Keeping a clean driving record is sometimes easier said than done. Even minor infractions such as failing to yield, forgetting to signal a lane change, or driving with a burnt-out headlight can affect your driving record. Throw an accident into the mix, and it may seem impossible to find a private insurance company to take you on. However, all is not lost. High-Risk Insurance or Facility Insurance may be right for you.
Car insurance is mandatory for all drivers in Ontario under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (CAIA), yet some drivers cannot secure insurance through regular routes. In answer, the automobile insurance industry created a non-profit entity called the Facility Association to help drivers/ vehicle owners who can’t get approved through the regular market find another insurance option.
What is Facility Insurance?
The Facility Association does not issue insurance policies but works with private insurers to get you the coverage you need. The Facility Association pays the agent or brokerage service fee for your policy, and you pay the monthly premiums. Coverage of this sort works like “risk pooling” for car insurance companies, as each company is required to contribute to the pool, limiting their liability when it comes to insuring high-risk drivers.
If you’ve been turned down by insurance companies in the competitive market, the Facility Association may be your best bet. Particularly if you:
- Have caused an accident
- Have a poor driving record
- Have a poor payment history
- Have a complicated claims history
- Have had multiple insurance policy cancellations
Is it worth it?
Becoming insured through the Facility Association isn’t cheap. Since they take on drivers, who are considered “high risk” the premiums are typically relatively high. However, if the choice is between losing your job over the inability to drive/commute, it may be the best option until your driving record clears up. Remaining ticket-free for three years, and accident-free for six years should make you eligible for lower rates once again. As of June 2016, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario approved rate changes which brought the personal passenger vehicle rate down by 9.6%.
While it is always in your best interest to shop around for the best insurance rate, Facility Association insurance is the last resort option if insurance cannot be obtained by any other means.
Pay your insurance representative directly: Most brokers/agents of high-risk insurance drivers require payment in full/upfront. However, some insurance companies will offer monthly payment options. In Ontario, to be eligible for a monthly payment plan your annual premium rate must exceed $300, and you can’t have had more than one policy cancellation for non-payment within the past three years.
How to get Facility Association coverage?
According to the Facility Association website, you are eligible for coverage:
“If you have a valid licence and your car is registered and has valid licence plates, but you have had difficulty getting auto insurance with an individual company, you are eligible to be insured through Facility Association.”
For more information about insurance companies that offer this service, contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada through the Ontario Consumer Information Centre at 1-800-387-2880, or the Facility Association website at www.facilityassociation.com.
Every situation is different. Remember, you have a right to fight your traffic ticket. At Bulwark Legal Services, we provide free consultations. Send us a copy of your traffic ticket, and we will help you decide the right course of action to take. Contact us today.
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By France Matthewson