- Fault Determination Rules Ontario
- Accident Benefits Ontario
- DCPD | Direct Compensation Property Damage
- Physical Damage Car Insurance
- Car insurance companies in Ontario
- Insurance Brokers Ontario
- Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario
- Cheap Car insurance in Ontario
- Car insurance law in Ontario
- Auto Insurance Statutes and Regulations
- Car Insurance Law for Car Accidents
- Car Insurance Coverage Types, Endorsements, Insurance Riders and Floaters
- OPCF – Ontario Policy Claims Forms
- Car Insurance Ontario FAQs
Car insurance in Ontario, Canada can be an expensive proposition, especially in bigger metropolitan areas such as Toronto, Mississauga and other cities within the greater Toronto, area.
Auto insurance in Ontario is governed by a “no Fault” legal system where claims for damages and injuries are paid by your own insurance company, regardless of who’s “at Fault”. Exceptions do apply for catastrophic injuries.
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The term “no fault” insurance causes a lot of confusion amongst Ontario drivers, as it denotes a sense that car accidents or claims in Ontario do not take blame into consideration. This is simply false as the fault determination rules of Ontario clearly dictates.
The main goal of No Fault insurance stems from the historical, inadequacies that the previous system generated. The litigious and cumbersome process left claimants without timely settlements, unpaid medical treatments or damages property left unrepaired or replaced.
Therefore the aim of No Fault Auto Insurance in Ontario was to:
- Reduce lengthy Claim investigations
- Substantially less subrogation (ability to sue)
- Less litigation
- Insured would deal with their own insurance company regardless of fault
- Speedier settlements
Fault Determination Rules Ontario
Auto insurance claims involving two or more automobiles use the fault determination rules to assign liability to each driver or vehicle. The fault determination rules depict various possible accident situations and sets out rules for designating fault or blame in a vehicle accident. In order for the FDR rules to apply the following conditions need to be met:
- The accident must happen in the province of Ontario
- Two or more vehicles are insured with valid insurance from a Canadian insurance company licensed to write auto insurance business in the province where the accident took place or signatory to the DCPD agreement. If this criteria isn’t met, for example one driver was from out of country or province, and their insurer isn’t signatory to the DCPD undertaking, the ordinary rule of law would be used to determine fault in a car accident.
If you disagree or are disputing responsibility or fault in an auto insurance claim you could contact the company’s ombudsman to review your situation. The last option would be to sue your insurance company if an agreement on fault cannot be agreed on.
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Accident Benefits Ontario
Accident benefits insurance coverage is a “no fault” benefit. This means, just like vehicle property damages you would need to claim from your insurer for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Although accident benefits are technically not insurance, they serve to provide financial assistance in the form of defined amounts to injured first party claimants.
DCPD | Direct Compensation Property Damage
Direct Compensation Property Damage, or DCPD, is require car insurance coverage under the Ontario automobile policy, OAP 1. You can call this the “no fault” insurance coverage on your car insurance policy.
The purpose of DCPD coverage is to cover damage to your own vehicle, loss of use (rental coverage) and contents up to a limit. Coverage for contents is based on ACV, actual cash value, and would respond only is you didn’t have property insurance, or elected to have contents covered under your auto policy. Some people may decide to have contents covered through a habitational policy so that a claim settlement can be made on a replacement cost basis.
Coverage under DCPD can occur only if the following conditions are met:
- Accident must happen in Ontario
- There was at least another vehicle in the accident with a valid Ontario auto insurance policy, signatory to the DCPD Undertaking or licensed to write auto insurance business in Ontario
- You are partially or wholly not responsible for the accident
Physical Damage Car Insurance
Damage insurance protects your vehicle and equipment from damages caused by direct or accidental use of your vehicle. Keep in mind that coverage for “equipment” can only be granted if attached to the vehicle.
Own damage coverage is optional, however, it may be required by a lienholder for loan or financing contracts. This is to ensure that the lien holder is protected should anything happen to the vehicle where the lack of optional loss or damage may prejudice the vehicle finance or leasing company.
In Ontario, Canada there are four subsections of the Ontario automobile policy (OAP 1) that deal with optional loss damages coverage.
Specified perils car insurance coverage is particularly described, hence the name of the coverage. Basically, if the peril is named, coverage should exist, if it does not, then there’s no coverage.
Not many insurance brokers or auto insurance consumers in Ontario request or recommend Specified Perils coverage as there are better, more comprehensive coverages such as “comprehensive” to take its place. You tend to see more specified perils coverage in auto insurance from eastern Canada.
The following are specified perils:
- Attempted theft or theft
- Earth quake
- Riot or civil disturbance
- Windstorm, hail or rising water
- Falling or forced landing of aircraft or of parts thereof
- The stranding, sinking, burning, derailment or collision of any conveyance in or upon which a described vehicle is being carried on land or water
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What’s not covered under Specified Perils car insurance coverage?
Specified perils auto insurance does not cover against:
- Malicious Mischief
- Glass breakage
- Impact with an animal
The above noted perils that are not covered by Specified Perils are covered by Comprehensive insurance coverage.
Comprehensive auto insurance protects against all perils under “specified Perils” plus vandalism, glass breakage, falling or flying objects, impact with animals and malicious mischief. However, Comprehensive auto insurance coverage does not cover collision or upset.
Collision and Upset Insurance
Collision insurance auto coverage indemnifies the policyholder for damages to the vehicle caused by a collision with another vehicle, person, object or the surface of the road. Collision coverage also protects you if your vehicle becomes upset (tipped over).
All Perils Insurance
All perils auto insurance coverage stands as the most comprehensive of all first party coverages. All perils coverage combines Collision and Comprehensive coverages into one. All Perils also covers certain types of theft that are commonly excluded in Comprehensive and Collision auto insurance coverage. All perils includes theft of the vehicle by a person residing in the same household and theft of vehicle if stolen by an employee who drives, uses, services and repairs the described vehicle.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage Ontario
Uninsured motorist covers any amounts you or other insured persons have legal recourse for bodily injury, physical vehicle damages and death caused by an uninsured or unidentified motorist, up to certain limits.
For damages to your vehicle, the loss of use of your vehicle and also the contents in your vehicle the uninsured motorist coverage offers indemnity from your own insurer, up to $25,000.
Uninsured motorist coverage is subject to a mandatory $300 deductible, wherein the insurance company will try and recoup the losses, along with your paid deductible, directly from the at fault third party by way of subrogation or possibly through a court order.
To claim under the Uninsured motorist coverage the other driver must be not at fault.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage Ontario
Uninsured motorist coverage is not a specific coverage in the Ontario Automobile Policy, or OAP 1, but there are certain auto insurance coverages that deal with a third party underinsured motorist.
Car insurance companies in Ontario
Searching for car insurance companies in Ontario or anywhere else in Canada requires some explanation. An explanation that differentiates an insurance “company” from other entities such as a “brokerage”, “agency” or even a Managing General Agent is needed to help consumers make an informed purchase decision.
Technically you can say that an insurance brokerage or agency is a company, but they are not insurance companies.
An Insurance company accepts or rejects the risk by Underwriters who work for that company. Claim settlement payouts usually always come from the insurance company. Often times the payout cheques are sent to independent insurance brokers to give to their clients, but the money always comes from the insurance company.
An independent insurance brokerage is a company on its own right but completely a separate entity from an insurance company. An example would be Mitchell and Whales Insurance Brokerage who is a company and represents multiple insurance companies like Aviva, Gore Mutual or the Economical. The important takeaway is that an insurance company
Insurance Brokers Ontario
Finding a good insurance broker in Ontario is the key to ensuring your car insurance is cared for and bring to you the best auto insurance coverage for the best price.
Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario, R.I.B.O, is a self-governing body of Insurance brokers which regulates the licensing, professional competence, ethical conduct and financial obligations.
RIBO achieves their mandate through the following three main components of the organization;
- The Discipline Committee – they oversee insurance broker hearings, administer the disciplining or penalizing measures to insurance brokers who contravene the insurance broker act of Ontario
- The complaints Committee – they are responsible for hearing and investigating all complaints regarding an insurance broker’s professional conduct, to determine if the matter should be delegated to the Discipline Committee.
- The qualifications and registrations Committee – they are responsible for setting educational requirements for broker licensing and registration.
Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario
The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario is a non-profit organization with a mandate to be representative of its constituents to government, industry stakeholders within Ontario. IBAO also administers insurance broker educational course and programs.
Cheap Car insurance in Ontario
Finding cheap car insurance in Ontario requires extensive and exhaustive shopping around. Shopping for cheap car insurance from as many insurance brokerages as you possibly can is the only way to find the cheapest rate for you. Every insurance brokerage has a set of distribution agreements with Insurance companies to sell their products. Not every brokerage has the same distribution agreements compared to another. Some insurance brokerages, for whatever reason, may choose to specialize or stand out in a particular niche market, while other brokerages may deal with insurance products that are more general in scope. But what does that mean for you, and how will this help you get cheap car insurance in Ontario?
Since auto insurance rates in Ontario are regulated a quoted price for car insurance should be the exact same throughout any insurance brokerage which provided that quote. So for example, if you received a car insurance quote
Car insurance law in Ontario
The auto insurance industry in Ontario is heavily regulated. Not only is car insurance in Ontario highly regulated, but also a legal requirement to drive on roads and highways!
The Financial Regularity FRSA, formerly the financial services commission of Ontario, (FSCO) is a provincial body whose main focus is to provide regulatory services for the protection of the consumer.
The legislative mandate of the FSRA is as follows:
- Improve public confidence in the auto insurance industry
- Regulate and supervise the auto insurance sector
- Combat fraud and other deceptive behavior
- Promote education and knowledge
- Promote transparency and full disclosure
- Gather and evaluate statistical trends and developments
Auto Insurance Statutes and Regulations
Auto insurance in Ontario is governed by many laws and statues. The following are just some of the laws that are relevant to auto insurance in Ontario.
- Insurance Act of Ontario
- Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act
- Motor Vehicle Highway act of Ontario
- Repair and Storage Liens Act
- Criminal code of Canada
- Fault Determination Rules of Ontario
Car Insurance Law for Car Accidents
Auto insurance claim adjusters use the Fault Determination Rules to designate fault or responsibility to drivers involved in a car accident claim. The FDR rules are a collection of charts, diagrams and wordings used when settling car accident losses in Ontario. If an accident scenario is not described in the fault determination rules, adjusters would use the ordinary rule of law to determine and assign fault.
Regulation 668 under the Insurance Act of Ontario, FDR rules, is a driver’s fault chart with various accident scenarios.
Car Insurance Coverage Types, Endorsements, Insurance Riders and Floaters
The Ontario Automobile policy, also called OAP1 is the main staple of any auto insurance policy. However, either you or your auto insurance company can vary the terms of the contract by adding, removing or modifying insurance coverage, through the use of insurance endorsements. Insurance endorsements are also called, riders or insurance floaters.
Insurance Endorsements can broaden, restrict or place conditions of insurance coverage, within insurance regulations and compliance with the law.
In Ontario, endorsements approved by the provincial superintendent are called Ontario Policy Change Forms or OPCF for short. When you see the prefix OPCF, followed by a number, for example, OPCF 27, you can assure that the endorsement contains the same policy wordings as any other insurer selling that same endorsement. The Ontario Policy Change Forms are designed to bring uniformity and consistency with approved auto insurance endorsements. However, not all endorsements are OPCF riders.
Some endorsements are generated by auto insurance companies which are called manuscript endorsements. Essentially, manuscript endorsements can run the whole gambit of differences compared to the standard OPCF forms. Manuscript endorsements still require approval from the regulatory body, but the point is that careful attention should be given to this type of endorsement as it deviates from the standard OPCF wordings. This isn’t to say that manuscript endorsements are inferior to the standardized form insurance coverage, only that you can’t assume that both are the same. When getting car insurance quotes from Ontario it’s important to know this for a proper comparison of car insurance coverage. Some insurance companies make sell their manuscript endorsements that may look very close to the OPCF forms but they are not. Careful attention to the policy wordings is imperative. Ask your independent insurance broker or agent for a clear explanation in writing or get the insurance rider wordings so that you may compare and contrast auto insurance quotes.
OPCF – Ontario Policy Claims Forms
As previously mentioned auto insurance endorsements, riders or floaters come in a standardized or manuscript form. Although both OPCF and manuscript floaters of insurance need prior approval from the governing body, the standardized forms, or OPCF forms, contain the same policy wordings, regardless of which insurance company is selling that product.
The following is a list of some of the more popular endorsements.
OPCF 44r – Family Protection Coverage
OPCF 20 – Coverage for Transportation Replacement
OPCF 43 – Removing Depreciation Deduction
OPCF 16 – Suspension of Coverage
OPCF 17 – Reinstatement of Coverage
OPCF 19 – Limitation of Amount
OPCF 19A – Valued Automobile
OPCF 44R – Family Protection Coverage
OPCF23A – Lienholder Protection
OPCF28A – Excluded Driver
OPCF28 – Reducing Coverage for Named Persons
OPCF 35 – Emergency Service Expense
OPCF 32 – Recreational Vehicle
OPCF 6A – Permission to Carry Passengers for Compensation
OPCF 6B – School Bus
OPCF 6C – Public Passenger Vehicle
OPCF 6D – Driver Training School
OPCF 6F – Public Passengers Vehicle(s) Combined Limits
OPCF 40 – Fire Deductible
OPCF 30 – Excluding Operation of Attached Machinery
Car Insurance Ontario FAQs
What is the average cost of car insurance in Ontario?
The average cost of car insurance in Ontario depends on a full range of possibilities. The range can be $700 to over $10,000 per year, for full auto insurance coverage in Ontario.
There are many factors that are considered when generating an auto insurance quote. The following are the main factors for determining the cost of your car insurance in Ontario:
Your driving record: this would include traffic tickets, accidents, claims, driver’s license violations, driver’s license class and driving experience.
Your postal code: the area in which you operate the vehicle and where the vehicle is garaged
Make and Model of Vehicle: Auto Insurance companies in Ontario use the CLEAR system to rate how likely injuries and the extent of physical damages are to arise from specific makes and models of vehicles in a car accident. The statistics are gathered through the ISB which are then used to formulate auto insurance premium costs charged by insurance companies.
How much is car insurance in Ontario per Month?
The average cost of car insurance in Ontario per month can be as low as $58 to as high as $833 or more a month. Ontario is by far the most expensive Province to purchase auto insurance. Greater population density compared to other provinces in Canada, and the frequency of auto claims tied to a larger driver population is the reasoning for such high car insurance costs in Ontario. Insurance fraud is also a big factor that inflates auto insurance prices in Ontario. Recently, as of June 8 2019, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) will be replaced with the Financial Services Regulatory of Ontario (FSRA) who’s main focus regarding auto insurance is combating fraud and white collar crime.
How are car insurance premiums calculated in Ontario?
Calculating car insurance premiums is an actuarial science, whereby actuaries who work for insurance companies come up with statistical data to show the cost to insure a vehicle. Actuaries work closely with insurance Underwriters who review, accept or decline the risk. Actuaries, Underwriters and Marketing departments work together to come up with their own pricing models and business philosophies. Auto insurance rates are then proposed to regulatory bodies for approval before offerings to the consumer public can be made. Each car insurance company differs in business philosophy and the prices they charge reflect this, so it’s important to shop around as much as you can when purchasing auto insurance in Ontario.
Who has the cheapest car insurance in Ontario?
Finding the cheapest car insurance in Ontario is an exercise of shopping and comparing quotes from as many auto insurance providers as possible. There is no singular, insurance company which offers the “cheapest” car insurance on a standard basis.
From an insurance business model, you can argue that direct writer insurance companies are cheaper than companies that use a broker distribution channel to sell their products since they cut out the middleman.
Independent insurance brokers are “middlemen” or intermediaries that are paid a small commission on the premium charged to you. Although direct writer insurance companies may be cheaper, they may not offer the protection that an independent insurance broker can provide!
What is the cheapest car to insure in Ontario?
The cheapest vehicle to insure in Ontario tends to be pickup trucks. The bulk of your auto insurance premium comes from Accident Benefits and Liability coverage.
Accident Benefits and Liability tend to generate the bulk of your auto insurance premium. They reflect the likelihood, frequency, and severity of injuries or property damage, which specific make and model of vehicle has statistically shown to cause in a motor vehicle accident.
Some factors to consider:
Age of the Vehicle – many drivers tend to believe that the older a vehicle is, the less expensive to insure. This could be further from the truth. Older vehicles have been surpassed by new and safer technologies which result in fewer injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents. For example the introduction of “crumple zones” allows vehicles to absorb more impact, instead of the driver and occupants, making vehicles safer than ones that do not have this design feature.
Size and Weight of the Vehicle – you don’t need to be a physicist to know that a heavier and larger vehicle will cause more impact force compared to a vehicle that is lighter and smaller. In a motor vehicle accident, the heavier and larger vehicle tend to have less vehicle damage, and also a reduction of the chances of injuries. If there are injuries there’s a reduction in the severity of injury, as well. In my experience pickup trucks tend to be the cheapest to insure. But of course, the easiest way to get a proper comparison is to contact an insurance broker or agent and have them quote the vehicle you’re interested in.
Which city has the cheapest car insurance in Ontario?
According to Kanetix, Hawkesbury Ontario has the lowest car insurance rates among all cities in Ontario. The average car insurance premium for a driver in Hawkesbury is on average $956.00 per year
How can I get cheap car insurance in Ontario?
Finding cheap car insurance in Ontario requires an exhaustive shopping effort. If the price is the main consideration for seeking auto insurance then you need to get quotes from everywhere. This includes insurance brokerages, Direct writer insurance companies, insurance agencies, etc.
There are several reasons for this:
Not all independent insurance brokerages have the same products and distribution agreements with insurers. Although car insurance can be purchased in almost any independent insurance brokerage it doesn’t mean that they can provide the most affordable option for you.
How much does car insurance cost in Ontario?
The cost of car insurance in Ontario can vary dramatically. It’s not uncommon to see auto policies anywhere from $500 to millions of dollars. It’s difficult to provide a general or rough approximation of the cost of car insurance in Ontario because many factors or variables are used to calculate your insurance premium.
The main factors which affect the cost of auto insurance in Ontario are the following:
– Your driving record
– The vehicle itself
– Where you live (postal code)
– Driving experience
– Commercial or Personal Use
– The number of vehicles on the policy
To get a definitive car insurance price, please click here for a free quote.
How can I lower my car insurance in Ontario?
Lowering your car insurance in Ontario can be achieved by the following:
– Increase your deductible – increasing your deductible will lower your car insurance premium. The savings are small but still a way to save a bit of money. The higher you make your deductible the more you’re contributing to the loss, therefore shifting risk exposure form the insurance company to yourself.
– Reduce Insurance Coverage – although reducing insurance coverage isn’t the best choice, it may be necessary so that car insurance can be affordable. Most people decide to remove collision, all perils or comprehensive coverages if they feel the vehicle is “too old”. However, this isn’t always a good move. First party damage coverages have their uses irrespective of a vehicle’s age and the cost is nominal compared to the bulk of your car insurance premium. An example would be if your vehicle was damaged by a hit and run driver, there would be no coverage for your damages even though it’s not your fault. For the “No-fault” coverage under your auto policy to cover you for damages, there must be another valid policy in force. If that driver fled the scene and you had no 1st party coverages you would be out of pocket. Your insurance company will not be able to assist you, which might include towing charges, impound charges, not to mention the damages to your vehicle.
– Improve your Driving record – this is a no-brainer and can substantially affect the cost of your car insurance. Try not to get traffic tickets, driver’s license violations and At-Fault accidents as these factors are used in the calculation of your premium. Accidents stay on your Motor vehicle record for five years and three years for traffic violations (parking tickets and camera red light infractions do not count).
– Combine Insurance policies under one company – most insurance companies will offer substantial discounts for having habitational and auto insurance under one carrier. Discounts up to 20% or more may be offered if you combine your home and auto under one company. Even combining multiple vehicles under one policy can offer discount savings of 10% or more!
– Special Discounts, Group insurance, and Affinity associations – some companies offer special discounts for employees of certain group insurance customers. Group insurance is usually purchased by an employer to assist employees in cost savings.-
If you are a member of a professional organization, affinity group or even alumni, there may be discounts available to you. Always ask your insurance representative if they offer special discounts to take advantage of these cost savings.
– Shop around Monthly for Cheaper Car insurance
Car insurance prices change frequently so taking advantage of this opportunity could also save you some money. Getting car insurance quotes every month will certainly generate different rates as insurance companies submit underwriting and price changes to their governing bodies.
Auto insurance quotes are usually valid for 30 days which is another indication that car insurance prices are always changing.
– Switching insurance companies during the term of the contract can come with reluctance and skepticism as a financial penalty (short-rate cancellation) is charged for breaking the auto insurance contract. However, there are times when the cost savings of switching insurance companies outweigh the short term cancellation penalty.
What car insurance is mandatory in Ontario?
Mandatory auto insurance coverage in Ontario includes the following:
– Liability – by law, the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act of Ontario requires you have a minimum of 200,000 liability coverage. However, most insurance companies will not sell you anything under 1 million worth of liability coverage.
Liability covers you for damages and injuries you may cause to someone outside the insurance contract (third party), subject to limitations, restrictions, and exclusions.
– Accident Benefits – a “no-fault” coverage meant to provide benefits should you get injured in a motor vehicle accident. Accident benefits coverages include Income Replacement, Caregiver Expense, Death and Funeral Benefit, and Housekeeping and Home Maintenance.
– Uninsured Automobile Insurance – provides coverage if you or any other insured persons are injured or killed by an identified, uninsured vehicle or driver. Uninsured automobile coverage also applies if the other vehicle is a “hit and run” perpetrator.
Some property damages are also covered under the Uninsured Automobile Insurance coverage. Damages to your vehicle and the loss of use of the vehicle (car rental) are also covered up to a maximum of 25,000, inclusive of the damages and loss of use. There is a mandatory 300 deductible that you must pay when this coverage is applied. Efforts to recoup your deductible will be made but the chances of being successful aren’t promising that you’d get your $300 deductible back. More than likely, someone driving without car insurance may not have the resources to pay back the damages they cause.
– Direct Compensation Property Damages – DCPD for short, this auto insurance coverage can be considered the “no-fault” portion of your auto policy, as it pertains to vehicle damage only. Direct Compensation property damage insurance provides coverages for damages to your vehicle, the loss of use of your vehicle and contends up to a limit. DCPD only applies to the, not at fault portion of the loss.
Do I have to add my child to my car insurance in Ontario?
Section 1.4.1 of the Ontario Automobile Policy states, that all drivers that live in the same household must be disclosed to the insurance company. This would include licensed drivers of all classes. In practice, the insurance company is notified about your child’s driver’s license, the conditions and class of license and possibly does a background check to confirm details. Normally, a child with a beginners or G1 is on the policy but not generating an extra cost or premium. Once our child graduates to a G2 driver’s license they will start to generate a premium on your policy or a policy of their own. Your child may also be excluded from the policy if he or she does not meet the underwriting requirements of the auto insurance company.
Does a G2 driver need insurance in Ontario?
A class G2 driver’s license requires auto insurance before you can drive by yourself. Most auto insurance companies will require that every licensed driver in the household be disclosed, even though a G1 licensed driver is not formally added to the policy.
Once you’ve graduated to a G2 driver’s license you will begin generating a premium on the respective auto insurance policy, whether as an occasional or principal driver.
What happens if you get caught driving without insurance in Ontario?
Driving without insurance is a violation of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act of Ontario. By law, liability insurance is required to legally drive or operate a vehicle on Ontario roads and highways.
Although driving without insurance is NOT a criminal offense, you would still be subject to the following:
Failing to have insurance – a major violation
Driver’s license suspension – depending on the infraction can be administrative or non-administrative
On-road, driver’s license suspension and vehicle towed to impound
Fine up to $5,000 for the first offense
Instantly not qualified for insurance in the standard auto insurance market
You will require high-risk auto insurance or even facility
Your future auto insurance premium will skyrocket
The driver’s license suspension and conviction will remain on your record for three years, and may even affect your rates after the conviction comes off your motor vehicle record.
Car insurance may become unaffordable in the future
The penalties for driving without insurance are, without a doubt, very serious. If you do happen to find yourself in this situation car insurance may become a real financial burden, or even become unaffordable. If car insurance is a viable option after your driver’s license suspension and conviction, you’ll most definitely be classified as a “high-risk driver” and would need high-risk auto insurance.