overconfident in their driving skills. None of these reasons make up for the risks associated with driving fast. Speed limits are in place for a reason.
The danger of serious injury or a fatality is 11 times higher in collisions at 50km/hr or more than when drivers are moving at, or below, the posted speed limit. Speeding increases your braking distance and reduces your field of vision, making it harder to react to changing driving conditions. Then if you add in poor weather conditions, pedestrians and the unpredictable actions of other drivers and it only increases the risk.
Getting a speeding ticket will affect the cost of your policy and your ability to be insured. . The only question is what type of speeding ticket you will get and how much will it impact your car insurance quotes.
How much does a speeding ticket increase insurance in Ontario?
A speeding ticket can increase your Ontario car insurance. The degree to which it will impact you will depend on the severity and the effect is not always immediate.
It’s important to understand which tickets will affect it and which will not – there is a difference between getting a ticket for over 15 km/h and 50 km/h. Two tickets may cause a 25% increase (comparable to three speeding tickets which will result in a 100% increase!).
Depending on how your insurer assesses speeding tickets, you may only see a slight increase or no increase for minor tickets. If you receive a major speeding ticket, are charged with stunt driving because of excessive speeding, or have multiple tickets, you can expect your premiums to increase drastically.
Often, insurers become aware of a speeding ticket when it is time for your insurance renewal, because the Ministry of Transportation can be contacted. So, don’t think your insurer will not find out if you don’t tell them about your speeding tickets.
How much does a 15 over speeding ticket affect insurance?
Although there are no points related to a speeding ticket that is over 15 km/hr, it will go on your record and will likely impact your rates when it is time to renew. Depending on previous fines, or convictions, you could see an increase between 10% to 25%.
Can speeding tickets impact the type of insurance I need?
Speeding tickets could not only affect your monthly costs, but they can also influence the type of coverage you need.
While a minor speeding ticket won’t have much impact, getting two or three minor speeding tickets in a short time or getting one major speeding ticket for 50 km/h or over could put your policy in jeopardy. It’s not just the fine and demerit points you have to worry about if you get caught.
Too many speeding tickets or one major conviction could get your insurance cancelled and you may require specialized insurance for being a higher risk. Whether or not this happens to you will vary based on your provider and their rules about the number of convictions they will accept.
How much is a speeding ticket?
Fines vary based on the kilometres per hour you have exceeded the speed limit. The set fine amount gradually increases as you reach an additional threshold.
The Highway Traffic Act Schedule 43 outlines the fine amounts for speeding :
- Less than 20 km/h : $3.00 per km/h.
- 20 to less than 30 km/h : $4.50 per km/h.
- 30 to less than 50 km/h : $7.00 km/h.
- 50 km/h or more :$9.75 and must be settled in court.
For example, if you are caught driving 30 km over the speed limit, you will be fined $7, times 30. The total will be $210.
Keep in mind the fines can be increased for :
Community safety zone speeding fines
If you drive along any residential areas or a road with schools nearby, you’ve likely seen signs for community safety zones. These areas were designed in 2012 to protect children on their way to school.
All fines in these zones are doubled, including speeding and road sign violations. If your speeding ticket would normally be $50, you would see it increase to $100. If you are fined for speeding in a community safety zone, fines will increase. Here is an overview of the fines :
- 1-19km/h over the speed limit is a $5.00/km speeding fine.
- 20-29km/h over the speed limit is a $7.50/km speeding fine.
- 30-49km/h over the speed limit is a $12.00/km speeding fine.
- 50km/h over the speed limit comes with a court-decided fine.
Types of speeding tickets in Ontario
In general, there are three different types that a police officer can issue :
- Ticket with a fine on it (part one provincial offences notice) : This is the most common type. The ticket has the fine and associated points on it. You must appear in court if you want to dispute the ticket.
- Summons to appear in court (part one provincial offence summons) : The ticket has a court date, and the driver must appear in court. The maximum fine is $500. The judge may suspend the driver's license for up to one month for excessive speeds of over 50 km/h.
- Summons to appear in court (part three provincial offence summons) : This is generally for speeds over 50km/h such as stunt driving or infractions in Community Safe Zones. It has a court date, and the driver must appear in court. The max fine is $12 per km over the speed limit. The judge may suspend your license for up to one month.
How long does a speeding ticket stay on your record?
Any traffic conviction, including speeding, will remain on your MTO driver’s abstract for three years from the conviction date. To see if a ticket is still on your record, you can order a driver’s record from ServiceOntario.
How to pay a speeding ticket online
One of the options to pay a speeding ticket in Ontario is to pay online. Here's what to do :
- Visit the Provincial Offences Act online services website
- Get the location code and offence number printed on your ticket.
- If you have been issued a summons, you will need your case number, which includes the offence number to use the online system. You can contact the municipal court office to obtain this.
- Follow the prompts and payment form.
If you do not respond to the ticket within 15 days, you will be convicted of the offence you are charged with.
How do I fight a speeding ticket?
When you receive a speeding ticket, you will have the option to pay it, plead guilty with an explanation, meet with the prosecutor, or dispute it. You will have to contact the court and potentially find a lawyer. Depending on the severity of the case, it will cost between $300 - and $500 to fight a ticket in the province.
The risks of speeding
Excessive speeding can increase the severity of accidents and injuries on the road. Here are four reasons why speeding is dangerous :
- Leading cause of accidents and injuries : In Canada and the USA, speeding is one of the top reasons for driving related accidents and injuries.
- Loss of vehicle control : When you drive too fast, the vehicle handling is reduced which can lead to rollovers or crashes.
- Less reaction time : When you are speeding, you will have less time to stop or slow down if an unexpected danger appears.
- Passengers at risk : If you are speeding, you also put passengers and other drivers in harm’s way.
To prevent speeding related accidents, give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, be mindful of drivers around you, know the speed limit, and be patient. Everyone has somewhere to go.
Ontario speeding ticket FAQs
If you have no other traffic convictions, a single minor speeding ticket should not increase your car insurance quote much. If you have more than one conviction or get a major speeding ticket, you can expect your rates to increase.
No matter where you receive a speeding ticket in Canada, it will show up on your driving abstract as an out-of-province (OOP) speeding ticket. You are required to pay the fine, or it will go into collections.
If your ticket was issued in Ontario, you can go to any courthouse in the providence with your driver's license and they will be able to inform you of all the outstanding fines.
It can - many states and Canadian provinces have reciprocal agreements whereby they exchange information regarding traffic tickets. Ontario has reciprocal agreements with all Canadian provinces and territories as well as the states of New York and Michigan.
Drive the speed limit and keep your rates low
If you’re concerned about increasing your insurance costs, consider how you are driving. Defensive driving can help keep you and others protected on the road. Choosing to ignore speed limits risks the safety of all Canadian drivers. If you want to learn how speeding tickets may affect your costs, contact us to learn more.