There are many factors that determine your car insurance rate, but one of the most important ones is your driving record. Past traffic tickets and accidents can come back to haunt you when it’s time to renew, raising your premium and costing you some serious cash. Despite this, drivers still take stupid risks behind the wheel, and we’ve found six people whose bad behaviour is going to cost them when it’s time to renew their policy.
The serial distracted driver
The Ontario Provincial Police are cracking down on distracted driving, which was bad news for an Ontario man who was caught checking his phone behind the wheel twice in one day. Even one distracted driving charge could raise his insurance premium, and with stricter laws on the horizon, it could cost him a lot more. In Ontario, a proposed law will not only increase fines for distracted driving, but it will also implement an automatic license suspension starting with the first offense.
It’s no surprise: insurance companies don’t look kindly on insurance fraud. Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) shared three examples of drivers who were caught engaging in fraudulent behaviour.
In the first case, a man submitted a claim for serious injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash. What he didn’t count on, though, was that MPI investigators would catch him carrying out difficult tasks that he claimed were impossible after his accident.
In the second case, a man submitted a claim for a stolen vehicle that was later found hidden in the woods. MPI investigators examined the vehicle and saw no signs of forced entry or tampering. Since there was only one key for the car, investigators concluded that the vehicle was hidden on purpose.
Finally, a woman who submitted a claim for injuries sustained in a collision submitted documentation to support her case, but it included discrepancies that tipped off the MPI that something wasn’t quite right. After an investigation that included talking to the drivers and passengers involved in the collision, the MPI proved that the woman was not involved in the accident after all.
For fraudsters, a higher premium is only one of their worries: their policies could be cancelled and they could be denied insurance in the future.
The drunk driver
After police in Miramichi, New Brunswick received multiple reports of a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road, the police tracked down the car – but the driver refused to pull over. The officers set up stop sticks that deflated all four tires on the car and the driver was eventually apprehended. It was obvious why the driver didn’t want to confront the police – he was found to be four times over the legal alcohol limit. Like insurance fraud, impaired driving is a serious offense that could not only raise your insurance rate, but also make it difficult to secure traditional insurance coverage in the future. Add charges of dangerous driving and fleeing from the police, and we’re willing to bet this man’s insurance provider will take issue with his bad behaviour.
Most people are probably guilty of testing the limits with their speed, but this Ontario driver took it to another level when he was caught driving double the posted limit on a local highway. After being clocked in at 178 kilometers an hour, his license was suspended for 7 days and his vehicle was impounded for 7 days. Once his insurance company learns of his need for speed, he can also expect a higher premium.
Hopefully, you’ll learn from these drivers’ expensive mistakes. If not, you could be in for a nasty surprise next time you’re shopping for car insurance. And if you’re already paying the price for past tickets, contact your insurer to find out if there are other ways you could save.