7 Things You Need to Know as a High Risk Driver in Ontario
Whether due to too many traffic violations, tickets or accidents, certain drivers are deemed “high risk”.
And as any driver that has been place in the high risk category can tell you, there are major implications to your insurance coverage and to the rates you pay when you’re in this situation.
High Risk Driver Defined
First off, let’s touch on what a high risk driver is. A high risk driver is one that insurance companies have deemed a liability for reasons such as…
~ High risk for bad driving; we’re talking dangerous driving habits, traffic violations, accidents and DUIs.
~ High risk for bad credit, such as missing insurance payments.
~ High risk for being less experienced, such as a young driver, or someone who has just gotten their driver’s licence.
So now, let’s take a look at the list we’ve put together of important things that every high risk driver should know, including some Ontario specific details since that’s where we sell insurance here at Insurance Buddy…
7 Things That Every High Risk Driver Should Know
#1 – How long you’re high risk for
In Ontario any infractions or tickets stay on your driving record for three years. When it comes to car accidents that were your fault, they will stay on your record for six years. This is the timeframe you can expect for your high risk designation and how long this will affect your insurance rates. Remember, once you know that a ticket (or several) are no longer on your record, you should get new auto insurance quotes to make sure you’re enjoying maximum savings.
#2 – It’s not just about bad driving
Being deemed “high risk” is not only about driving poorly. You can be put in this category for missing payment on your premiums and having your insurance policy cancelled for this reason. This, in the eyes of an insurance company, is behavior that will put you in the “risky” bucket.
#3 – How much is too much
While all insurers are a little different, generally you will be considered high risk if you’ve had two accidents that were your fault in the last 10 years or if in the last few years you’ve had several tickets (say 2-3) issued to you.
#4 – The effect on your rates
Generally, high risk drivers pay around 25% more for auto insurance. But this could be much, much more depending on the severity of the infractions linked to you. A DUI, for example, will generally cause your rates to, at the very least, double.
#5 – You may be denied by some companies
Some insurance companies may refuse to cover a high risk driver. So you might need to do some research to find a provider that can cover you or a broker that specializes in high risk auto insurance policies, such as yours truly. Be sure to do your homework and get plenty of quotes.
#6 – You have a right to coverage
The insurance industry as a whole cannot refuse an individual coverage. If you’re having trouble finding an insurance company to cover you, that doesn’t mean you can’t get insurance. By law, all drivers have the right to coverage.
If you fall into an extreme category where no regular insurance provider is willing to issue you car insurance, you can still get coverage from The Facility Association – a last resort type of insurance pool. You can get more information in this blog post about the residual auto insurance market and facility insurance.
#7 – There are things you can do to get cheaper rates
Even as a high risk driver, while you might not necessarily be able to access cheap auto insurance (at least not in comparison to a squeaky clean driver) there are steps you can take to lower your insurance rates in Ontario, such as using Telematics or driving a car with safety features. Check out this post specifically about high risk drivers or this one that talks about ways to save on insurance generally.
Want more information on high risk auto insurance? Here are some of our most popular posts on the blog:
You can check out all of our posts about high risk auto insurance and high risk driving here.
Have you been categorized a high risk driver? Want to learn more about high risk auto insurance options for Ontario? Just need cheaper insurance already? Get in touch with us today.
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