It can happen to the best of us – with the radio turned up and your mind on your destination, you don’t notice you’ve exceeded the posted speed limit until you see cruiser lights flashing in your rearview mirror. If you find yourself in this situation, the following is a brief overview of how receiving a speeding ticket can affect both your driving record and insurance rates.
Does a speeding ticket affect auto insurance rates?
The short answer – yes – receiving a speeding ticket will affect your auto insurance rates. When you receive a speeding ticket, you have two options: 1) accept responsibility and demerit points, and pay the fine or 2) fight the ticket.
Option 1 – Paying the fine and accepting demerit points
If you choose to accept responsibility for not adhering to the Highway Traffic Act, your violation gets reported to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation upon payment of the fine and is noted on your driving record. Typically, your insurance rates don’t increase until you are renewing your auto insurance and your insurer is calculating your new insurance rates. Demerit points themselves do not affect auto insurance rates in Ontario, but if you receive too many demerit points and your license is suspended, your insurance company reserves the right to deny coverage.
Option 2 – Fighting the speeding ticket
If you believe that you were wrongfully ticketed for speeding, you can choose to fight the ticket. Speeding is one of the few absolute liability offences in the Highway Traffic Act. This means that police officers don’t have to prove intent to speed in order to ticket you, they only have to prove that you were, in fact, driving faster than the posted speed limit. Because of this, many people opt to hire a team of legal specialists to do this for them. In-depth knowledge of the legal system and its technicalities is an asset in reducing a speeding ticket or having a charge withdrawn.
How will a speeding ticket affect my auto insurance rate?
In Ontario, your auto insurance rate will be affected 3 years from when you were found guilty in court. The more tickets you accrue in that period of time, the higher your rates will be.
Additionally, it is important to note that the faster you were driving when you received the ticket, the higher your auto insurance premiums will be.
Currently, Ontario courts issue the following fines:
- 1-19km/h over the speed limit is a $2.50/km speeding fine
- 20-29km/h over the speed limit is a $3.75/km speeding fine
- 30-49km/h over the speed limit is a $6.00/km speeding fine
- 50+km/h over the speed limit – a case-by-case court decided fine
- Speeding fines are higher if you were speeding in a community safety zone.
If you have any questions about how a speeding ticket might affect your insurance rates, get in touch with your insurance broker at Regal Insurance today.