Driving Without Insurance: Just How Risky Is It? - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Tuesday, 07 February 2017

Driving Without Insurance: Just How Risky Is It?

When you ask people what the worst driving infractions are you’ll hear a few different answers. Running red lights. Fender benders. DUI’s. Driving without a license. But one that many gloss over is driving without insurance.

They shouldn’t.

The minimum penalty for driving without insurance is $5,000. And that’s a minimum that no judge or lawyer can reduce for you, usually—it’s a legal, unassailable minimum. And $5k is only the beginning. You can receive a fine of up to $25,000 on your very first offense. Total fines can range up to $50,000. And of course, fines aren’t the only punishment you can expect. Losing your license and having your vehicle impounded are also possibilities.

There are a number of different tickets you can receive for driving without insurance, based on different statutes:

  • Operating a vehicle without valid insurance
  • Permitting a vehicle to be operated without insurance
  • Use of a false insurance card
  • Failure to provide an insurance card

Because of the stringent ways in which insurance laws are applied, it’s exceptionally difficult to mount a defense against driving with no insurance.

Having Valid Auto Insurance is a Legal and Practical Responsibility

Provincial law in Ontario requires that each and every driver have insurance for their vehicle. Minimum coverage is also defined by law, and will in fact be changing in mid 2017. One of the most important considerations for motorists is buying their auto insurance from a reputable vendor, one that understands and honors the legal requirements.

You can buy auto insurance through the following channels:

  • Direct insurance writers – These are direct employees of insurance companies who sell their policies directly to customers without the intervention of agents or brokers.
  • Insurance agents – Insurance agents usually represent a single insurance company and receive commission for their sales.
  • Licensed insurance brokers – Insurance brokers are familiar with and sell policies from numerous different companies. They work with their clients to find the best insurance policy offerings among various companies. While they receive commissions from companies based on sales, they aren’t tied to an individual company, and their primary priority is their clients.

As long as you’re purchasing licensed insurance that meets legal minimums from any of the above, you’re in good hands. Unfortunately, there are many well-intentioned people who try to cut costs by bartering for insurance that are given insurance that isn’t valid.

Some motorists trade “barter dollars” for products and services they can “purchase” online. But barter companies are not duly licensed to sell insurance. That means that these individuals may believe that they’re adhering to the law, yet be stuck with massive fines nonetheless.

Not being properly insured isn’t simply a paperwork issue. It can cause longstanding problems with one’s license, and you can be labeled a high-risk driver by insurance companies. That could mean paying more for insurance, or even being blacklisted by some companies. If you’re injured in a car accident and you don’t have insurance, it can result in not receiving benefits.

Driving without insurance is a gamble, and a losing one!

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