News & Resources

Major or Minor Traffic Conviction. What’s the Difference?

April 30, 2021
2 mins
A young man with glasses drives down the street

A significant part of what goes into determining your car insurance rate is your driving history, including any traffic convictions you may have on your record.

There are a variety of different types of tickets, and some have more influence on your premium than others if you are convicted. For example, if you have what's commonly called a "minor" ticket on your record, you may not see a premium hike at renewal. But if you have a couple of minor tickets or a "major" one, it’s possible your premium will spike. It depends on what those convictions are.

The following are examples of what is typically considered minor and major traffic convictions. However, keep in mind that sometimes how a ticket is classified may vary by province or insurer.

Minor traffic convictions:

  • Speeding up to 45 km/h over the posted speed limit (Note: The cut-off may vary.)
  • Following too closely
  • Failing to signal before a turn or lane change
  • Failing to obey a stop sign
  • Failing to wear a seatbelt
  • Failing to produce your driver's licence or proof of insurance

Major traffic convictions:

  • Distracted driving
  • Failing to report an accident
  • Improper passing of a school bus
  • Speeding in a school zone
  • Speeding in a construction zone
  • Driving without insurance
  • Speeding more than 50 km/h (Note: The cut-off may vary.)

In addition to minor and major tickets, there's another classification: serious or criminal convictions. These violations or criminal convictions often come with the threat of a licence suspension or jail time:

  • Racing or stunt driving
  • Careless or dangerous driving
  • Impaired driving
  • Failure to remain at the scene of an accident
  • Failure to stop for a police officer
  • Failure or refusal to take a breathalyzer test
  • Criminal negligence while operating or using a motor vehicle
  • Manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle
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.

How long do traffic tickets affect your car insurance?

In general, traffic convictions will affect your rate for three years. However, if your ticket (or tickets) results in a licence suspension, the suspension usually is factored into your premium for six years. Parking tickets, by the way, do not affect your insurance rate.

You can check the status of any traffic tickets you may have online in both Ontario and Alberta.

Tickets and car insurance: Honesty is the best policy

No matter what type of ticket you have, don't fudge the information you enter when getting car insurance quotes.

Insurance companies will most certainly check the driving records of all people applying for coverage. If they find that you misrepresented any information on your application, the insurance company can cancel your policy for "non-disclosure". This type of cancellation is a black mark on your insurance record, and it can mean you will be paying higher insurance rates for many years to come.

Liam Lahey

Liam Lahey is a versatile, seasoned writer and editor. He worked as both a staff writer and freelance writer for many business and technology publications as well as for several newspapers. He writes about home, auto, and travel insurance, and is a media spokesperson for RATESDOTCA.

LinkedIn

Latest life insurance articles

Will a Life Insurance Policy Cover Death Due to COVID-19?
Demand for life insurance may be on the rise during the pandemic as more Canadians consider buying a policy or reviewing ones they already have. If you’re thinking of applying for a policy, here are a few things to keep in mind.
How Does Vaping and e-Cigarettes Affect Life Insurance?
Many insurers may classify vaping in the same way they do smoking. If you smoke or vape, you can still qualify for a life insurance premium, but in all likelihood, you will pay a higher rate than someone who does not.
Credit Life Insurance: Is It Worth It?
You’re a new homebuyer in the final stages of closing a mortgage. Suddenly the lender rep asks if you want to take out a life insurance policy for your mortgage. Do you take it?