One of the most dreaded consequences of being convicted of a traffic offence is the subsequent increase in insurance rates, which can become twice as high, depending on the severity of the charge. This makes communicating with the insurance company an important aspect of handling traffic offences. So, what does one tell them? This depends on how you would like to proceed.
- If you would like to simply pay the traffic ticket, and not apply for a trial
Paying the ticket is equivalent to the admission of guilt in the offence. This means that as soon as you pay the ticket, you are convicted of the offence. This conviction is then entered into your driver record with the Ministry of Transportation. The insurance company, in turn, has direct access to these records, and will immediately know of the conviction. Therefore, if you have paid the fine and were, therefore, convicted, it is unnecessary, and even dangerous, to state to the insurance company that you have no convictions. They will have full access to your record, and may consider your statement as fraud, leading to the cancellation of your insurance policy.
2. If you have requested, and are awaiting, a trial date in the traffic offence
If you have requested a trial, a conviction can only be entered if and when the Justice of the Peace finds you guilty of the offence. As a result, up until the trial date, there is absolutely no note of the offence in your driver’s record. There is, therefore, no note in your driver’s record with the Ministry, and no note visible to the insurance company. So, if you are awaiting trial, it is perfectly acceptable for you to say that you have no offences in your record when you are renewing insurance or at any other request.
If, after the trial, you are found not guilty or the offence is withdrawn, there will be no conviction, and you will continue to have a clean driving record. If you are found guilty, the conviction process will be the same as if you paid the ticket, and the insurance company will be notified.