This past weekend’s a terrible accident on Vaughan roads reminded us of the perils of drinking and driving and the great human loss that comes with it. More and more lately it seems that distracted driving is in the news since it has passed impaired driving in the total number of road fatalities in Ontario. We must not forget that impaired driving is still a senseless crime. Here are some of the Ontario car insurance implications associated drinking and driving that the other articles won’t tell you.
Ontario Car Insurance Non-Renewal
Being convicted of impaired driving is a serious criminal code conviction that will result in an automatic non-renewal of any regular market Ontario car insurance policy. This means that you will have to move your car insurance to a high risk car insurer. There are only 6 high risk Ontario car insurance companies so right away your options to find a competitive rate become very limited.
Ontario Car Insurance Surcharges
Depending on your insurer, a DUI conviction carries a number of surcharges to your Ontario car insurance premium that can be anywhere from 50% to 100%. That means if you are already with a high risk insurer, your car insurance rate could double right away at renewal.
Compounding the Problem
If you were involved in an accident in combination with your DUI, or if you get an additional conviction such as careless driving or speeding, your insurance rates can spiral out of control. It is not uncommon to see someone with a combination of factors see rates increase by 500% or more. Since accidents stay on your record for 6 years and convictions stay on for 3 years, you could be paying thousands of additional dollars more over several years.
Ontario Car Insurance Does Not Cover Impaired Driving
If you’re charged with impaired driving, your accident will not be covered. Ontario car insurance policies do not cover illegal activity like impaired driving. So for those who cause an accident while impaired, they are stuck with footing the claim bill as well.
We ran some test cases with an average person with a clean driving record paying $1100 annually for insurance on one car. When an impaired charge was added, the rates went up on by $700 per year on average. The insurance implications are often worse than the fines incurred.
Is this fair?
Are Ontario car insurance rates too high for those convicted of impaired driving? Are they not high enough? We would love to hear your feedback.