Sure, we're all "great" drivers right? Not paying attention to your speed, not noticing the radar trap ahead, or the cruiser behind you, however, means you might not be paying attention to other things that could end you up in a serious crash. It's all about paying attention and being aware while you are behind the wheel.
Fair or not, agree or disagree, statistics show that drivers who get tickets are more likely to be involved in a crash. For this reason, insurance companies give the most preferred rates to those who do not get convictions. Whether this is because of respect for the law, good driving, or just good luck, conviction-free drivers continue to have the fewest crashes and pay less for their insurance.
Even the best of us occasionally get distracted and it can be costly. Consider the driver who only gets one minor i.e. no points, speeding, or similar infraction per year over 3 years. Based on current Toronto rates (11/09) for a mature driver (50+) with no claims and driving an '09 Buick to work (and with no other discounts), the base premium with NO tickets will be in the area of $2200 annually. Now, add one minor ticket per year and that same situation results in an annual premium of $4500. Add one more ticket for a total of 4 over 3 years and that premium goes to a whopping $5969! And, these are minor, no demerit point tickets such as speeding 10 over (even if the police officer says "it won't count"…it does!). More serious convictions e.g. school bus, or criminal code convictions e.g. over .08, can send your premiums into the stratosphere. We're pretty sure you have something better to do with $12,000 right?
Sure, there are always exceptions – drivers who get tickets yet never had a crash or those that have the occasional crash, who have never have had a ticket. The bottom line is that insurers need to rely on actuarially sound statistics and the conviction to claims relationship continues to make this a major factor in determining equitable insurance rates.
So, it's all really very simple. Pay attention and don't break the law. Think about how much more money you will have for your retirement savings instead of sending it to your car insurer!
The Insurance Advisors @ Guthrie Insurance Brokers Ltd
Toronto – (416) -487-5200 – Richmond Hill – (905)