Blog How Do Ontario Traffic Tickets Increase Insurance Premiums?

Jan 4, 2024

Ticket troubles? Here’s how Ontario traffic tickets affect your insurance rate

car with traffic ticket on dashboard

Drivers want to know how tickets will affect their car insurance in Ontario. Even drivers with a clean driving record wish to know, just in case they get a ticket or traffic conviction.

We all know that, as a driver, you’re expected to practice safe driving. And if you don’t know the rules of the road or don’t always follow them, you are putting yourself and others at risk. You also risk getting a ticket or traffic conviction, increasing how much you pay for your policy.

This blog post explains how different types of traffic tickets can lead to increased rates. You will also learn about traffic ticket convictions.

Three main takeaways about tickets and insurance

  • Not all tickets will impact your rates – it depends on the ticket and the conviction level.
  • DUIs, driving distracted, and speeding can affect your insurance rates most.
  • Multiple tickets within 3 years can increase your rates by 269%.

What’s on this page:

Which kind of traffic tickets affect insurance?
How long does a traffic ticket stay on your record in Ontario?
How long does a traffic ticket stay on your record in Ontario?
Top 8 traffic tickets that will spike insurance

Which kind of traffic tickets affect insurance?

Do all tickets affect insurance? This is a common question we get from our policyholders in Ontario. The answer is that it depends on the traffic ticket you receive.

Traffic tickets are divided into three categories – minor, major, and serious convictions. Each of these types can affect your rates, regardless of the number of demerit points or the severity of the fine associated with the traffic infraction.

How long does a traffic ticket stay on your record in Ontario?

In Ontario, a Highway Traffic Act (HTA) conviction, like speeding, stays on your motor vehicle record for three years from the date of conviction, which is when you pay your ticket and acknowledge the infraction.

Some providers rate driving convictions for as long as six whole years. After that, the violations will be removed from your abstract and can no longer be seen by companies.

Do traffic violations influence insurance rate increases?

Almost all driving convictions will impact rates. Parking tickets are the exception and have no impact. When your policy renews, your provider will check your record to determine if you have any convictions that may impact your costs.

Tabitha Taylor, a paralegal assistant, confirmed this in a Globe and Mail article, saying, “Your policy and your driving record in the last three years will determine if a ticket is going to impact your insurance. Some companies allow up to two or three convictions before they cause an increase, but it depends upon your policy.”

The degree to which a ticket affects your rates depends on a few things:

  • The severity of the conviction.
  • The number of convictions.
  • Your provider’s rules for convictions.
Ticket Violation Premium Increase % Increase
1 ticket within the past 3 years $3,065 185%
2 tickets in 3 years $3,630 219%
3 tickets in 3 years $4,458 269%

From these numbers, you can see that traffic tickets and convictions can impact your auto insurance significantly. Rates can increase as much as 269 % depending on your fines, driving habits, and location.

Top 8 traffic tickets that will spike insurance

As a driver, you want to avoid getting any traffic tickets; however, some are even more important to avoid because of the potential fines, demerit points, and impact on your car insurance. Here are the top 8 traffic tickets and convictions you don't want to get:

  1. DUI: Driving under the influence or DUI has severe repercussions, including criminal charges and jail time.
  2. Distracted driving: One of the most serious issues on the road today, distracted driving fines start at $490 and 3 demerit points.
  3. Careless driving: A charge for careless driving in Ontario will get you 6 demerit points, fines starting at $400 and even the potential for jail time.
  4. Speeding over 50 kilometres about the posted limit: This is a serious offence that could come with additional charges, such as street racing or stunt driving will increase your insurance immediately.
  5. Speeding in a school zone or construction zone: This is not only extremely dangerous, it comes with a hefty fine and will raise your costs.
  6. Driving without insurance: This will make it very difficult and expensive to get insurance if you get caught driving without it.
  7. Failure to remain at the scene: If you get into an accident, remain at the scene, or you could face a big fine.
  8. Passing a school bus with its lights flashing: Never put children in harm’s way. If you get a ticket for passing a school bus or neglecting school zone speed limits, expect your costs to rise.

Are traffic tickets and convictions impacting your costs?

Traffic tickets can be costly, but they can also increase your rate. Compare quotes with us to ensure you're paying the least.

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Lower your monthly payment by following the rules of the road

Don’t forget to follow driving rules and laws so you don’t have tickets increasing your policy costs! If you are concerned about how tickets are impacting your rate, reach out to our team of brokers. We’ll help you find insurance discounts and compare options to find more affordable car insurance.