Not sure if you are a high-risk driver? We will explain how insurers see it.
High-risk drivers are considered by insurance companies to be drivers who are statistically more likely to get into an accident. How do they determine higher risk? By considering a number of factors, including: age, experience, driving record and ticket history, and more.
If you fit the following profile, it is likely that you are considered a high-risk driver by your insurer:
- You’ve had two at-fault accidents in the last 10 years
- You’ve been issued two or three tickets in the last 10 years
What does high-risk car insurance in Canada mean in terms of insurance rates?
Car insurance rates differ in Canada from province to province, but according to our research, there are general patterns that apply.
Interested to know what we found out? Have a look below at the summary of the results:
- If you’ve had two or less violations in the last three years: Plan for ~40% increase in your premiums
- If you’ve had more than two violations in the last three years: Plan for more than double your premiums
- If you have been convicted of a particular Criminal Code offence (e.g. careless driving while being impaired by alcohol or drugs): Prepare to have your license suspended
What does all of this mean for your insurance rates if you are in Ontario? Well, on average, an Ontario driver will pay around $160 per month ($1,920 per year) for auto insurance premiums. Should you have two or less violations in the last three years, you are probably looking at rates of $225 per month ($2,700 per year). Should you have more violations in the last three years, you are looking at more than $320 per month (over $3,840 per year) in car insurance rates.
It isn’t cheap.
What insurers will help me to get high-risk auto insurance?
It is not a secret that, for many companies, should you fall into the category of a high-risk driver, you will become uninsurable. That means that some insurers will decide not to insure you and will refuse to offer you a policy. Some companies are more flexible and will still provide you with car insurance, but it will be offered at a higher rate. Here are a few providers that can help you:
- Pafco Insurance
- Jevco Insurance
- Coachman Insurance
You can try to get a quote from other providers – insurance companies constantly adjust their so-called ‘underwriting logic’ (basically the logic surrounding whom they insure and for how much)—and you might be lucky. Remember, the fewer traffic violations you’ve had and the further back they are, the better.
What if everybody refuses to sell me a car insurance policy?
The last resort for you, in this case, would be an organization called the Facility Association, which helps get car insurance for those who cannot get it elsewhere. They will work with insurers to get you insured, but that comes even at a higher price. Try to avoid this avenue.
Will my insurer ever “forget” that I was a high-risk driver?
The answer to this question is somewhat two-fold. Yes, the insurance companies will stop considering your high-risk status, but it will take a very, very long time. The good news is that you can already start benefiting from improved driving behaviours every year – your rates will start improving constantly—but it can take up to 20 years to fully “erase” your bad driving history in the eyes of an insurance company, because some insurers rate you on a 20-year basis.
Is there something I should be aware of as a young driver?
If you are a young driver, there are two main things you need to know with respect to car insurance rates and high-risk driving:
- Your rates always start high: As a young driver, you often pay double the rates that more experienced, older drivers would pay. In Ontario, as a young driver, you’ll pay an average $233 per month, whereas somebody who is 61-65 years old will be paying an average of $127 dollars a month. That means almost double rates for young drivers.
- Your traffic violations are considered more serious than those of other drivers. In Ontario, if you are 21 years of age or younger and have a license, you must not drive if you have been drinking (have a blood-alcohol level above 0) or you can face immediate license suspension for a period of time and/or a fine.
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