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If you want to drive on any Canadian roadway, you need to have car insurance. How much you will pay for your insurance is dependent on several key factors. But perhaps the greatest predictor of your insurance rate is your driving record. Specifically, insurers are interested in how many accidents you’ve been in and how many tickets you’ve received. Generally speaking, if you have three or more convictions, or a combination of a minor, major and/or serious convictions, this may mean that your company will likely not renew your policy. You may need high risk auto insurance. But is there affordable car insurance for high risk drivers? Does it exist? Let’s examine how to get the most affordable high-risk car insurance for drivers.

Factors that affect auto insurance rates

There are many factors that go into calculating your insurance premiums. Here are just a few:

  • Personal details: Factors, such as your age, gender and level of driver’s license, play a role in your premiums.
  • Your location: Where you live influences how much auto insurance you pay. If you live in the downtown core, you have a higher risk of theft, accidents and damages. This increases the number of overall claims for your area, therefore increasing premiums.
  • The make, model and production year of your vehicle: Your vehicle is as unique as you are. Therefore, the way it affects your premiums is unique, as well.
  • Amount and type of usage: Hardly driving your car during the pandemic? You may qualify for lower car insurance rates. Some auto insurance companies offer telematics solutions to help you save more.

Your driving record has the most influence over your premium rates. Good drivers are rewarded accordingly. If you have many infractions on your record, the above factors can’t do much to prevent you from paying a higher price.

Who qualifies as a high-risk driver?

A high-risk driver is someone who has three or more convictions, or a combination of a minor, major and/or serious convictions. Some examples of convictions are:

  • A conviction for offences, such as driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol or reckless driving
  • Multiple speeding tickets
  • More than one recent at-fault collision
  • Multiple claims
  • Stunt driving
  • Poor payment history or policy cancellation

If you are considered high risk, your access to cheap auto insurance is limited. Instead, you must seek out high-risk auto insurance. High-risk insurance premiums are much higher than regular auto insurance.

How much more do the premiums for high-risk auto insurance cost?

The truth is there’s no such thing as cheap insurance for high-risk drivers. You can expect to pay more than the average premium if an insurance company deems you a high-risk driver. The premiums may vary based on the provider, but you can expect to pay at least anywhere from 25% to 250% more than a low-risk driver.

How to get a lower premium as a high-risk driver

If you find yourself in the high-risk insurance category, the most important thing to do is to concentrate on becoming a safer driver. In order to ultimately see your premiums reduce, you will need to ensure you stay several years without either a traffic conviction or an at-fault accident. Afterwards, insurance companies may consider you a lower risk and decrease your premiums accordingly.

Another way to get affordable high-risk car insurance driver is to take advantage of discounts. Most insurance companies offer discounts that allow you to save, such as:

  • Bundle both your car and house with the same company. This can typically get you at least a 5% discount.
  • Insure multiple vehicles: Having more than one vehicle insured through the same company also gives you some discount options.
  • Install a safety device: Reduces the chances of the car being stolen.
  • Increase your deductible: A sign you won’t make frivolous claims.

Am I still insurable?

High-risk drivers face higher insurance premiums than the average driver. In addition, not every provider will insure a high-risk driver. Some insurance companies will not insure drivers they deem to be high-risk. They will either not issue a policy in the first place or decide not to renew an existing policy if they believe there is an increase in the driver’s risk. However, many large insurance companies nowadays will offer policies to riskier drivers.

Companies that offer car insurance for high risk drivers

Given its size, population, and privatized market, it’s no surprise that Ontario has the most options for high-risk insurance. The number of insurance companies operating in the province means high-risk drivers have more of an opportunity to shop the market, compared to high-risk drivers in other provinces.

These are the companies offering high-risk insurance in Ontario:

  • Aviva
  • Facility Association
  • Travelers
  • Intact Insurance
  • Hagerty
  • Jevco
  • Perth Insurance
  • Pafco
  • Desjardins

In addition, there are non-standard insurers that specialize in providing insurance for high-risk drivers.

Facility Association Insurance

There are also specialty insurance (non-standard) companies dedicated to offering affordable car insurance for high risk drivers. In Ontario, car insurance can be obtained via the Facility. The Facility Association is often referred to as an insurer of last resort for high-risk drivers. It is an insurance pool that all auto insurance companies are members of. As long as you have a valid driver’s license and license plates, you should be able to get insurance through the Facility.

How do you get out of the high-risk category?

The good news is you won’t be stuck paying high-risk car insurance rates forever. In most provinces, driving infractions and tickets stay on your record for three years. However, demerit points remain on your record for longer; up to six years. While there’s nothing you can do to expedite the process, there are things you can do to be proactive so that one day, you’ll pay lower premiums:

  • Follow all traffic laws.
  • Don’t stunt drive.
  • Don’t get any traffic tickets – Driving for three years without a ticket can eventually lower your premium.
  • Gain driving experience – Consider taking a driving course and inform your insurer of this.
  • Never drive when you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Be accident-free for several years (at least six or more)
  • Pay your premiums on time.
  • Drive an insurance-friendly vehicle – no sport or luxury cars!
  • Use a broker – Our isure brokers work with multiple high-risk insurers. They will help you get insured and advise on how you can get back into more affordable coverage.
  • Pay a higher deductible.
  • Chose a scaled back policy – It will usually include limited liability insurance at the lowest legal limits.

Unfortunately, getting affordable car insurance for high risk drivers is difficult. You will pay significantly more for your coverage. By requesting a quote with isure, you can find the most affordable high-risk insurance compared to going directly to insurers. We compare the rates of dozens of the best insurance providers in Ontario to give you the best rate and policy.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and one of our isure brokers will be happy to answer any of your insurance questions!

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