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How do speeding tickets impact auto insurance in Ontario?

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Those of us that have been on the unfortunate end of the radar gun understand there is a big difference between getting a ticket for going 15km over the posted limit vs. speeding 50km over the limit. Depending on the severity of the ticket, speeding while driving in Ontario can impact your auto insurance rates

How Much Does a Speeding Ticket Increase Your Car Insurance in Ontario?

This depends on your insurer. Some companies in Ontario will not increase your premiums for a minor infraction (typically those less than 15km over the limit resulting in no demerit points),  however other providers will increase your premium regardless of the severity of the speeding ticket. A lot depends on your car insurance policy which is why shopping for  car insurance quotes and comparing them against one other is essential. For instance, some insurers offer a first incident forgiveness option for your first infraction. While speeding tickets can not only impact your auto insurance premiums, they can also have an impact on the type of car insurance you may need.

A single minor speeding ticket might not have an impact on your current car insurance coverage but repeated minor speeding tickets in a short period of time, or accruing a major speeding such as stunt driving, could put your premiums and coverage at risk.

Repeated speeding tickets or one severe speeding ticket could require you to get high-risk auto insurance and cause you to be labelled as a high-risk driver by your insurance providers. Regardless of your accrued tickets or type of tickets, it is ultimately up to your insurance provider and their policies to define what constitutes a ‘high-risk driver.’

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How Long Does A Speeding Ticket Stay On Your Record In Ontario?

Any traffic ticket, including speeding tickets, will remain on your Ontario driver’s abstract for 3 years from the conviction date. Criminal-related driving offences, such as impaired driving will appear on your criminal record and heavily impact your ability to drive in the future.

If you are in the unfortunate circumstances of getting a speeding ticket, you can expect to be issued one of the following three types of speeding tickets:

  • Ticket With A Fine (Part One Provincial Offences Notice) – This is the most common types of speeding ticket. The ticket has the fine and associated points on it. You must appear in court if you want to dispute the ticket.
  • Summons To Appear (Part One Provincial Offence Summons) – This is not a common ticket. The ticket has a court date on it and the driver must appear in court. The maximum fine is $500 and the judge may suspend the driver’s license for up to one month for excessive speeds of over 50 km/h.
  • Summons To Appear (Part Three Provincial Offence Summons) – This ticket is generally for speeds over 50km/h or infractions in Community Safe Zones. The ticket has the court date and the driver must appear in court. The max fine is $12 per km over the speed limit. The judge may suspend the driver’s license for up to one month.

Ontario Highway Traffic Act Speeding Fines

According to the Highway Traffic Act, speeding ticket fines are based on the kilometres per hour you have exceeded the speed limit. The set fine amount increases as your speed increases. You can find the amounts set by the Province for speeding in   Highway Traffic Act Schedule 43, Schedule B:

  • 1-19 km/h Over : $2.50 per km/h
  • 20-29 km/h Over : $3.75 per km/h
  • 30-49 km/h Over :$6.00 per km/h
  • 50 km/h Or More Over: Must Go To Court

Speeding tickets and fines are also subject to be increased for :

  • Speeding in a school zone or community safety zone
  • Speeding in a construction zone
  • Speeding in a construction zone with workers present
  • Speeding in combination with other traffic violations (causing an accident, impaired driving, careless driving, stunt driving)

Demerit points for speeding tickets In Ontario

The number of demerit points assigned for speeding are pre-determined according to the speed at which you are driving when your ticket was issued. Demerit points for speeding in Ontario are as follows :

  • 16-29 km/h : 3 points
  • 30-49 km/h : 4 points
  • 50 km/h or more: 6 points
  • 50 km/h or   7 points

Drivers charged with speeding over 50km/h can also receive a 30-day license suspension and be charged under stunt driving laws in Ontario – not a criminal offence but you can be jailed for up to six months.

Do Speeding Tickets In Other Provinces Affect Insurance In Ontario?

There is a general misunderstanding that getting a speeding ticket in another province, will not impact your Ontario car insurance quotes or your monthly premiums. This is not true. Regardless of where you are issued your speeding ticket in Canada, it will show up on your Ontario driving abstract as an out-of-province speeding ticket. You are required to pay the fine, or it will eventually go into collections.

So, will an out-of-province speeding ticket impact your car insurance? It could. Just like any other traffic ticket that appears on your driving record, it may cause your insurance rates to increase pending your insurer’s policies on out of province tickets.

Bottom line: Speeding Tickets Eventually Impact your Insurance Premiums

It is also important to know that speeding tickets will only affect your insurance if your insurance provider is alerted. In most cases, your insurer will not find out about your speeding ticket until you pay it or are convicted in court – at which point it is added to your driving abstract.

More often than not, insurance providers become aware of a speeding ticket when it comes time to renew your insurance policy. So, you should be aware that it’s common practice for insurers to contact the Ministry of Transportation and check your driver’s abstract during the renewal process. The other way insurance providers can find out about your speeding ticket (and driving history) is if you inform them of any accrued driving infractions. Being honest with your insurance provider is always the smart move. 

That being said, the best practice is to not speed by eliminating the need to hurry.  The time saved by speeding and the risk of fines and accidents outweigh arriving at your destination 15 minutes earlier by cruising over the posted limit. The available traffic and navigation apps such as Waze and Google maps have effectively made travel planning into a science making selecting the quickest and the best route to get to your destination simple and stress-free leaving little room to rationalize speeding in today’s commuter traffic.