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High risk car insurance in Newfoundland & Labrador

High risk car insurance in Newfoundland & Labrador

Life happens – you get traffic tickets, have at-fault accidents, and sometimes miss insurance policy payments. Unfortunately, these things can land you in a high-risk category for your car insurance. While some insurance brokers won’t write policies for high-risk drivers, Cheep Insurance believes in accessible insurance for everyone. Our flock is here to help you get back on track, no matter your history; and we can offer payment plans for all policies. Don’t let your driving history clip you wings- let us help you take flight.

Who is considered a high-risk driver?

Prices for car insurance are based on many factors – how many years you’ve been licensed, if you have tickets or convictions, if you’ve had at-fault accidents, and any past payment issues can all affect the price of your insurance and put you in a high-risk market.

High-risk companies often require up-front payment of your insurance policy, cost you more out-of-pocket if you are in an accident, and offer less coverage options. It is best to get back to a standard or “regular market” company as soon as you can.

Here at Cheep, we offer monthly payment plans for high-risk insurance policies and do everything we can to help you get back to “regular market” so you’ll have more coverage options and access to lower prices.

 

How long am I considered a high risk driver?

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History of payment issues

If you’ve had past insurance policies cancelled due to non-payment, this can land you in the high risk category and impact your price for up to 6 years.

A martini glass with red liquid and a green olive is behind a red circle being crossed out. A pair of car keys is also shown. Indicating do not drink and drive,

Driving under the influence

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can impact your price and insurance eligibility for up to 10 years.

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No-insurance tickets

While insurance can be expensive, driving without it is more expensive. No-insurance tickets can impact your insurance price & eligibility for 3+ years.

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Tickets & convictions

Speeding, cell phone, seatbelt & traffic light violations all affect your insurance price & eligibility. Minor convictions (such as speeding tickets) can stay on your driving record for 3+ years, while criminal tickets (such as cell phone tickets) can stay on record for 6-10+ years.

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At-Fault accidents

Each at-fault accident can impact your price for up to 6 years unless you have accident protection coverage on your policy. Having more than one at-fault accident can place you in a high risk market. Accidents where you are found not-at-fault are typically not held against you.

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FRC Needed

If you get a no-insurance ticket, you will be required to purchase a policy with an FRC (Financial Responsibility Certificate) on file. these are only written in high-risk markets. FRCs are expensive and must stay on your policy for at least 2 years.

How to get out of a high-risk market

If you have several tickets, accidents, or payment issues; it can place you in a high-risk market and be hard to keep track of. Your best bet is to return to a “regular market” (standard insurance policy) as soon as possible. This means no more tickets, at-fault accidents or payment issues.

So, how do you get back to better prices as quickly as possible?

  • Follow all the rules of the road – if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you can’t get caught. Follow posted speed limits and don’t drive distracted or impaired.
  • Take a defensive driving course – this can sometimes counteract the effect of tickets on your record. Even if it doesn’t, these courses can be a great refresher and help you stay safe on the road.
  • Pay your insurance on time – we know this can be difficult in a high-risk market with high prices – but if you continue to have cancellations for non-payment, you won’t be able to move to a regular market company until the most recent one is 3-5 years old. Cheep Insurance has great financing options to help you get back on track!

FAQs about High Risk Insurance

How do impaired driving laws in Nova Scotia work? What are the legal BAC (blood alcohol content) limits?

Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is illegal. Getting caught driving with blood alcohol content (BAC) over a certain limit will result in fines and a license suspension.

  • Newly licensed drivers are not permitted any alcohol at all in their system. If they are caught with a BAC over 0.00 they will lose their license and must start their graduated license (GDL) again from the beginning.
  • If you are caught with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08, your license is immediately suspended for 24 hours and additional fines may apply.
  • If you are caught with a BAC over 0.08, your license is immediately suspended for 90 days and additional fines may apply.
  • Note: you can get a DUI even if your BAC is below 0.08. Alcohol affects people differently, and you can still be considered impaired while under the legal limit.

Drivers and passengers are also not allowed to consume drugs or alcohol in a vehicle, whether or not it is moving. If you are carrying any alcohol in your car, it must be in a closed, sealed package and out of reach from anyone in the vehicle. Your best bet is to keep all alcohol in the trunk of your vehicle.

Remember that alcohol is not the only substance considered when driving under the influence – illegal substances, marijuana, and even some prescription medications can impair your ability to drive and result in a DUI.

What are the fines for drinking and driving in Nova Scotia?

There are some hefty fines and penalties in place if you are convicted of drinking and driving. Here is the breakdown.

First offence:

  • Fine of $600-$2000
  • License suspension for 1 year
  • Completion of an addiction/dependency program at your own cost ($455)
  • License reinstatement fee at your own cost ($124.60)

Second offence:

  • Fine of $600-$2000
  • Possible prison term of at least 14 days
  • License suspension for 3 years
  • Completion of an addiction/dependency program at your own cost ($455)
  • License reinstatement fee at your own cost ($124.60)
  • Requirement to re-take driver’s tests

Third offence:

  • Fine of $600-$2000
  • Prison term of at least 90 daysIndefinite license suspension (minimum 10 years)
  • Completion of an addiction/dependency program at your own cost ($455)
  • License reinstatement fee at your own cost ($124.60)
  • Requirement to re-take driver’s tests

Fourth offence:

  • Permanent license suspension in addition to penalties listed above

CHEEP TIP: If you refuse a breathalyzer without a reasonable excuse, the courts will find you guilty. Can you think of a good excuse to refuse a breath sample? We can’t either, so you’re always better off taking the test.

How long does an accident stay on my record?

How a car accident affects your insurance record depends on a few different details.

  • At-Fault Accidents – At-fault accidents do affect your insurance and will likely increase your insurance premium on your next renewal. You can be found partially or fully at fault for vehicle collisions, and they stay on your record for approximately 6 years from the “date of loss” reported. These claims may also affect your ability to change insurance carriers.
  • Not At-Fault Accidents – If you are in a vehicle collision and it is determined that another person is at fault, the accident will not be held as a mark against you on your insurance, will not increase your premium, and will not prevent you from getting insurance with another company.
  • Comprehensive Claims – Comprehensive claims include fire, vandalism, theft, collision with wildlife, and if you break your windshield. Because these incidents are often beyond your control, they do not affect your insurance record and are not marked against you. Claims resulting from these perils will not increase your insurance premium or ability to change companies – however, if you have frequent glass claims, your insurance company may opt to discontinue your glass coverage.
What kind of insurance claims affect my driving record?

Insurance claims can affect your driving record in different ways depending on the nature of the claim. For the most part, the kinds of claims that affect your record are:

At-Fault Accidents: If you are involved in an accident and deemed at fault by the insurance company, it will be recorded on your driving record. At-fault accidents can have an impact on your insurance rates, likely causing them to increase. This includes single vehicle collisions – such as hitting a power pole, or skidding off the road.

What about Comprehensive Claims?

Claims related to incidents such as theft, fire, vandalism, or weather damage, may not directly impact your driving record. However, these claims could still affect your insurance premiums depending on the circumstances and your overall claims history. For example, if you have several claims for glass (needed a window or windshield replaced) the Insurance Company may remove coverage for glass on your policy. Comprehensive Claims also include impact with wildlife.

Remember, each insurance company has its own rules. It’s a good idea to talk to your Insurance Broker to understand how claims can affect you. Contact our flock at 1-866-92-CHEEP (24336) or email us at support@cheepinsurance.ca if you have questions about your claims history.

What is an FRC?

A “Financial Responsibility Certificate”, or FRC, lets the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) know that you have an active insurance policy in place so they can reinstate your license and you can get back to driving. It serves as proof that you have enough funds to cover any damages or liabilities that may arise from an accident. Because it is meant to show financial responsibility, you will want to make sure you are paying your insurance premiums and other bills on time, otherwise you may run into other issues such as a cancellation for non-payment.

FRCs are required if you are charged with driving without insurance. Once you are convicted of driving without insurance, your license will be suspended. When your license is suspended, you need an FRC to get back on the road. Get in touch with our team by phone at 1-866-92-CHEEP or by email at quotes@cheepinsurance.ca and we’ll take care of everything for you.

For more information on FRCs – see our blog post “I got a no insurance ticket and now I need an FRC – help!”