Oh, the dreaded demerit point – the countdown to license suspension. The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) tracks the amount of points related to your conviction, and when they hit a certain threshold, your license is suspended. But how do demerit points affect your insurance?

The quick answer is: not at all! That’s right, demerit points do not affect your insurance premium. You have probably been told that if you fight your ticket to reduce your points, it will help your insurance rate. However, there are some details that make this untrue.

As I said, demerit points are related to your conviction. Therefore, the more serious the conviction, the more demerit points you will gain. With that said, demerit points – in an indirect way – do affect your insurance. The most important thing to know about insurance is whether the conviction is minor, major, serious, or criminal in nature. These categories are how insurance companies rate you for your conviction. Certain minor convictions carry no demerit points. Many people assume that no points means no impact to insurance rates, but as long as one is pulled over by an officer and is issued a ticket of any sort, it will affect their insurance.

Because of this, many insurers nowadays have added a coverage plan called ‘conviction protection’. This is similar to ‘accident forgiveness’, as it allows the insured to not be affected by the first conviction they acquire while insured. Insurers also understand the traffic court system. They know that the majority of tickets being fought get reduced. That does not excuse the fact that a driver was acting carelessly while operating their vehicle. Therefore, any conviction is ratable. So, the next time that an officer says they reduced your charge to avoid your insurance from going up, you now know this is not the case. Maybe you can skip that day in court, and save that personal day off from work.

Drive safely, my friends!