How traffic violations affect your insurance


Pay attention
Traffic violations can be costly, resulting in demerit points that could cause you to need high-risk auto insurance or even, in extreme cases, keep you from driving at all. Many drivers commit the odd minor traffic violation at some point in their driving history, contributing to the thousands of traffic tickets issued to Canadian drivers each year. But what’s important in order to help keep your insurance premiums from skyrocketing is to follow the rules of the road to help prevent speeding tickets and possible collisions. Practicing good driving habits won’t only help keep you safe, but can also have a significant impact on your insurance premiums.

Traffic tickets
There are three classes of traffic tickets that impact your auto insurance premiums: minor, major and serious convictions. Relatively minor tickets, such as failing to signal, or going 10-15 km/hour over the speed limit, may not have as serious an impact on your premiums. In fact, some insurance companies will forgive you for your first offense. But two or more tickets for the same offense will likely increase your rates, with varying degrees of increases depending on the frequency of the traffic or speeding ticket. Major offenses, including driving more than 50 km/hour over the speed limit or driving with no insurance, will increase your rates to a much higher degree than minor offenses or make it harder for you to get coverage. A serious offense, such as driving impaired or careless driving, will likely increase your rate or could even lead to your complete loss of coverage.

A car accident is very likely to increase your insurance premiums, especially if you’re at fault. Accidents stay on your driving record for a full six years, meaning that you could end up paying higher premiums for a lengthy period of time. Luckily, some insurance companies offer an accident forgiveness plan for your first accident.

Parking tickets
While parking tickets can drain your wallet, they are not traffic violations and do not affect your driver’s license, insurance record or appear on your driver’s abstract. However, remember to pay them on time. Not paying your parking tickets could keep you from getting your license plate renewed.

Drive safely and shop around
In the end, the best way to avoid high auto insurance premiums is to be a safe and careful driver, and to shop around for the right plan.

Let PC® auto insurance do the work for you. Whether you drive a little or a lot, PC auto insurance offers a wide variety of comprehensive auto insurance solutions so there is sure to be one that fits your needs at a great rate. Contact us for a quote to see how we can help you find the right coverage for your particular driving habits.

How to make a claim

Call 1-877-251-8656 to speak with a Claims Advisor.

Renewing your policy

Call 1-877-251-8652 for information regarding policy renewal.

Buying a new policy

Call 1-866-660-9035 for information on obtaining a quote.

Need help?

Take a look at the top 5 FAQs:

  • What are my choices in terms of auto coverage?

    What are my choices in terms of auto coverage?

    If you own or drive a vehicle in Canada, you must be insured. Different provinces have different requirements, but the four mandatory elements of auto insurance are:

    1. Liability - if you cause an accident and someone sues you
    2. Accident benefits - if you or someone in your vehicle is hurt in an accident
    3. Direct compensation – property damage (Ontario only)- if your vehicle gets damaged (and it's determined you're not at-fault or only partly at-fault)
    4. Uninsured motorist - if you're in an accident with an uninsured or hit-and-run driver
  • How do I reduce my insurance costs?

    How do I reduce my insurance costs?

    There are several things you can do to reduce your insurance premium costs:

    1. Work on your driving record
      Here's an easy, yet effective way to bring down your insurance costs: build a consistent accident and conviction-free track record with an insurance company.
    2. Choose your automobile wisely
      Do your research before you invest in a new car. Read consumer reports, and check with your insurance company to find out which cars tend to be targets for theft and vandalism. Remember, if you buy a car with a high theft rate, your premium will be higher.
    3. Adjust how you use your car
      By adjusting the way you use your vehicle, you can also bring down the cost of your insurance rates. If you live in a metropolitan area:
      • can you take the subway, train or bus to work?
      • has your job changed, or have you moved recently?
      • do you use your automobile to drive a short distance to work?
      • does your vehicle get used for low annual kilometers?
        If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be entitled to lower insurance costs. Another consideration is whether you let others use your car. It is sometimes possible to exclude certain high-risk drivers from your policy so that good drivers are not penalized with a higher premium.
    4. Choose a higher deductible
      If you choose a higher deductible up front, your premiums will be lower.
    5. Review your coverage
      Take a closer look at your coverage to make sure you're not paying for things you don't need.
  • How can I earn PC Optimum points?

    How can I earn PC Optimum points?

    When you use your President's Choice Financial Mastercard to pay your PC auto insurance premium, you'll get 20 PC Optimum points per dollar of your premium.

  • Are other drivers insured to drive my car?

    Are other drivers insured to drive my car?

    Yes, as long as he/she has your permission to drive the vehicle, has a valid driver's licence and has not been specifically excluded from driving the vehicle. However, all licensed drivers in your household must be listed on your policy—regardless of how often they use your vehicle.

  • What is a deductible?

    What is a deductible?

    A deductible is the amount that you agree to pay towards the repair or replacement of your vehicle before your insurance pays the rest. You choose your deductible amount when you purchase your auto insurance. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.

See all Auto Insurance FAQs


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