Not All Tickets Are Created Equal
There are a lot of factors that go into calculating your car insurance premium: the type of car you drive, driving and insurance history, as well as where you live, are a few. How much each factor impacts your rate is decided by each insurance provider individually, but you’ll get a better deal on your car insurance if you don’t have traffic tickets and collisions on your record.
However, not all tickets will affect your policy in the same way.
Minor and Major Traffic Infractions
There is a long list of minor infractions that can affect your insurance premium if you get a ticket. Some of the most common are speeding, stop sign or traffic light infractions, improper passing or lane changes, not using a seatbelt, and not signaling when required.
Then there are also major infractions. Not only are the fines bigger, but the effect on your insurance are usually more significant too. These include driving with no insurance, failing to report an accident, failing to stop for (or improperly passing) a school bus, speeding in a school zone, giving false insurance statements, etc.
Finally, there are serious convictions which might also cause you to lose your licence and even face criminal charges. These include racing, careless driving, and driving while impaired, among others. It is safe to say these will have a severe effect on your insurance policy.
Most traffic infractions come with demerit points. The more serious the infraction, the more demerit points you’ll earn on your driver’s licence. Every province has a demerit point system and if you accumulate too many, it may result in a licence suspension.
For example, in Ontario, if you accumulate nine to 14 points, your licence could be suspended. If you accumulate 15 or more, and your licence will definitely be suspended for 30 days. If you continue to acquire more points after your licence is reinstated, your licence could be suspended again, but this time for a longer period of time.
By themselves, demerit points do not affect your insurance rate. Tickets will increase your premiums regardless of how many demerit points come with the ticket. However, having a licence suspension on your driving record can increase your premiums significantly.
Parking tickets are also a common type of infraction, but they have no effect on your insurance policy, your rate, or your licence because they are not a moving violation. It should be noted though that you will not be able to renew your licence plate until you have paid all of your accrued parking tickets.