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Convictions: How do they impact your auto insurance?

Dec 31, 2022 12:06:16 PM

Conviction can be a bit of a scary word. In this context, convictions are not quite as dramatic as the a Law and Order kind of convictions. In this case, a conviction refers to a driving conviction on your record. A driving conviction is when you get a pullover ticket where you were cited by the police for breaking the law.

*Note that only pull over tickets caused by your driving behaviour will impact your insurance. 

What's the difference between a pullover ticket and a photoradar ticket?

A photoradar ticket, while expensive, does not result in demerits, nor does it impact your insurance premiums. A photoradar ticket cannot determine who was the driver of the vehicle, therefore it cannot with 100% certainty hold the guilty party accountable. 

PhotoRadar Guy

A pullover ticket may result in demerits against your licence, depending on what the ticket was for. In this case, the officer can hold the guilty party responsible. Even if you are driving someone else's vehicle, if you get pulled over, you are responsible for what happens. 

Convictions for Driving Behaviour

What is a "driving behaviour" conviction? Driving behaviour convictions are the same activities that can give you demerits. Things like speeding, distracted driving, tailgating, and stunting are all behavioral convictions that can impact your premiums. Convictions that are not behavioural like driving without registration or having a burned tail light. While it is still a requirement for you to get registration and to have all of your lights functioning, if you were to get a pullover ticket, it would not impact your insurance premiums. 

What Kind of tickets DO Impact your insurance?

  • Speeding
  • Traffic lane violation (ex. improper passing)
  • Stopping (ex. failure to stop at stop sign)
  • Cross walk violations (ex. fail to yield to a pedestrian in crosswalk)
  • Distracted driving
  • Careless driving
  • Stunting
  • Others (based on driving behaviour)

WHat kind of tickets don't impact your insurance?

  • Parking tickets
  • Photoradar tickets
  • Vehicle performance tickets (ex. burned lights)
  • Others (not based on driving behaviours)

Parking Ticket

Conviction Date Vs. Occurrence Date

A driving conviction will stay on your record for 3 years from the date of the conviction. Like the name would suggest, the occurrence date is the day that the infraction takes place. The conviction date is the day that the conviction is paid. The reason that they work off of the conviction date is because that is the date that you officially plead guilty for that offense. If you plan on paying the fine, you should do so as soon as possible so as to not prolong the amount of time the conviction is on your record. 

An example: Say you're going out on May long weekend, you're driving from Edmonton to Calgary to visit some family. May 14, on your way down to Calgary, you get pulled over going 125Km/h in a 110km/h stretch of road. May 14 would become the occurrence date. If you pay the fine online or at a registry office on May 15, that would become the conviction date. You would have that speeding conviction on your insurance record for three years from the conviction date. 

How much do convictions impact my insurance premiums?

It really depends on the conviction. A conviction for distracted driving is often seen as a major offense (similar to a DUI conviction) and will have a very large impact on your premiums. A speeding infraction under 19km/h has the typical cost increase of around 15% for your premiums. For more information on how much your insurance premiums can change with convictions, checkout the article on the cost of aggressive driving

Empty Wallet

Are you conviction free for the last 3 years?

If you've gone 3 or more years without a conviction on your record, you could find savings on your car insurance. Contact one of the brokers at Armour Insurance today, to get a quote on your auto insurance. 

Call us 1-855-475-0959 or Quote Online

Topics: Auto Insurance
Jake McCoy

Written by Jake McCoy


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