How Different License Suspensions Impact Your Car Insurance

Medical suspensions are treated differently than criminal suspensions

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Being in a high-risk driver category is not where you want to be. Insurance companies frown upon this and will charge you a higher premium accordingly.


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One way to end up being considered a high-risk driver is to have your license suspended. That said, not all suspensions are created equal. Some are the result of serious crimes; others relate to non-criminal offences, as well as suspensions for medical reasons.

Depending on the type of suspension, your auto insurance rate will be affected differently.

When can my license be suspended?

Some of the reasons for license suspension include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Unpaid fines
  • Impaired driving
  • Driving without a valid insurance policy
  • Breaking graduated license rules (for example, driving on a 400-series highway when you only have your G1 license)
  • Have too many demerit points

In some of these cases, including if you are convicted of a criminal offence, having your license suspended may result in a higher insurance premium for up to six years (once the suspension is lifted).


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If your license is suspended, you may be required to purchase high-risk insurance when you get your license back, as your original insurance company may choose to cancel your policy or not renew it.

Criminal or medical license suspensions

Of course, different offenses have different consequences. A first conviction for distracted driving in Ontario, for example, could lead to a a fine of $1,000 and a three-day license suspension, while a second and third conviction would result in a seven- and 30-day license suspension, respectively.

Reckless driving, on the other hand, can result in a license suspension of up to five years, as well as jail time and fines if you cause bodily harm or death.

Licenses can also be suspended for medical reasons. In these cases, a doctor will often file a report with the Department of Transportation to suspend a person’s license for non-criminal reasons such as epilepsy, diabetes, vision problems, etc. This is usually called an administrative suspension.


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The suspension is also pronounced differently depending on the offense. For example, impaired driving could result in an immediate roadside suspension, while non-payment of fines could result in a suspension received by mail or court order.

How Different License Suspensions Impact Your Auto Insurance Rates

In Ontario, insurers cannot raise your rate if the suspension is not the result of a criminal conviction, or if it lasted less than a year. So, if your license has been suspended for medical reasons, there’s a good chance you won’t be penalized with a higher rate.

If your license is suspended but you drive anyway and are involved in a collision, you will not be covered in the event of a claim against your insurance policy. If you drive while your license is suspended, you can be billed from $1,000 to $5,000 and even risk going to jail.


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What to expect after a license suspension

To get your license back after a suspension, you will need to show that you have taken the necessary steps to drive safely.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, to reinstate your license after suspension, you will need to:

  • Pay unpaid fines
  • Complete court process or court-ordered programs
  • Provide documentation that the suspension has been lifted

Even after suspension, you cannot be denied basic insurance. Yes, your rate will be higher than what you were used to before the suspension (except in non-criminal cases), but high-risk drivers can still purchase insurance that meets their needs.

The best thing to do is talk to your broker or compare high risk auto insurance rates online for the best options. is a free, independent rate comparison website that allows Canadians to compare rates from over 75 providers for various financial products, such as home and auto insurance, mortgages and credit cards.


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