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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Insurance Issues...
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:51 am 
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On the mind of most recipients of a traffic ticket is, "What's this going to do to my insurance rate?"
The answer usually depends on the policies of the individual insurance companies. I recently had a sit-down with MY agent and tried to get as much info out of him as I could:

TICKETS:
1) "How far back do you check for tickets?"
- 3 years.
2) "Do you differentiate between Moving and Non-Moving violations?"
- Yes.
3) "Will an accumulation of Non-Moving violations raise my rates?"
- No.
4) "Do you differentiate between various Moving Violations?"
- No.
5) "How many moving violations can I have in a 3-year period?"
- Two will be allowed in a three year period.
- A third one will likely see an increase of about $100/yr. (until one ticket expires)
- Four or more and we will co-insure you with an associate company that gladly accepts 4+ tickets with very little increase."
- 5/6+ and you're looking at Facility Insurance (cha-ching!)

6) "How do you treat the new "50-over" charge?"
- You don't want THAT one!!
7) "Will the one-week lisence suspension be considered a "gap" in driving history (hence a steep premium hike) if the case is eventually dismissed at trial."
- If the charge is eventually beaten, we would ignore the "gap" and rates would not be affected by the road-side impoundment.
8.) "Will you raise rates based on what your client may SAY, as opposed to what the MTO record shows? (ie. client talks about how fast he drives but has no tickets)."
- We classify based on the factual record as maintained by the MTO, not what anyone says.
9) "Is it safe for a client to call you and discuss a recently received ticket or involvement in an accident, without fear of an immediate rate increase?"
- Yes. We usually recommend that they fight the ticket, or pay out the accident damage from ones own pocket. Rates will be based on actual at-fault claims and/or points registered with the MTO. Rates will not rise based on discussion alone.

ACCIDENTS: (for existing clients, not new applicants)
1) "How far back do you check for accidents?"
- 6 years.
2) "How will at-fault accidents affect my rates?"
- One accident in a 6-year period is forgiven, ie. no premium increase.
- The second accident within 6-years will increase your rate approx. $150/yr. (until the first one falls outside it's 6-year period).
- The third one will triple your rates!

3) "How are NEW applicants treated differently?"
- If a new client wants a quote, his ONE accident will be treated similar to an existing clients THIRD accident,. ie his rate would be about 3-times higher than a "clean" record. This is important to know... Some companies advertise how gracious they are by forgiving one accident if you switch to them. What most people don't know is that many of these so-called "generous" companies will cancel your policy after having that "first" accident. Now, when you go to get quotes from other companies, they all treat that one accident like the third for their existing clients and the quote is extremely high! It's prudent to see what your companies policies are BEFORE having that first accident. Most will already forgive that first one (and the majority of the second one as well).

It's important to note the numbers listed above are considered a total allowed by all family members listed on the policy. Therefore, if my wife has two speeding tickets, I can't get any, or our rates will go up a bit. Or we can each receive ONE, but then neither of us can get a second. TWO is the maximum allowed on the entire policy. Our oldest boy has now moved to Toronto so we promptly dropped him from our policy. It wouldn't be prudent to allow HIM to compile one or two tickets when it's likely I'LL be needing that safety net myself!! :)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:41 pm 
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Thanks for the rundown. It's basically what I already knew but an alarming number of motorists is unaware of these facts and believe that a 5 over ticket is treated differently by the insurance industry than a 35 over ticket.
I would like to offer some caveats...
1) Accident forgiveness depends on the company. Mine would increase the rate after the first accident (25+, otherwise clean), but it would be a nominal amount.
2) One of my previous insurers raised my rates by about 15-20% after 2 convictions (15 over and 5 over), back in 2002/3.
3) A few years back an IBC rep was interviewed on TV and stated that an insurer could in fact raise the premiums if one placed an inquiry such as "How much would my rates go up if I hit someone's car and caused $4000 worth of damage?" He even defended the practice using the standard b.s. "if you're asking about it, chances are it happened." That is why Aviva in particular is advertising the fact that they will only look at your actual record.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:58 pm 
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Hmm...the officer who gave me my last speeding ticket said he lowered it so I wouldn't get in as much trouble with the insurance company. That wasn't true?! Grumble grumble.

How about accidents where you are not at fault? Are they allowed to increase your rates for such claims (or remove a "no-claim discount")?

Also, many people believe that ALL parking lot accidents are 50/50 at-fault. This is not true - there are a few cases where one driver will be assigned 100% fault. If I remember correctly, it is when Driver A is in a throughfare and Driver B is entering it (from a parking space, etc.). Driver B will be held 100% at fault. I also think a driver is 100% at fault for hitting any parked cars.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:04 pm 
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Greatttt Post Bookm!

This is great stuff! I always wondered about insurance companies and how they worked.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:38 pm 
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He told me only at-fault accidents will work against you. You can be hit 6 times (as is my experience!) and your rates wont' be affected.

I stopped in a parking lot aisle once and prepared to back in to a spot. A guy in a big Land Rover backed right in to the side of me from the spot beside the empty one (couldn't see me over his big spare tire I guess. I told my insurance girl I would insist on a trial of some sort if ANY blame was to be placed on me (blame assessment makes me nervous in parking lots). She assured me I would be found 0% at fault, even though it was a parking lot.

One more point worth mentioning: We got a big stone in the windshield once and had to replace it. Our insurance company said this would be treated as our first accident claim (WHAT??!!). He told us to just get it fixed and give him the receipt. He then paid half in cash (no record / no claim). Weeeeird.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:12 pm 
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Just my two cents... What happens with your insurance largely depends on your provider. Some of them will, as FiReSTaRT mentioned, raise your rates upon any conviction; others have forgiveness; etc. They can raise your rates if you have not-at-fault collisions, depending on the carrier. The reason being, with Ontario's Direct Compensation insurance system, your insurer has to pay for your claim, then they can deal with the other person's carrier if necessary to re-coup some costs. But if you repeatedly get into collisions, they're paying a lot of money up-front, and view you as higher risk.

A broken windshield is usually treated as the equivalent of a claim, their idea being that if you got your windshield chipped/broken once, it will likely happen again. If you're driving a lot on gravel roads, or on really poorly maintained roads such as the 401's "Asteroid Alley" through Pickering (with all kinds of loose pavement being thrown up, making it like dodging a meteor shower), they view that as an increased risk for having to pay for another windshield... hence the rate increase after breaking a windshield. :shock:

Insurance companies can increase your rates if you are charged or convicted of an HTA offence in a collision, but determining who is at fault comes from the Fault Determination Rules, available here:

http://www.ibc.ca/en/car_insurance/docu ... -rules.pdf

Looking at the Fault Determination Rules, there are several examples where collisions in parking lots assign 100% responsibility to one driver.
It is possible to not be charged under the HTA but be held 100% at fault for a collision on a public road.

If you have a dispute with your insurance provider, you can take it to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), which oversees the insurance industry. FSCO, among other things, provides dispute resolution and arbitration services.

http://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:39 pm 
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It's important to note in the "ibc" documentation, it states, "where the position of the colliding vehicles can not be determined, each driver will be assessed 50% at fault."

So it the true offender lies, the innocent victim will promptly have an accident claim registered against them on their insurance policy! Still think a video camera running on the dash at all times is overkill?? hehe. Now maybe my winter car is just a tad overkill, LOL:
[youtube]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu1Pk4OAMSs[/youtube]

Oh.. and here's one that's securely mounted (not me):



Last edited by Bookm on Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:53 pm 
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Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!
Glad to see non-moving violations do nothing.

Insurance companies are all scam artists. Ever notice your insurance rates are based on your "area"??? That is a scam in itself.

My insurance rates are based in an "area" that area happens to include the 401.....which is carnage alley......even one transport writeoff is $250k for tractor, $100k for a trailer plus load could be millions of dollars, plus tow recovery which is $500 an hour, MTO reimbursement for damage, Fire Dept costs....so this on collision of $1 million dollars gets added to my "area" for insurance claims and I get punished for living in the area.

Wish they would go on a point system
- class of licence
(0 = no licence, 1= G1,M1, 2= G2,M2, 3 = full licence)
- years of driving
(0 = probationary licence G1,G2, M1, M2....then rate each year of licence with a point up to 10yrs)
- years of driving without a at fault collision (0-10 rating)
(0 = collision in within 1yr....up to 10 = no collision within 10yrs)
- tickets (0-10)
(10 minus each a point for each ticket received in past 5 yrs)
Special Review for those with high risk offences:
Impaired Conviction, Dangerous Driving and 6/7 point demerit point offence.

Then a section based on vehicle value for replacement
0-10k = 10 points
10k-20k = 9 points
20k-30k = 8 points
etc..

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:34 pm 
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Dam right.

Some people pay more insurance than the car is worth.

The problem is the regulators that set the rules.

They set the amounts that is "minimal etc".

Essentially it is not a free market system at all.

Therefore with these ridiculous claims tons of people are abusing the system, falling false claims, charging way more.

I heard a story of a guy who got in accident. He was afraid to make the claim. But his rates would raise anyone so the guy had tons of extra work done.

This *EDIT* goes on all the time.

Insurance rates are a rip off. I think the liability amount now is like 1 million???

I mean in some US states that is 100 000 $. Therefore these companies take huge write off's and therefore need to charge more to stay solvent.

It's the regulators that set the rules and amounts that cause the problem.

And to make it worse ALOT of people don't pay for insurance.

When your rates are around 3500-5000 a year and your car is worth less than 15 000 why pay? Alot of people in toronto do not pay. I heard some crazy numbers as to people that go un insured.

As a result guess what happens? The people that pay get screwed again for their rates.

Hwybear this is not pointed at you, but one reason why people have such distaste with the OPP is speeding tickets. The defacto limit on our highways is like 120 in most places. Let's say one day you go 125 km/hr and the officer is in a bad mood and tickets you.

It is not only the fine but the increase in insurance rates!!!!!!! People do not like this at all. In some ways your better off getting caught for trafficking drugs than getting caught for speeding financially speaking.

And no wonder why people hate 172 to so much.

What angers me is that 401 limit says 100 but everyone goes 120-130. So if you go 140 the ticket has slapped 40 over on it and not 10-20 over.

We get even more mad when we here officers getting away with speeding casually and when it goes to court they toss it out.

They lose no license, have their personal car taken away, or face the step insurance costs, and the impound fees of having the car put away.

Insurance is crazy and that is one reason why people have such distaste for speed enforcement, especially on big highways. No wonder people hated photo radar.

Hell if you get caught for speeding its not the ticket that is a big deal its the insurance!!!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:10 pm 
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Thanks for an informative post Bookm!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:13 pm 
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Paying more for insurance than your car is worth isn't all that ridiculous. You are actually insuring yourself against liability, along with repair/replacement costs if you have collision coverage.

For an old beater I would skip collision coverage and just stick to the accident coverage. Maybe get comprehensive.

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Last edited by Squishy on Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:15 pm 
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.....whether one believes the speed limit is too low or not, only the driver themself can be to blame for their speed. They know the limit, they chose to break it, they got caught, so pay the piper!

If someone drives at the speed limit guess what happens, no speeding ticket, no delay at roadside. Pretty simple concept to avoid penalties and insurance hikes, rather than reason after reason, excuse after excuse about a ticket.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:19 pm 
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hwybear wrote:
.....whether one believes the speed limit is too low or not, only the driver themself can be to blame for their speed. They know the limit, they chose to break it, they got caught, so pay the piper!

If someone drives at the speed limit guess what happens, no speeding ticket, no delay at roadside. Pretty simple concept to avoid penalties and insurance hikes, rather than reason after reason, excuse after excuse about a ticket.


Exactly. The problem I have with these "de-facto" speed limits is that it encourages those responsible (MTO?) to do nothing. The roads just magically 'work'. If everyone stuck to the limit, we'd be able to tell if 100 km/h is too low.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:33 pm 
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No the problem i have with the defacto limits is the officers drive them to.

Also many force around there.

It really bothers me when i see officers casually going 120-130 like everyone else like its okay.

it really bothers me when officers get charged for stunt driving and they get a slap on the wrist when they are not even on patrol, in range, or on call.

When the enforces of this rule drive 100, i will to.

Until then ill drive around 120 like most of the rest of us on the 400 series do around Toronto.

When i see the OPP guys in the right lane doing 100 km/hr then i will to.

Unfortunately i have never seen it.

Most officers i see are also 15-30 over on the highway to.

If someone is dying or you need to get somewhere fast you don't cruise at 120. Your going as fast as you can with your lights on and your sirens to get there in a hurry.

Lead by example.

If this was really the case Officers like Miss Fischer would be done. Unfortunately we never even got to hear what happened on march 24 th cause no one cared. They also never mentioned the time a few months back she blew into an old lady going 168 over a hill and had her case thrown out for a lack of evidence.

So while all the rest of the modern world tells me speed kills. Ill drive 120 next time to my destination with the flow of traffic like everyone else does when the flow of traffic permits it.

So set a speed limit and follow it.

If the sign says Maximum the enforcers of the rules should be the first to follow it.

I wonder how fast Fantino drives to work.

I think its a question of Ethics when an officer thinks he can get away with things cause he is an officer but any other citizen gets screwed over, fined, impounded, faces step insurance increases, you name it.

Lead by example. Do as you wish others to do. When i see that i will and maybe the rest of us will also.

100 km/hr is a joke on most piece of our 400 series highways.

I think alot of officers feel that way to. Thats probably also why they drive 120. Thats fine just next time you give a fine for 135 make sure it's 15 over not 35 over.

Nothing bothers me more then stuff like this.

A few weeks ago late at night on the 401 i watched an officer sit in the middle lane. He was doing about 125.

Another guy just edged past him about 1-2 km/hr over and he flicks the lights on. Meanwhile he was doing 125 himself.

I also wonder how Miss Heidi Fischer feels next time she gives a stunt racing charge for 50 over the max limit.

If i ever get a ticket i would love for it to be here. " Sir you were doing 125 in a 100 zone." "Hey aren't you the officer that got her car impounded for going 165?"

Another thing that bothers me about this whole speed = safety thing. I might buy that when your stopping street racers weaving through traffic.

But when i see a guy sitting on the side of the road at 3 am with a laser gun under a bridge with almost no cars on an empty 3 lane highway. Speed enforcement maybe, revenue collection maybe, doing his job maybe.

Safety i think not.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:43 pm 
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The guys with unmarked cruisers should try 100 km/h in the right lane. I see so much more *EDIT* now than I did when I was the one doing 160 km/h in the left lane (yes, I used to be one of you :o :lol: ).

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