How To Get Car Insurance For People With Bad Driving Records In Canada ?

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Having a bad driving records and need car insurance in Ontario, Canada? Yes, it is still possible to get affordable auto insurance with cheap auto insurance rates exist, in this article, we will cover all the possible way to get car insurance for people with poor credit.

Bad driving records means that you’re eligible for a high risk car insurance, which has higher premiums. Even so, finding cheap car insurance for bad driving records is also challenging and expensive. If you’re already insured, the company may be unwilling to insure you again. Hence, it may, at any time, issue you with a non-renewal notice. Alternatively, the insurer may alter your rates upwards upon renewal.

This mostly happens if you’ve received a third minor violation notice. The same applies if you’ve received a major traffic violation notice. It’s best, therefore, to look for a new policy when you receive a third minor or major traffic violation notice.

In our guide below, we’ve provided important information on how to buy car insurance for bad records. Read on for help finding the perfect car insurance company and policy.

Can Bad Drivers Still Get Cheap Car Insurance?

While in most cases bad driving habits are linked to insurance with high premiums rates, bad drivers can still get cheap car insurance for bad driving record. Even so, this insurance isn’t always available. Besides, the current insurance company heightens the rates to cover for the high risk driving habits.

More often, though, the company cancels the policy. The company that may take risk to insure such a driver may charge high-premiums, which the driver may be unable to pay.

This leaves the driver with few options of getting affordable car insurance for bad driving record.  If offered a last-chance notice, the driver’s best and cheap option is to switch to good driving habits to retain the current policy. 

What Makes A Person A Bad Driver?

Several factors come to play when determining who a bad driver is. Take for example, if you veer out of your lane, swerve in and out of traffic, drive aggressively, suddenly start and stop, you’re a bad driver.

If you tailgate, speed, ride the brakes, fail to signal, practice bad parallel parking—insurance companies consider you as a high-risk driver, too.  Also, having more than three driving citations makes a person a bad driver and so is being involved in two accidents where you’re reportedly at fault.

Nonetheless, your driving habits aren’t the only factors that make you a bad driver. Other factors may include gender, education level, age, occupation and impared driving.  Take for example, a man who is 65 years old may not be considered as a high-risk driver if he has two driving citations.

On the contrary, an 18 year old man will be considered as a bad driver in similar circumstances.

What Defines a Bad Driving Record?

In most cases, a single traffic infraction or a crash that you’re not at fault cannot make you enter the records of bad drivers. Nonetheless, driving under the influence, abbreviated as UDI, undeniably makes you a high risk driver as you’re likely to have a crash. Mostly, these drivers may be involved in speeding and low-concentration driving.

In addition, having multiple crashes, traffic infractions, or both defines a bad driving record that attracts car insurance for bad drivers.

Once entered in the bad driving record, in the coming years, it becomes challenging to obtain traditional insurance or auto insurance quotes for bad driving records.

What Happens When One Is Considered A Bad Driver?

After being considered a bad driver, there are a couple of things that happen—firstly, your premium rates shoot up. You may be required to pay two or three times the average driver’s pay.

It’s for this reason such a driver should diligently look for cheap car insurance for bad drivers.  The other thing that happens after being declared a bad driver is cancellation of the current policy.

Do I Need To Inform My Insurance Company That My Driving Record Has Improved?

If you’ve not received a non-renewal notice yet, you should inform your insurance that your driving record has improved.

In this case, the insurance premium rates lowers depending on how you’ve improved and your progress, too. If, however, you’ve received a non-renewal notice, looking for a new policy would be a better idea.

Based on the new record, a new policy may offer auto insurance for bad drivers with low premium rates.

Where Can I Find Car Insurance For Bad Drivers ?

Despite where you’re, you can find auto insurance with a bad driving record anywhere. Nonetheless, every insurance company charges a higher cost for bad driving records. Even so, some companies offer lower rates than others.

Take for example, in Canada, you can get the cheapest car insurance in Ontario for high risk drivers. You must, however, be sincere when dealing with any insurer as they’ll often conduct a record inquiry to get every detail about your driving record and insurance history.

If your record has crashes or traffic violations history, cheap car insurance for bad records will still be on the high end. Therefore, before you make any commitment, spend more time shopping around and compare the rates by different insurers.

Doing due diligence to compare car insurance quotes for bad driving records could save you lots of dollars annually. 

How to Find Affordable Auto Insurance Rates with a Poor Driving Record

A bad driving record doesn’t mean it’s entirely impossible to get affordable auto insurance for high risk drivers. There are ways of going about getting one. For example, buying a cheaper car. Cheaper cars are equally cheap to repair in case you’re involved in a crash and so insurers lower their rates on such cars. Not so with expensive cars.

Also,  some insurance companies give discounts to drivers who have undertaken a driving course as it lowers the rates of accidents one can be involved in. If, therefore, you’ve undertaken one, consider mentioning that to your insurer to benefit from their discounts and subsequently lower your premium rates.

Paying your 6-months policy upfront, in most cases, attracts discounts, too. This is another way to get the best car insurance for bad driving record at an affordable rate. So, avoid monthly payments to get cheaper rates.

Auto Insurance Costs with a Bad Driving Record

Though every insurer is there to make a profit, some offer cheaper auto insurance for poor driving records. For example, companies that specifically cover high-risk drivers could charge lower rates than other insurers.

They could charge lower rates based on the type of car and how you pay for your coverage—upfront or monthly.

Is Car Insurance More Expensive For Bad Drivers?

You could be a bad driver because of a poor credit score, suspended license, or simply not having a driver’s licence when driving, among others. Insurers consider these as high-risk drivers that may often have another offence.

Considering that drivers file a claim every time they’re involved in an accident, insurers charge hefty premiums for bad driving coverage. Poor driving habits, therefore, make car insurance more expensive. What’s more? It’s not about your province or the type of violations in your driving records—bad drivers’ insurance is generally more expensive than traditional insurance.

That means, even the most affordable car insurance for high risk drivers could still be difficult to find or pay.

How To Get Car Insurance With Bad Driving Record

Getting owner car insurance with a bad driving record is an ordeal that costs a lot of time and money. Particularly, if you have a reckless or a DWI/DUI charge, even getting approved can be a pain.

That’s not to say that it’s impossible to get a cover—it’s possible and here’s how to get car insurance with bad driving record;

Look For Non-Standard Insurance

Private insurers rarely insure drivers with bad driving records. If they do, they’ll charge a leg and an arm for that. The best alternative, therefore, is to go for the non-standard insurance. Also called a high-risk insurance policy, this option is relatively expensive.

Nonetheless, in comparison to owner or non owner car insurance with poor driving habits, it’s easier to get approval. 

Take Advantage Of Discounts

Discounts can incredibly lower your premium rates. So, taking advantage of cheap full coverage car insurance for high risk drivers discounts could end up saving you hundreds of dollars every year. Depending on your service provider, you could qualify for some discounts based on various things.

For example, undertaking a defensive driving course, paying full premiums upfront, installing basic safety features in the vehicle could all earn you discounts. Also, paperless billing could attract some discounts and so is the case with drivers who bundle their policy.

Set Up A Payment Plan

Setting up a payment plan could incredibly lower your rates or even make the payment process a little more bearable for you. Therefore, inquire from the insurer if they have a payment plan that could fit you according to your pay date. Better still, ask if there’s an alternative to the monthly payment plan.

If, for example, you live in Canada, ask your insurer if they have cheap high risk car insurance Ontario quarterly or bi-annualy payment plan.

How Does A Bad Driving Record Affect Car Insurance?

A bad driving record may or may not severely affect your car insurance. Different violations attract different premium rates. Serious violations, for example, attract high premium rates that may cost you double or thrice the previous rates.

To determine the rates, for example, when offering cheap car insurance for suspended drivers, insurers consider how often you’re involved in violations. Plus, where they occur and  the type of violations.

Though you need to get in touch with your insurer, some of the most common traffic violations that affect your insurance include.

  • DUI/DWI: The least a DUI/DWI stays in a driver’s record is five years. It’s considered as a serious violation that attracts considerably high-premium rates. Besides, you’ll need an FR-44 or SR-22 after you’re involved in a DUI/DWI violation.
  • Collision: Though the increment rate of car insurance for bad driving is dependent on several things, a car crash remains in the record for three years. Its impact on your record is high.
  • Speeding: Getting cheap auto insurance with speeding tickets could be a nightmare. Worse still is that this violation remains in your record for about 3 to 5 years.
  • Running Red Light: Like is the case with speeding tickets, running tickets appear in your record for at least three years and utmost, five years. This violation has a hefty premium rate.
  • Texting-While-Driving Ticket: Considered as a distracted driving violation, this offense stays in the record for two to three years. Its rates differ depending on state and province.
  • Reckless driving: Termed as a serious violation by insurers, reckless driving will be in your record for not less than five years. Some insurers withdraw the cover for repeat violations.
  • Parking Ticket: Parking tickets have no effects on your record as they don’t appear in your driving record.


The impacts of bad driving on a driver’s insurance could be high especially in terms of cost. But that doesn’t mean that you have to break your bank to get car insurance cover for bad driving. You can always inquire if the insurer has discounts, non-standard policies, or payment plans that you could take advantage of. 

You can, for example, get the best high risk auto insurance Ontario at a discounted rate and work around improving your record to further lower the rates in the coming days. 

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Written by

Ricky Martin

Car Insurance Writer

Ricky Martin is a professional content strategist responsible for creating home and auto insurance guides for The Ricky's background in technical writing and his experience working in the insurance industry informs his work. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications.