It’s mandatory for all Canadian drivers to have car insurance. Unfortunately, if you’re considered a high-risk driver, there’s a chance that insurance companies may deny you coverage or that your current car insurance provider may not renew your policy. The reason for this is that insurance companies don’t want to insure you if there’s a high chance that you’ll need to make a claim. There are several reasons why you may be considered a high-risk driver, including a high number of traffic tickets, at-fault collisions, an impaired driving conviction, poor driving record, stunt driving, and more. If you’re considered a high-risk driver and an insurance company is still willing to provide you with coverage, you can expect your premium to be very high.
Who needs high-risk coverage?
There are several ways in which you may become a high-risk driver. If you fit one or many of the below criteria, you may be considered a high-risk driver and will require high-risk coverage.
- Traffic tickets
- At-fault accidents
- Impaired driving
- Stunt driving
- Reckless driving, many speeding tickets
Not Driving Related:
- Driving without coverage
- Missing payments
- Insurance cancellation
Where can I buy high-risk insurance?
It can be difficult to buy high-risk insurance as many auto insurance companies aren’t willing to offer coverage to these drivers. Many high-risk drivers turn to the Facility Association for coverage as a last resort.
Some insurers specialize in providing car insurance to high-risk drivers and are considered non-standard insurers. Below we have broken down high-risk car insurance by region.
In most western provinces, including BC, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, car insurance is run by the government. In Alberta, you can purchase high-risk car insurance from the following private insurance companies.
- Perth Insurance
- Facility Association
Compared to every other province, Ontario has the most options to choose from for high-risk car insurance. This can be attributed to its size, the number of drivers on the road, and populated market. Ontario’s large population means more drivers, which means more high-risk drivers.
In Ontario, high-risk car insurance is offered by the following companies:
- Intact Insurance
- Perth Insurance
- The Facility Association
You’ll find a mix of both public and private insurance providers in Quebec. While public insurance only covers minimum limits for bodily injury, coverage for property damage is provided through private companies. In Quebec you can only purchase high-risk insurance from Desjardins Insurance.
All insurance companies in the eastern provinces are completely private. High-risk auto insurance offered from the following companies.
- Desjardins Insurance
- Facility Association
- Perth Insurance
How long does it take to get out of the high-risk category?
Depending on the severity of your record, it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 years to get out of the high-risk category. In most provinces, driving infractions and traffic tickets typically stay on your record for 3 years while demerit points can remain on your record for up to 6 years.
While you may not be able to speed up the process, there are steps you can take to make sure that you will receive lower premiums down the road:
- Always obey traffic laws
- Don’t participate in stunt driving
- Don’t get any traffic tickets
- Take a driver’s education or defensive driving course to lower your risk and gain experience
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Remain accident-free for 6 or more years
- Don’t miss any insurance payments
Even if you’re considered a high-risk driver, this doesn’t mean that you need to settle for the first car insurance quote you receive. While you may feel at a loss, it is still always recommended to browse and compare quotes in order to find the best deal! And don’t forget, as long as you continue to practice safe driving, your premium will decrease over time.
How much extra do high-risk drivers have to pay?
If you’re a high-risk driver, you’ll always pay a higher premium compared to a low-risk driver. While you can always expect to pay more on average, your premium will still vary based on the insurance company. Depending on your risk factor, your premium can be anywhere for 25% to 250% more.
Cheap high-risk auto insurance
While everyone wants cheap car insurance, it’s highly unlikely that high-risk drivers will be able to find a low premium. It’s expected that high-risk drivers will need to make an insurance claim sooner than later, and in response, insurance companies will charge these drivers more.
While cheap car insurance is out of the question, there are still ways that you can lower your premium as a high-risk driver. For example, you may choose to purchase minimum coverage or increase your deductible, which is the amount that you will have to pay out of pocket when you need to make a claim. For example, if your deductible is $1000 and you make a claim for $7000 due to a collision, you will only be responsible for paying $1000 (assuming it is a valid claim). Other ways to lower your premium are taking a driver’s education or defensive driving course, installing winter tires or an anti theft device, and bundling policies.
What is the Facility Association?
Many high-risk drivers turn to the Facility Association for coverage. This is an insurance pool that all car insurance insurers belong to. Without the Facility Association, many high-risk drivers would be unable to receive coverage. While they’re an insurance solution for many high-risk drivers, these drivers won’t need to remain with the Facility Association forever. As time goes on, they’ll be able to shop around and compare rates from various insurance companies in order to find the best premium.