Do you think auto insurance companies in Canada view texting and driving as a ‘’minor’’ conviction?
If you do, you won’t be right much longer.
RSA Canada, one of the country’s leading insurers, is now rating prohibited use of a hand-held device as a ‘’major’’ conviction.
Why is Texting & Driving a Major Conviction?
For as dangerous and severe as drunk driving is, according to textinganddrivingsafely.com, texting while driving is six times as likely to cause a motor vehicle accident than alcohol.
That is right. Texting and driving results in more accidents than a criminal driving offense.
The insurance industry has taken notice of this and is responding accordingly.
Hand-Held Cell Phone Legislation in Canada
Each province, and two-out-of-three territories, have implemented legislation against distracted drivers, through fines and demerit points. The following chart maps the fine amount, number of demerits and the effective date of the legislation for each province and territory.
Effect of Distracted Driving on Renewal
If you have been enjoying discounted insurance rates, thanks to previous conviction-free discounts, you will no longer get those 10-15% savings.
If you have previous tickets, or a recent at-fault accident, it’s really not in your best interests to add a major driving conviction to your record. You will, likely, be transferred to a substandard market (for high risk drivers), which means your annual premiums will rise significantly (potentially double or more). This is especially true if you’ve had a recent – within the last three years – distracted driving ticket already on your record.
Going Forward: What Does the RSA Update Mean
RSA, one of Surex's partner insurance providers, is one of the five largest insurers in Canada. As an industry leader, companies follow suit with updates they make to protect themselves from loss.
With insurers now saying – and stats proving – that distracted driving is an epidemic on par with driving under the influence, will drivers start to realize the seriousness of their distracted driving and make changes to their driving habits?
RSA has gotten the ball rolling to deter distracted driving, from an insurance standpoint. Other companies will do likewise.