Ontario Auto Insurance: How Do They Check Driving Records?
November, 05 2021
It is not a bad idea to check around for Ontario auto insurance rates from time to time. When you do, the questions on the application may get you thinking about whether you have had any tickets or auto accidents that might factor into your new rate. If something happened a few years back, you may not even remember it.
As you jog your memory, you probably have even more questions like whether Niagara auto insurance companies will check your driving record and what they might find if they do.
Niagara auto insurance companies check driving records for important reasons. We will give you some insight into those reasons and shed some light on how auto insurance companies in Ontario check your driving record.
Do All Ontario Auto Insurance Companies Check Driving Records?
Yes, all Ontario auto insurance companies check driving records. More specifically, they will look at your driving record dating back three years.
Auto insurance companies will not usually check your driving record when giving you a quote. If the quote looks good and you decide to switch to a new auto insurance provider, they will ask you to fill out an application. By giving them your personal information such as your birthdate and driver’s license number, it gives them the green light to perform a check on your driving record.
If they discover a claim, even if it is a minor claim such as hitting an animal or a glass repair, it could increase the rate you were quoted initially. If you have received any tickets within the last three years, they will discover that as well. If the new rate is not favorable to you, feel free to decline it.
Auto insurance companies also check driving records as your policy gets closer to renewal, which may be every six months or every year. An underwriter performs a driving record search to see if the risk they are carrying on your behalf has increased or decreased.
If all drivers in your household have been ticket and accident-free for a long time and you have remained loyal to the company, they may opt to check driving records less often.
Why Ontario Auto Insurance Companies Check Your Driving Record
Every type of insurance policy is about insuring for risks at an unknown time in the future. In exchange for your auto insurance premiums, your insurance provider has to have a way to evaluate how much risk they bear in issuing you an auto insurance policy.
Auto insurance companies review your driving record to assess the level of risk you possess as a driver and the probability that they will have to pay out an insurance claim. Your driving record gives them a reasonable idea of how safe or unsafe your driving habits are.
- Geographical location where you live and drive
- Marital status
- Credit history
- Year, make, and model of your vehicle
- Employment status and how far you commute
- Driving safety habits
- Where you store your vehicle
- Alarms and safety equipment on your car
If all the details indicate the auto insurance provider deems you to be a high-risk driver, you will pay a higher rate than you were quoted. The reverse is also true. Depending on what the underwriters find when reviewing your application, low-risk drivers could qualify for a lower rate than they were initially quoted.
How Ontario Auto Insurance Companies Check Your Driving Record
You might be wondering how a Niagara auto insurance company can check your driving record. Each auto insurance company has its own method for checking driving records, and all of them require a fee.
Auto insurance providers get your driving record the same way anyone can get it. They make a request to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. Because auto insurance companies request thousands of driving records on behalf of their customers every year, most companies are judicious about how often they make requests for driving records.
It is also possible for auto insurance companies to request driving records from various risk solutions businesses that have access to Ontario driving records and car insurance claims records. LexisNexis is a provider of information and technology that some insurance companies tap into, although the fees are higher than other methods.
Some methods of obtaining driving records take longer than others, which could delay your application a bit.
How Can I Check My Own Driving Record?
It can be difficult to remember if you got a ticket several years ago or filed a claim on your auto insurance. If you have any doubt about what an insurance provider might find on your driving record, you can request a copy of your driving record.
In Ontario, a driving record is also called an abstract. It is a document that is issued by the Ontario government that provides information about drivers and driver’s licenses.
It is a good idea to know what is on your driving record because you may also need it to apply for a job, hire employees, confirm your address in court, or apply for a driver’s license in another province, territory, or country.
Be aware that tickets and accidents you have had in other countries may not show up on your driving record.
In Ontario, you may request certified or uncertified records. A certified record displays an embossed seal from the Ministry of Transportation. You can get your driving record online, in person, by fax, or by postal mail. It will cost a bit more to get a certified driving record.
It is a worthy goal to strive to be ticket and accident-free. A clean or relatively clean driving record will help keep your Ontario auto insurance premiums reasonable. More importantly, driving safely keeps everyone safe while out on the road. At Duliban Insurance, our expert agents are happy to review your driving record and explain how it impacts your auto insurance premiums. Contact us today for a quote on your car insurance.