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Which of these scenarios do you think would deem a driver as “High-Risk” by Ontario insurance companies?

Take the test – do you know what constitutes a “high-risk” driver and what doesn’t by Ontario insurance standards?

Scenario 1:

It is late one night and you are drowsy but feel confident you can get home safely. As the street light turns yellow you rush to make a left and before you know it, someone has driven into the side of your vehicle. The police determine you are at-fault. You pay your deductible and the vehicle is repaired. Are you considered a “high-risk” driver in Ontario?

Scenario 2:

You are driving behind a school bus and find yourself late for work. As the school bus slows down you decide to drive by. As you do, the school bus lights start flashing and the stop sign appears. You are clear of the bus before the doors open. A police officer is on the other side and pulls you over. You are given a ticket for illegally passing a school bus. You choose to fight the case in court. The judge lowers your fine but you are still guilty. Are you considered a “high-risk” driver in Ontario?

Scenario 3:

You have been with your insurance company for years and have a clean driving record. Payments are automatically taken by credit. Your credit card renews and you forget to update your credit card information with your insurance company. They send you a missed payment notice but you fail to open it. You miss payment again before realizing what has happened. You finally realize and pay the overdue amount plus a penalty. Your insurance company tells you they will be unable to renew your policy. You find a new company to provide insurance. A few months later, you cancel your credit card for a new one with more points. Again, you forget to inform your insurance company and another payment is missed. You receive a letter saying they will be unable to continue your insurance coverage. Are you considered a “high-risk” driver in Ontario?

Scenario 4:

You are leaving work excited to start the weekend. On your way home, you cruise through a stop sign you know well. A police officer is there and gives you a ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign. He also notices your license plate sticker is out-of-date and gives you a ticket. Flustered, you drive away forgetting to put on your seat belt. By chance another officer is driving towards you and pulls you over. She gives you a ticket for not wearing your seatbelt. Are you considered a “high-risk” driver in Ontario?

Scenario 5:

You were held late at a meeting and the time expired on your parking spot. Sure enough when you get to your vehicle there is a ticket on the windshield. You put it in your glove box and forget to pay. A few months later your license is up for renewal. You show up to get your new license plate sticker and the attendant informs you that you have a parking ticket fine that has yet to be paid. Are you considered a “high-risk” driver in Ontario?

Scenario 6:

You just finished your Tuesday night hockey league game. Hanging out in the change room after the game, you have a couple beers with your teammates. Some time passes before you drive home. On your way home, you approach a ride program. The officer asks you to take a breathalyser test. You produce a result below the legal limit of 0.08 but above 0.05, putting you in the warning range. The officer suspends your license for 3 days and asks for someone to come pick you and your vehicle up. Are you considered a “high-risk” driver in Ontario?

Scenario 7:

You are a young driver going out for a fun ride with some friends. As you cruise the streets you get a little bored and decide it would be fun to see how fast you can get the car going on an old country road. You are feeling excited as the car accelerates past 100km/h. You drive right past an officer. The officer pulls you over and gives you a ticket for going 40km/h over the speed limit. Are you considered a “high-risk” driver in Ontario?

Scenario 8:

You have had insurance on your vehicle for years. You move to a more concentrated city and decide you no longer need a vehicle. You sell your vehicle and cancel your insurance. A few years later you decide to get a car and apply for new automobile insurance. Are you considered a “high-risk” driver in Ontario?

Scenario 9:

Driving along the highway, you are chatting on your cell phone. An officer sees you, pulls you over, and gives you a ticket for distracted driving. Are you considered a “high-risk” driver in Ontario?

Some of the answers to these scenarios may surprise you. If you are considered a “high-risk” driver today, how you got to this point may have surprised you too. The reality is many “high-risk” drivers got there not because they are bad drivers or bad people but because they made a mistake. When compared to other drivers who have, at some point, made questionable decisions while driving, “high-risk” drivers were caught.

Let’s look at the answers to the scenarios above:

Answer to Scenario 1: Yes, even though you were prudent, paying your deductible an at-fault accident shifts your insurance to the high risk range.

Answer to Scenario 2: Yes, even though your fine was lowered, being found guilty of illegally passing a school bus is a major conviction under the highway traffic act.

Answer to Scenario 3: Yes, multiple cancellations for non-payment shift a driver to the high risk insurance spectrum. Even being late on payments has the potential to come back to affect your premiums. It is important to have a method of payment that works well for you.

Answer to Scenario 4: These are minor driving convictions. Taken individually, they do not have an impact on your driver rating. However, if you accumulate minor driving offenses it can lead to being rated as a high risk driver. For this scenario – it depends. It would be close.

Answer to Scenario 5: No, a parking ticket is considered a non-moving minor driving offense. You can accumulate as many parking tickets as you would like without affecting your vehicle insurance premium.

Answer to Scenario 6: Yes, you have just experienced a DUI – Driving Under the Influence. You will be rated as a high risk driver.

Answer to Scenario 7: No, not by itself as anything under 50km over the speed limit is considered a Minor Conviction. 50-60km over is considered a Major Conviction under the Highway Traffic Act, and 60km over the speed limit is considered a Serious Conviction under the Criminal Code.

Answer to Scenario 8: Likely not. This is important to know. You need to have a good reason why you did not have insurance for a period of time. Moving to a concentrated neighbourhood is a good reason to not require auto insurance.

Answer to Scenario 9: “Driving without due care and attention” is considered a serious conviction under the criminal code. There is a good chance that if you are convicted and found guilty of driving while on your cell phone that you will be rated as a high risk driver.

ANSWERS

As you can see, it is so easy for someone to become a high risk driver. It takes only a small bad decision, a minor mental lapse, or a feeling that it’s only a short drive to cause something that will increase your insurance premium drastically. You can see a detailed list of infractions and missteps a driver can do that would deem them as a high risk driver here.

We understand how easy this can happen. At Bryson Insurance, we do not stand in judgement. We are here to help you get the best solution today and to eventually celebrate with you as you become a standard rated driver again!

We are all human. We are here for you. Never hesitate to reach out and have a conversation. Call us today at 1-800-661-5196. Want to keep reading first? Below you will find additional information to help you better understand high-risk driving insurance: