Countless myths pervade the discussion on how accidents and traffic tickets can affect your auto insurance premiums. Each insurance company charges different rates, so it’s important to obtain car insurance quotes, even with a driving record stained with accidents and/or tickets.
Read on to learn the truth about how your insurance premiums are affected by these items, and how you can minimize their impact.
Relatively minor tickets such as speeding for 10-15 km/h over the speed limit or having an expired insurance sticker may only have a slight impact on your insurance premiums, and in many cases, insurance companies may forgive you for your first one. If you have multiple, however, your premiums may go up, and if you have four or more minor tickets in less than three years, you could fall into the category of high risk driver and require our high risk auto insurance. One major offence can also land you in this situation.
Traffic tickets stay on your driving record for three years from the date you are convicted, not the date you received the ticket. After this period, they are not removed from your record, but they will not be shown to insurance companies.
Unsurprisingly, accidents may increase your vehicle insurance premiums, but some insurance brokers will offer accident forgiveness for the first incident. This means that your first at fault accident in a six year period will not affect your insurance rates. This coverage must be purchased prior to the accident; it is not retroactive. Check with your insurance broker for specifics of this coverage. More than one at fault accident will likely drive up your premiums significantly. Just like with tickets, the more accidents, the higher the premiums. Accidents remain on your driving record for a full six years, so expect to pay increased insurance premiums for an extended period.
Also worth noting: even if someone else is driving your vehicle at the time of the accident, your rates may still be affected just as if you were driving the vehicle yourself. It is worth keeping this in mind when you lend your vehicle to a friend, family member or colleague.
In the end, the best way to defend against high car insurance premiums is to be a safe and careful driver.