News & Resources

Avoid closed roads or risk voiding your car insurance

Feb. 4, 2022
3 mins
A sign reads Road Closed Ahead on a flooded street

Work crews can shut down roads for several reasons, including poor weather conditions and construction. Often, these closures are marked with clear signage telling drivers to stay away.

But what happens if you take a risk and drive ahead anyway? It’s not only poor driving etiquette but could make your insurance void in the event of a collision or typically insured peril. Here are some things to consider before heading out on the road.

Safe driving is the law

There’s a mixture of federal, provincial, and municipal laws that apply to you on the road. These are intended to reduce collisions and keep everyone safe. You can receive a ticket or fine if you violate those laws, even if you are not in a collision. That’s the case if you are caught speeding, for example, or disobeying road signs.

In these cases, your insurance coverage will usually stay intact but, depending on the severity of the traffic infraction, your premium may go up. Your insurance provider has the right to do this to mitigate its own risk.

Insurance providers may not pay out for illegal activities

So what happens when you are on the road, do something illegal, and end up in a collision? It depends on the circumstances, but your insurance company may have the right to refuse your claim. The wording in your policy may exclude coverage after certain events, such as if you are charged with impaired operation of a vehicle at the time of the collision.

During the winter, it is common for city crews to close local roads and highways. This is because the area is deemed unsafe. Drivers are not just encouraged to drive defensively — they are told to avoid the area altogether. In Ontario, driving on a closed road comes with monetary fines. It also leaves you vulnerable if the unthinkable happens. Your insurance provider may not cover you for vehicle damage or personal injury if you have chosen to ignore the law in this way.

When in doubt, stay home

To keep your coverage intact, stay up to date on road conditions. You can get the latest on closures from Ontario 511, a service run by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO). If it looks bad out there, stay home.

Of course, that is not always an option. If you venture out under less-than-ideal weather conditions, consider public transit. If you must drive, take careful notice of any road signs — and obey them, even if it seems safe to forge ahead.

Get the best coverage for your vehicle

Safe drivers deserve reasonable auto insurance rates. Compare car insurance quotes at RATESDOTCA to ensure you have the best rate for the coverage you need.

car mascot.png

Don't waste time calling around for auto insurance

Use RATESDOTCA to shop around, and compare multiple quotes at the same time.


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

Latest auto insurance articles

4 automotive trends of 2022: do they help or hurt your insurance rate?
Looking at four key automotive industry trends that emerged in 2022, let's find out if these trends help, hurt, or have no impact on your auto insurance rate.
Learn More
5 mins read
How cannabis use behind the wheel can impact your car insurance rate
There is no scenario in which using cannabis prior to operating a motor vehicle makes you a safer driver. Plus, it can make your insurance rate skyrocket.
Learn More
5 mins read
When do insurance companies write off a vehicle rather than repair it?
When an insurance provider writes off your vehicle, it’s because it has deemed it a “total loss.” This means that the cost of repairing the vehicle is not economically viable to repair.
Learn More
5 mins read

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay on top of our latest offers, relevant news and tips!

Thanks for joining!

You'll be hearing from us shortly - stay tuned.