What Actions Cause Someone to Require High Risk Vehicle Insurance?
Below is a list of different types of actions that can cause someone to fall into an insurance rating of high risk. This list is not inclusive of all possibilities. In some instances, to be deemed as high risk requires a combination of multiple offenses, such as minor speeding tickets. In other instances, such as an at-fault accident, it only has to happen once.
It is important to share this information for a variety of reasons:
- First, for someone who has recently been classified as a high risk driver, it is important to piece together what caused this and what you have to watch out for going forward.
- Second, for someone who has been a high risk driver for a few years, this list will be a refresher.
- Third, for someone who is still getting standard rate insurance – this information is beneficial so you can see just how easy it is to make an error and land in the high risk spectrum.
- Fourth, if you are a standard driver but have a few minor driving offenses, this information will show you how you could be on a path to higher premiums.
If you would like to first test your current knowledge. Click here to take the high-risk driving scenarios test to see if you know which scenarios lead someone to become a high risk driver and which do not.
*Note* All policies and rating methods are subject to change. Use this list as guidance but to find out about your personal situation – please reach out to your Bryson Insurance Specialist by opening the chat window, calling us at 1-800-661-5196, or clicking here to send us an e-mail
Having an At-Fault Accident
A chargeable, at-fault accident is an occurrence for which the applicant, insured, or operator is deemed to be wholly or partially responsible and results in the third party and/or collision damage, and/or personal injury arising out of the ownership, use, or operation of a vehicle, in consequence of which:
- An amount has been paid or would have been paid but for the existence of provincial direct compensation laws or agreements; or
- A loss remains unsettled or unpaid; or
- A civil suit has been commenced against the applicant, insured or operator; or
- An amount would have been paid had the loss been reported to an insurer; or
- The amount of the loss exceeds the policy deductible.
A chargeable at-fault accident is always taken into account even though:
- There was no insurance in effect; or
- The loss was repaid to the insurer by or on behalf of the applicant, insured, or driver. The following may not be regarded as chargeable at-fault accidents:
1. Damage to the vehicle if:
- It occurred while the vehicle was legally parked and is reported to police authorities within 24 hours of the occurrence;
- It was caused by a hit-and-run driver and is reported to police authorities within 24 hours of the occurrence;
- An uninsured party is responsible; and
i. The repair cost was paid under the Uninsured Motorist portion of the policy, or
ii. The deductible is recovered in full from an Unsatisfied Judgement or similar fund.
When Does an Accident NOT Cause the Driver to be Considered High Risk?
- The insurance company made no payments for damages or injuries.
- Before September 1, 2010 – The insured driver’s degree of fault is determined as zero under Ontario’s relevant provincial fault determinations laws, agreements, or dispute resolution mechanisms.
- After September 1, 2010 – The insured driver’s degree of fault is determined as 25% or less under Ontario’s relevant provincial fault determinations laws, agreements, or dispute resolution mechanisms.
- A collision with an animal.
Missing or Late Insurance Premium Payments
This comes as a shock to many people. At Bryson, we strive to be very clear and open about this reality. If a driver’s insurance company cancels their policy for non-payment at least once, it will very likely be included when providing a rating on a future insurance policy.
If a driver’s insurance company sends a second cancellation notice for non-payment, or if the driver experiences few minor driving convictions, he or she are much more likely to be deemed as a high risk driver.
Minor Driving Convictions – Moving Traffic Violations
A single minor driving conviction will not cause a driver to be rated as a high risk driver. However, multiple minor driving convictions could push an insurance company to rate a driver at that level.
Convictions of any moving traffic offenses, other than those specifically listed in major convictions and serious convictions below, under any Act governing highway traffic or Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (CAIA) or any offenses substantially the same committed outside Canada, including but not limited to:
- Fail or refuse to surrender a licence;
- No drivers licence or improper class of licence;
- Breach of speed limits and moving traffic offences other than shown in major convictions and serious convictions apply;
- Fail to carry insurance card;
- Fail to carry evidence of insurance;
- Fail to disclose particulars;
- Fail to have an insurance card.
Major Convictions – Highway Traffic Act
Major Convictions cause a driver to automatically be deemed as a High Risk Driver. If you fall into this category and are unsure if your insurance company will renew your insurance – call them – so that if they are not going to renew your vehicle insurance you have as much time as possible to find a new insurance partner.
Convictions of the following offences under any Act governing highway traffic (Motor Vehicle Act of Canada – MVACA or Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act – CAIA) or offences substantially the same committed outside Canada, including but not limited to:
- Failing to report an accident;
- Failing to give your name and licence number in the event of an accident to the police or other persons entitled to such information;
- Improper passing of school buses;
- Improper passing of schools or playgrounds;
- Speeding 50 km or more but less than 60 km over the speed limit;
- Stunt driving
- Driving with no insurance;
- Operate motor vehicle – no insurance CAIA;
- Vehicle owner without insurance CAIA;
- No insurance CAIA;
- Produce false evidence CAIA;
- False statement re. insurance MVACA;
- Produce false insurance MVACA;
- Make a false statement CAIA;
- Permit a novice to drive in contravention of conditions/restrictions;
- Class G1 accompanied driver – fail/refuse provide breath;
- Class G1 drive unaccompanied by a qualified driver;
- Class G1 accompanied driver – excess blood alcohol;
- Class G1 drive with a front-seat passenger;
- Class G1/G2 drive with excess passengers;
- Class G1 drive on a prohibited highway;
- Class G1/M1 drive at unlawful hour;
- Class M1 drive motorcycle with a passenger;
- Class M1 drive motorcycle on a prohibited highway.
- Failure to stop on request of or obey directions of a police officer.
Serious Convictions – Criminal Code
Serious Convictions under the criminal code automatically deem a driver as High Risk. If you fall into this category and are unsure if your insurance company will renew your insurance – call them – so that if they are not going to renew your vehicle insurance you have as much time as possible to find a new insurance partner.
1) Any offence under any Act governing highway traffic involving:
- Driving without due care and attention;
- Street racing or driving contests
- Driving 60 km or more over the speed limit;
- Class G1/G2/M1/M2 driving with alcohol in the blood.
2) Convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada of any one of the following offences, or under any other Act of an offence substantially the same committed inside or outside Canada, including but not limited to:
- Criminal negligence committed in the operation or use of a motor vehicle;
- Manslaughter committed in the operation or use of a motor vehicle;
- Failing to stop at the scene of an accident;
- Impaired driving;
- Failure or refusal to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test;
- Failing to pass a breathalyzer or blood test;
- Driving while licence under suspension;
- Dangerous driving;
- Careless driving;
- Failure to stop for a police officer, resulting in an extended suspension of licence (e.g. 3 years).
*Note 1: If convictions for impaired driving and failure or refusal to take a breathalyzer or blood test relate to the same occurrence they will be considered as one conviction.*
There is a lot of information here. If you have any questions please, click here to e-mail us today. If it is easier for you to call, call us at 1-800-661-5196. If you are paying high risk insurance premiums today and are interested to know more read these additional articles: