Categories: Finance

What Happens When You’re Caught Without Auto Insurance

One of the most common driving laws in Ontario and in all of Canada is that all drivers must have valid auto insurance in order to legally operate a vehicle.  It is not a choice, and if you are caught in a situation where you’re behind the wheel with no insurance, there will be serious repercussions.

Here are a few of the consequences you can expect to face:

If you decide to drive a vehicle in Ontario without insurance and you are caught, the minimum initial fine is $5,000.  If you are caught for the same offence a second time, your mandatory minimum fine will double.

There aren’t many people who can afford to pay fines like these, and it’s important to keep in mind that these are the ‘minimum’ that you will be issued.  Fines for driving with no auto insurance can range all the way up to $50,000 depending on the circumstances.

Along with your minimum mandatory fine of $5,000, you will also face a minimum mandatory license suspension of 30 days for a conviction of driving with no insurance.  Again, the 30 days is a minimum suspension, and the maximum you’ll face is 6 months.

Imagine how your work life and personal life will be affected if you were unable to drive for half a year.

Higher Auto Insurance Rates
After a conviction for no insurance, your rates are likely to go through the roof.  Even if you previously had a clean record, you may be seen as a ‘high risk’ driver after this charge, and rates will climb.  In some cases, insurance providers might not want to deal with you at all.

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You know that you’re in a serious spot when companies whose business it is to sell auto insurance refuse to sell you any.

Accident Liability
Of course, the most serious issue with driving without insurance centers around car accidents.  Whether you are the person who caused the crash or you were the one who was hit, having no insurance will have a dramatic effect on the outcome of the situation.

Basically, if you are injured, you may not be entitled to income replacement or non-earner benefits, even if the accident wasn’t your fault.  In addition, you might be prohibited from suing the at-fault driver for compensation.

If you are the one at fault, you may be held personally responsible for any medical costs, as well as other losses that are incurred.  No matter how you look at it, driving without auto insurance just isn’t worth the risk. For more information on how to get auto insurance, click here.

Ken W is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything related to insurance and financial tips.

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