Do Parking Tickets Affect Auto Insurance Rates or Your Driving Record in Ontario?
Parking tickets do not affect your auto insurance rates in Ontario, directly, but not paying them, or paying them late, could invalidate your driver’s license. Many people drive with expired or suspended driver’s licenses without even knowing! Hmmm, makes me wonder if the mail delivered by the Ministry of Transportation is going to the “right” addresses. Parking tickets also do not affect your driving record for insurance rating purposes.
Driving with a suspended, lapsed, or expired driver’s license is an exclusion from the Ontario Automobile Policy, OAP 1 because it’s an illegal use of a vehicle. A condition in the auto policy is that you must drive within the law. Driving with an expired, lapsed, or suspended license is unauthorized by law, therefore your insurance claim can be denied. Driving a vehicle with an incorrect class of driver’s license is treated the same! Worse yet, you would also have to burden the cost of your own damages, including the damages you cause to others. It’s stated in the auto policy four times. Knowing this to be accurate, consider the following scenarios:
1. You get pulled over for a moving violation. You weren’t even aware that your driver’s license was expired until the Police Officer advised you of your unpaid Parking Tickets that led to the suspension. You slap yourself on the head with the disbelief that you had every intention to pay your parking tickets on time, but forgot all about them, darn! The conviction is driving without a valid license, which insurance companies in Ontario regard as serious/criminal (I know it’s technically not a violation of the Criminal Code of Canada, but the conviction is rated almost the same). That alone will put you in the High-Risk Insurance bracket. This could happen to anyone for simply, forgetting to pay the fine, or for procrastinating too long, OR, not providing the proper address to your insurance company or MTO. How is a letter from the MTO or Insurance Company supposed to reach you, if the address you provided to them isn’t up to date or incorrect?
2. You cause an At Fault accident with a suspended, driver’s license. Your auto insurance claim will probably be denied, and you would also be responsible for the damages you cause to others. As in the first scenario, the ticket alone would launch you into High-Risk territory, but in this situation, there is also a great chance that you may also get another ticket for the cause of the accident. That’s two tickets and the financial responsibility of paying out of your own pocket for your damages, as well as the damages caused to others.
The lesson here is quite obvious, which is to always pay for your parking tickets on time and ensure you are driving with a valid driver’s license! Not doing so can cost you a lot more, later on!