Auto insurance rates are expensive enough without having an accident or a traffic violation on your driver's record to drive them up.
While the coverage you have depends on several factors - including the issuer, your age and experience, where and what you drive, - insurance premiums can range from relatively reasonable to downright expensive.
But there are specific charges or infractions you can incur that can cause your rates to skyrocket.
Minor offences will have the lowest impact on insurance premiums, provided they are few and far between on a driver's record.
Although the increase is not as significant as with major offences, an accumulation of minor offences including speeding tickets (e.g. 10 km/hr over the limit) will trigger a greater increase compared to a first offence.
In some cases, first minor offences may even be overlooked or forgiven by the insurance company, with no rate increase.
Other minor offences include running stop signs, tailgating, failure to yield, and failure to obey traffic signs.
Unsurprisingly, insurance companies do not look kindly upon major offences on a driving record. Premiums are calculated based on the risk to the company to insure a driver. Racking up more, or more severe, offences can have the impact of doubling a driver's premiums, if coverage isn't cancelled altogether.
Not only are there insurance consequences when convicted of major traffic violations, there are likely legal consequences including fines, demerit points, or licence suspension.
Major offences include stunt driving, speeding in a school zone, impaired driving, and careless driving.
One sure way to have your insurance rate increased is to have more than one traffic violation on your record at any time. The best way to avoid rate increases is to drive safely and responsibly at all times.