I’m a High-Risk Driver. Can I Be Refused Insurance Coverage?

Car insurance for high risk drivers

This is a question with two answers. First of all, your insurance company can cancel your policy or refuse to renew it if you become a high risk driver while you’re covered with them. They can’t do this without a reason and they’re required to inform you in writing in advance, stating why they are denying coverage. Every insurance company presents rules for coverage denial that are first approved by the Ontario government and then enforced upon that approval. An insurer won’t simply create reasons to deny a motorist. They can only apply the standards they’ve already proposed. Likewise, another company applies their predetermined standards as well, in refusing car insurance for high risk drivers.

The second part of the answer is that, while individual companies can refuse a high risk driver, the insurance industry as a whole cannot refuse a driver, provided they are legally entitled to drive. When a driver can’t obtain an offer for coverage through the conventional auto insurance marketplace, they can turn to the Facility Association, an industry organization whose sole purpose is to act as an auto insurance provider of last resort. The Facility Association doesn’t underwrite policies itself, but rather facilitates between provider and high risk driver. While a driver is guaranteed an offer through the Association, these policies are typically extremely expensive, reflecting the driver’s high risk nature.

By Law, What Coverages Must I Have?

The standard auto insurance policy defined by the Ontario government is the minimum insurance coverage a personal vehicle must carry to use Ontario roads. Owners and drivers who knowingly operate uninsured vehicles or allow uninsured vehicles to be driven face fines up to $50,000.

Registering ownership and licensing a vehicle is tied up with insurance. A car cannot be registered without proof of insurance, and without registration, licence plates can’t be purchased.

The statutory requirement of the standard policy includes four insurance types. Third person liability insurance protects a driver against lawsuits from at fault accidents. A minimum of $200,000 protection is mandatory. Accident benefit coverage protects the driver and occupants of a vehicle for medical and rehabilitation costs beyond care provided by the provincial health plan. Direct compensation-property damage covers repair or loss to a driver’s vehicle in certain accidents when the other driver is at fault. Finally, uninsured vehicle coverage protects in situations when another vehicle is either uninsured or unidentified. The most common example may be after a hit and run collision.

Note that collision and comprehensive coverage, featured in the majority of car insurance policies, are not required by law as part of an auto insurance policy. The lending agency for a vehicle that’s financed may have requirements for these types of coverage.

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