Does your car insurance go up if you get a ticket?
April 17, 2019. Getting a traffic ticket is bad enough, and if you’re like many Alberta drivers, you might put off paying it until you renew your license, at which point you may end up paying more. But now you’ve repaid your debt to society and it’s done with, right? Wrong. A traffic ticket will affect your driving record for 3 years and can raise your insurance.
Which tickets affect your driving record?
- Parking tickets do not go on your driving record. Because a parking ticket (or a ticket like a broken tail light) is not a moving violation, it will not affect your record but you still need to pay it before you are able to renew your registration. If you don’t renew your registration, your license will be suspended and that will show up on your driving record.
- Photo radar tickets or other automated enforcement tickets will not go on your driving record.
- Moving violations will show up on your driving record and can stay there for 3 years after the day you were convicted (not the day you got the ticket).
Common traffic violations
- Speeding tickets are the most common traffic infraction and one of the most common causes of accidents. It can get you anywhere from 2 demerit points for speeding 1-15km/hr to 6 demerits for going 51km/hr or higher above the speed limit. Driving 50 km/hr or more over the speed limit can also get you up to a $2000 fine and can get your license suspended. A fully licensed driver can have their license suspended after getting 15 demerit points and a GDL driver will have their license suspended with 8 demerit points.
- Careless driving is common and easier to fight in court than other tickets because the definition is less specific but it’s still dangerous and can get you 6 demerit points.
- Running a red light causes many accidents and is a common ticket because of red light cameras. It will get you 3 demerits.
- Rolling through stop signs is another common mistake. It can be tempting when there’s no one else at the intersection but if you miss seeing a pedestrian it can end in disaster and will get you 3 demerit points.
- Not wearing a seat best is also a common ticket. Seatbelts save lives and are required by law in all provinces. You will not get any demerits but it can still affect your insurance.
- Making an improper turn is also common. It makes other drivers unable to anticipate what you’re going to do and can cause an accident. You will get 2 demerit points for making an improper turn.
Do tickets raise your insurance?
The number of demerit points you have doesn’t affect your insurance rate in Alberta but the number and severity of tickets you get does. The tickets that make you seem risky to insure will raise your rate the most. Your insurer finds out about your tickets when your policy is up for renewal by checking your driving record.
How can you keep your rate from increasing after you get a ticket?
There’s no sure way of keeping your rate from rising but you can try moving all your insurance policies to one insurer and getting a discount. You can also get quotes from different insurance companies and see which one is the best for someone who has a few tickets. Because your insurance doesn’t increase until your policy is renewed, you will probably have some time to shop around. You can also get your driver abstract from any registry to find out what’s on it and make sure that any infractions were removed at the appropriate date.
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