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How Do Demerit Points Affect Insurance In Ontario?

Every driver in Ontario starts off with zero demerit points when they get their driver’s license. Only by breaking traffic laws will drivers accumulate tickets and corresponding demerit points onto their record which in turn affects their insurance rates and the status of their license. And since some traffic violations carry more demerit points than others, it is important to understand the rules regarding demerit points in Ontario and how to protect yourself from obtaining them. 

How Demerit Points Are Applied

Based on the severity of the traffic violation, you can expect to accumulate demerit points to a maximum of 15 for a Class G driver,  at which point your license will be suspended. Drivers with a class G1 or G2 licence  will have their licence suspended when they accumulate 9 points, or one conviction that carries 4 points or more. Below is a list of infractions in Ontario and the demerit points that follow onto your record:

Seven demerit points

  • Committing a hit-and-run.

  • Not stopping when signaled by a police officer.

Six demerit points

  • Reckless driving.

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/h or more.

  • Street racing.

  • Not stopping for a school bus.

Four demerit points

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 30-49 km/h.

  • Tailgating.

Three demerit points

  • Distracted driving (most commonly texting and driving).

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 16-29 km/h.

  • Driving the wrong way.

  • Driving on a closed road.

  • Driving through or around a railway crossing barrier.

  • Not obeying stop signs, traffic control signs or traffic lights.

  • Not yielding the right-of-way.

  • Refusing to obey a police officer.

  • Improper passing.

  • Improper use of HOV lanes.

Two demerit points

  • Improper right or left turns.

  • Any prohibited turns.

  • Failure to obey signs and stop at pedestrian crossings.

  • Refusing to use your signal lights.

  • Going in reverse on a highway.

  • Failure to wear a seatbelt and ensure passengers under 16 wear seat belts.

  • Failure to ensure infants or children under 50lbs are secured or in a booster seat.

Demerit Points and My Insurance Rates

It is important to note that ALL traffic convictions affect your insurance rates and not the demerit points associated with those convictions. A few convictions don’t carry any demerit points (eg. speeding less than 15 kms over the  limit) but they still affect the cost of your insurance.  In addition, demerit points come off after 2 years, but the conviction is on your record  for 3 years.

The Ontario Government uses the demerit point system to determine which drivers are eligible to drive in our province. Based on this system, insurance companies can assess the risk in covering a driver with specific violations that are reflected by the demerit points on their record.   

There are three categories of driving convictions:

Minor driving convictions: (e.g. speeding, failing to signal, not wearing a seat belt).

  • The most common violations

  • May not impact your insurance rates, but repeated convictions will (even as much as 25% to your premium rate per infraction).

Major driving convictions: (e.g. not reporting an accident, not stopping for school buses, or driving uninsured).

  • Rare violations, but very serious.

  • Your rates will rise sharply if you are convicted for such severe infractions.

Criminal driving convictions: (e.g. drunk driving, racing, or dangerous driving).

  • The most serious of convictions.

  • Criminal violations result in having your insurance policy canceled outright.

Feel free to contact our staff who can answer any of your questions regarding your driving record and its impact on your insurance rates.