This article has been updated from a previous version.
If you’re denied auto insurance, you might have a host of questions. Is there a way to appeal? Can you reach out to another insurance carrier? Do you have a right to carry insurance? You do have rights, but in certain instances, an insurance provider can deny you auto insurance coverage. That’s according to the Auto Insurance Consumers' Bill of Rights. In Ontario, it’s overseen by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA). So, while one insurance company might be allowed to deny you coverage, the entire auto insurance industry cannot deny you insurance coverage.
The Auto Insurance Consumers’ Bill of Rights
As a consumer, you’re entitled to certain rights. There are also certain responsibilities you’re responsible for with your insurance carrier. These are outlined by FSRA.
Do you have rights if you’re denied car insurance? Yes, you have the right to:
- Purchase automobile insurance for your vehicle to ensure it’s always covered.
- Know the reason why a particular insurance carrier is denying you automobile insurance coverage.
- Be informed in writing if your insurance policy won’t renew your policy.
- Change or cancel your policy when you want.
- Keep the same policy if you are paying your payments (premiums) and meeting your responsibilities.
In addition to those rights, you have responsibilities you must adhere to as a driver.
- Paying your premium on time.
- Giving true and accurate information to your insurance company.
- Letting your insurance company know if you are in any accidents — even if you don’t file a claim.
- Updating your contact information when your insurance company requests it.
What if you have a poor driving record, or are a high-risk driver?
Having a poor driving record is one of the reasons auto insurance is sometimes denied. That doesn’t mean you can’t still get insurance. One carrier might deem you a high-risk driver, but you should still reach out to other auto insurance carriers. Because you can't drive without insurance, shop around and compare car insurance rates from other insurance carriers. If your licence is in good standing and hasn’t been suspended and you can drive and have a car, another insurance provider can help you with car insurance. Drivers are considered high-risk if they have a lot of claims for which they are at fault. It can increase your premium and cause the insurance company to cancel your policy. That’s because several claims can increase your risk. High-risk behaviour can include:
- Having several traffic offences.
- Being cited multiple times for impaired driving.
- Having a lot of speeding tickets.
- Insurance fraud.
- Having a history of delinquent payments.
How long before your driving record is clean again?
The good news is traffic offences, accidents, and tickets are all items that can come off your driving record over time. Check with your carrier to find out how long it takes for these items to be removed. When they are, your insurance rate will drop. The downside is it can take up to six years for some items to come off your record. These include:
- Speeding tickets: three years.
- Demerit points: more than three years.
- Collisions: six years.
These penalties are on your record for a reason. They help to protect other drivers and keep roads safe. Work on improving your driving, having fewer accidents, and obeying all road laws can help you keep insurance costs down.
What to do if you’re refused auto insurance
If you’re denied auto insurance coverage, check with another insurance carrier. Or you can look for one that specializes in insuring high-risk drivers. You will find that insurance is available to you so long as you legally have a vehicle and are a licensed driver. However, you might find that premiums are higher for your auto insurance.
How to shop for the cheapest auto insurance if you're denied or a high-risk driver
If you are considered high-risk and you’ve been denied coverage, there are other insurance carriers to reach out to for a quote. While it might be at a higher price, an insurance comparison tool can help lower the costs. Other ways to lower your insurance include paying your annual premium upfront. You could also set your deductible higher. If you set your $250 or $500 deductible to $1,000, it reduces your risk slightly. Paying upfront also lets your insurance provider know you want to work with them so you can get back on the road again.
Are you ready to shop for the coverage you need?
While being denied insurance coverage can be frustrating, you can get insurance again. If one carrier drops you, reach out to other auto insurance carriers. You might have a higher premium, but you can get insured. Use an insurance comparison tool to help you find affordable rates while you wait for any penalties to come off your driving record. To get back on the road again, compare auto insurance rates today.
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