Canadian Man Learns the Hard Way How Fast Car Insurance Costs Can Rise
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When it comes to car insurance, a few minor driving infractions can lead to a major price increase. This might be worrying news: with most people overpaying for their insurance, rates already feel sky-high.
Tyler Marchildon, a 26-year-old from Ontario, Canada, learned this lesson the hard way. After several driving mishaps, Marchildon is expecting his car insurance to more than double, spiking from $4,000 to $8,500 annually.
For Marchildon, the timing couldn’t have been worse. This insurance hike might sabotage his planned move from Guelph, Ontario to Mississauga, Ontario, a city with one of the highest insurance rates in Ontario. In Mississauga, Marchildon would be paying $14,291 per year—more than three times what he was paying before.
Car insurance can rise fast from just a few minor infractions.
Minor infractions can lead to major spikes in car insurance
How did this young man manage to double his insurance rates in less than a year? The most significant of Marchildon’s driving infractions was an at-fault collision, in which he damaged another vehicle by backing into it. Additionally, he has two charges of speeding and two charges of failure to show proof of car insurance.
Marchildon’s charges could have been much worse. His charge of failure to provide proof of car insurance is a far less serious infraction than driving without car insurance, which would have resulted in a fine of $5,000-$50,000.
Debbie Arnold, a broker who works for Sound Insurance, said in an interview with Driving that Marchildon’s insurance rates will likely go back down soon, as long as he doesn’t rack up any additional charges. “Convictions remain on record for three years only in Ontario and therefore can only be rated for three years,” Arnold told Driving. “Only license suspension can be rated for up to six years, as per the standard Ontario automobile application.”
How can this Ontario driver lower his car insurance?
According to Arnold, Marchildon may be able to get his “pink slip” charges removed, as long as he’s able to prove in court that he has insurance. “This particular individual should fight the ‘fail to carry insurance card’ tickets, and he had an option to open them for appeal,” Arnold said to Driver. “When he does so, he has to notify the MTO so that they are removed from his record until the appeal is heard.”
Arnold also offered a useful workaround for Marchildon’s at-fault collision charge. According to Ontario’s 2016 Minor Collision Guideline, as long as the damage to the other driver’s vehicle totalled under $2,000 and no one was injured, Marchildon has the option to pay for the damages out-of-pocket. If Marchildon chooses this option, his insurance company wouldn’t be able to rate the charge.
The fact is, it only takes four minor infractions to result in a 25% insurance bump. Keeping your insurance low has proven near impossible, especially in Ontario. So how can drivers hope to mitigate their costs?
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