For many drivers who get a traffic ticket, two questions come to mind. The first one is: “do I get any demerit points?” And the second is: “will it increase my car insurance rates?”
There are many misconceptions about demerit points and how they, and traffic ticket convictions, can affect car insurance rates.
Ontario’s Demerit Point System
Before we get into how they affect your insurance rates, let’s get a better understanding of demerit points. Ontario’s demerit point system is used to track a driver’s convictions of traffic violations and criminal driving charges.
When they are first licensed to drive, every driver has zero demerit points on their driving record. When a driver is convicted of a traffic violation, like stunt driving, demerit points may be added to their record. The number of demerit points you get for a conviction depends on the seriousness of the offence. Relatively minor offences, like unnecessarily slow driving, might only result in two or three demerit points. But more serious offences, like careless driving, might result in six demerit points.
Demerit Point Accumulation
Demerit points stay on your record for two years. So if you have a number of convictions over two years that result in receiving demerit points, the points will add up until some begin to expire. Accumulating 15 or more demerit points can lead to a driver’s license suspension
How Demerit Points Affect Your Car Insurance Rates
Here’s what many drivers don’t understand. Car insurance companies do not set their rates based on the number of demerit points on a driver’s record. However, accumulating demerit points can still lead to increased insurance rates.
If you accumulate enough demerit points to have your driver’s license suspended, your insurance company might deem you to be a ‘high-risk driver’. If so, your car insurance rates can increase 100% or more. In fact, insurance companies may refuse to insure high-risk drivers.
Protect Yourself Against Receiving Demerit Points
There are serious consequences for accumulating too many demerit points. Regardless of how many points you have, you must defend yourself against receiving more. You need X-Copper’s experienced team of former police officers and top traffic ticket lawyers and paralegals to fight for the best possible outcome for you.
If you found this post helpful, check out our article “Ontario Increases Stunt Driving Penalties”.