Speeding tickets are one of the most common driving tickets issued in Ontario. While speeding is something you should avoid doing, sometimes it happens. The roads are clear, and in good condition, and you give the car a little extra gas. While it may get you to your destination faster, it ultimately increases your risks as a driver – and to others, as well. As such, you can find yourself pulled over to the side of the road by a police officer and receive a ticket. Speeding tickets can have a significant effect on your auto insurance and driving record, but few people know just what that impact might be. Today, we’ll be sharing everything you need to know about speeding tickets and your auto insurance.

How speeding tickets affect your insurance

Many factors go into calculating your insurance premium. These include how long you’ve been driving, where you live, your age, and the make of your vehicle. But driving history counts too, and in a big way: the better your record, the lower your premium. The government also states that one minor infraction should not affect your rates. Note the word “should” here, as your insurance company can still choose to charge you more based on just one minor ticket. But in general, if you’ve had two tickets in the past three years, even for small offenses, your premium may rise. Subject to regulatory approval, each insurance company will use its own set of rules and standards to rate speeding tickets and other traffic violations

Rate increases

Your insurance rate is based on many different variables, so the increase will vary based on the number and severity of traffic violations you may have.

Here are some examples:

  • Speeding fines and other minor infractions: 10% increase. That’s for things like failing to signal, failing to yield, obstruction of a licence plate, or driving too slowly.
  • Distracted driving and other major infractions: 25% increase. That’s for things like distracted driving, false statements of insurance, failing to report an accident, or speeding in a construction zone.
  • Serious or criminal driving convictions: 100% increase. This is for things like racing, failing to remain at the scene of an accident, criminal negligence, or driving under the influence.

Most speeding tickets are for minor offenses, but the ticket can dramatically affect your insurance rates. When you receive a ticket, you should consider fighting to keep it off your insurance and to save any demerit points.

The insurance companies only find out about a speeding ticket when:

  • You pay for the ticket
  • You choose not to fight the ticket
  • If found guilty by the court

Your insurer only learns of the ticket after you have been convicted and the ticket appears on your driving abstract. When you renew your auto insurance, that is generally when your insurer will look at your record and determine whether or not to increase your rates. With a speeding ticket, they will likely increase your rates. It’s important to know that different types of tickets are broken down by how fast you are driving.

How long will a speeding ticket affect my auto insurance in Ontario?

A ticket in Ontario will remain on your driving record for three years from the date you paid or are found guilty in court. As such, it will affect your insurance premiums during that time. The more driving tickets you accumulate during that timeframe, the more costly it will be. Tickets hurt your ability to access cheap auto insurance in Ontario. If you want to see your driver’s record, you can order one online.

Should I fight a speeding ticket?

If you believe that the speeding ticket you were issued was wrong, you should fight the ticket. If you have been issued a ticket, you should inform your insurance company. Most people who decide to fight a speeding ticket and win do so because of legal technicalities. The police officer who issues you the speeding ticket must prove who, what, when, where, and how the ticket was issued. Knowing the law in-depth is what helps fight a speeding ticket.

Does the speed you are charged with affect your auto insurance differently?

Speeding tickets and how fast you are going will affect your Ontario auto insurance premiums differently. The fine you face from a ticket is also different based on how fast you drive above the posted speed limit. As per the Ontario courts, the following fines are issued for speeding:

  • 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 comes with a court-decided fine

There are higher speeding fines issued if you were speeding in a Community Safety Zone. Those fines are:

  • 1-19km/h over the speed limit is a $5.00/km speeding fine
  • 20-29km/h over the speed limit is a $7.50/km speeding fine
  • 30-49km/h over the speed limit is a $12.00/km speeding fine
  • 50km/h over the speed limit comes with a court-decided fine

The faster the speed of your issued ticket, the greater the impact it will have on your insurance premiums.

I have multiple speeding tickets. What is a high-risk driver? 

Too many speeding tickets or one major conviction can get your insurance canceled. You may also require specialized insurance for being a high-risk driver. Whether or not this happens to you will vary based on your provider and their rules about the number of convictions they will accept. Many Canadian drivers underestimate the insurance repercussions of speeding tickets. Reports show that 27% of traffic fatalities on roads are the direct result of speeding, yet many continue to drive well beyond the speed limit.

How many demerit points come with an Ontario speeding ticket?

Demerit points are the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s way of determining driver quality. If someone acquires too many demerit points, the Ministry can choose not to renew your licence. Any demerit points you gain during your driving remain on your record for three years. Three points will be awarded for speeding 29 km over the limit, while six demerit points will be given if caught speeding 50+ km.

Demerit points do not directly impact your car insurance rates in Ontario – but tickets do. If you acquire too many demerit points, the Ministry can suspend your licence. If your licence is suspended, your insurance company is not obligated to provide you with coverage.

How much can you go over the speed limit?

By law, anything over the official speed limit is liable for a speeding ticket. However, the police usually offer a buffer of 10% plus 2 km/hr above the speed limit, though this is entirely at their discretion. So, for example, travelling at 35km/hr or above in a 30km/hr zone will be recorded as a speeding offence.

Can I pay my speeding ticket online?

Yes. Most areas have their own online portals that enable you to pay for driving tickets online. While most areas have this, some areas do not need you to pay for your ticket in person. Some areas that allow you to pay for a ticket online include:

How do I pay for a lost speeding ticket?

If your ticket was issued in Ontario, you have many options to find out if you have tickets on your licence, and pay them:

  • Online – Using a site like paytickets.ca or a court-specific website. (Check Ticket Lookup for more info).
  • Phone – All courts offer the ability to pay your fine over the phone. This generally requires a credit card.
  • Mail – There are instructions on the ticket for payment by mail. This usually involves sending a cheque by regular mail. Be sure to check that the court receives it to avoid further issues or possible licence suspension. 
  • In-person – You can physically attend the court that the ticket is linked to and pay your ticket during normal business hours.

At isure, we compare the rates of dozens of the best insurance providers in Ontario to give you a great rate and policy. Before contacting us, we recommend using the Online Ticket Lookup to either inquire into the status of your ticket or find out about additional payment options for your specific ticket. 

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