There are several reasons why a driver may be considered high-risk in Ontario. The consequences of being pushed into the high-risk category is your car insurance premiums will likely increase.
Every insurance company has criteria of what they consider a high-risk driver to be. The best way to avoid being considered a high-risk driver is to drive safely and make your payments on time.
Here’s the criteria that insurance companies may use to determine a driver’s level of risk:
Accidents happen. How many accidents have you had? How many were you at fault? Depending on the number of at-fault accidents, you will be considered a high-risk driver by car insurance companies. In the province of Ontario, accidents stay on your driving record for six years. This is the amount of time you can expect to have a high-risk designation by your auto insurance provider, likely causing your premiums to increase.
Driving convictions can push a driver into the high-risk category. Whether you have an impaired driving, careless driving, or other criminal driving convictions on your driving record, these will all affect your car insurance premiums and put you into high risk. Even a minor conviction can affect your rates by hundreds of dollars.
There are several reasons why your licence could be suspended. Examples include alcohol related, criminal related, for non-payment of fines and too many convictions. When the suspension is lifted, you may be labelled a high-risk driver, and this can affect how high your car insurance premiums will be.
If you don’t pay your car insurance premiums, then you risk your car insurance provider cancelling your policy for non-payment. Remember, without insurance you cannot legally drive. Non–payments may cause you to be categorized as a high-risk driver by your insurance provider, and result in your premiums increasing. Typically, two non–payments will mean you will have to pay your policy in full.
Lack of experience
The more you drive the more experience you will gain. Those who lack driving experience are more likely to get in collisions. Your age and class of licence typically reflects your level of experience. In fact, the risk of motor vehicle accidents is higher among teens aged 16–19 than among any other age group. Those who have a G1 class licence are new to driving, while G class licence drivers are more advanced. The longer you have your G licence the better. When you have years of safe driving experience under your belt, it can lead to car insurance savings since you will be deemed lower risk.
What does being a high-risk driver mean for your car insurance?
If you are considered high-risk then it can affect what companies will insure you, thus limiting competition and your insurance premiums will likely be higher. Since you are more likely to get into a collision, the insurance company takes on more risk that they will have to cover you should you file a claim. Whether it’s damage to your vehicle or medical expenses, your insurance company will have to cover this provided you have the proper coverage.
Premiums will be determined by the circumstances of the driver as well as the specific coverage and vehicle. Although, premiums could double, or triple compared to regular coverage if you are a high-risk driver. This could be in effect for a few years until your record improves.
Car insurance is compulsory in Ontario, so if all insurance companies refuse to insure you, you will qualify for the Facility Association (company of last resort).
Ways to save on car insurance
If you are categorized as a high-risk driver then it will be very challenging to get affordable car insurance premiums. However, it’s important to do comparison shopping since every car insurance company will provide you with their own rates. Picking a lesser term like 3 or 6 months might help.
Find the right insurance broker
There are many car insurance companies to choose from in Ontario. If you are deemed a high-risk driver it’s important to shop around for the right plan for your needs. Consider companies that are offering you affordability, the right amount of coverage, and excellent customer service.
Ultimately, one of the best ways to find top insurance companies and the best rates, is by working with an insurance broker. Ensure you choose a reliable and professional insurance broker that will work in your best interests. Most brokers only represent one or two high risk companies, we have several.
Our team is highly knowledgeable and experienced in helping you find insurance options that will fit your situation seamlessly. Get in touch and we’ll help you explore the best car insurance solutions for your needs.