Our Safe Driver Recognition (SDR) program uses a Safety Rating Scale, based on points, to determine your safety rating. Your safety rating is based on your driving record. View information on the SDR program.
If you have a poor driving record with at-fault collisions and more serious traffic convictions and you have a negative safety rating, then you are in the Penalty Zone and are assessed demerit points and a corresponding financial penalty for each incident. Drivers in the Penalty Zone are not eligible for a discount on their vehicle insurance.
How it works
- You lose points (demerits) on the Safety Rating Scale for certain incidents, such as being at fault for a collision, being 50% at fault for a collision, or certain traffic convictions and roadside suspensions. See a breakdown of points value for driving incidents.
- For incidents that occurred prior to Oct. 12, 2016, the financial penalty was $25 for each cumulative point in the Penalty Zone (capped at a maximum penalty of $500).
- For incidents that occur on or after Oct. 12, 2016, the financial penalty is $50 for each cumulative point in the Penalty Zone (capped at a maximum penalty of $1,000).
- Financial penalties are based on your cumulative position in the Penalty Zone. This means the further an incident moves you into the Penalty Zone, the more you pay for that incident. The maximum penalties noted above apply to most incidents except for the following offences:
- Impaired driving or blood alcohol level (BAC) over 80 mg but less than 160 mg ($1,250 financial penalty).
- BAC 160 mg or greater or failure/refusal to comply with demand ($2,250 financial penalty).
- Criminal Code offences resulting in injury or death ($2,500 financial penalty).
- If you're convicted of a traffic-related Criminal Code offence, you'll move to at least -20 on the scale and receive 1 of the maximum financial penalties listed above, regardless of your position on the scale prior to the incident.
- You have 90 days to pay any financial penalties.
Penalties paid through the Safe Driver Recognition program are in addition to fines handed out by law enforcement for traffic convictions. Those at fault for a collision also pay their insurance deductibles.
Moving out of the Penalty Zone
You can move out of the Penalty Zone through safe driving.
- Each year of incident-free driving moves you 1 point towards the Safety Zone.
- As long as you're moving towards the Safety Zone, you do not pay another financial penalty - you pay only your base vehicle insurance premium.
- After 3 consecutive years of driving incident-free, drivers remaining in the Penalty Zone automatically return to neutral - the starting point on the scale.
Note: Effective Oct. 12, 2016, you must have a valid driver's licence to earn clear years. Clear years will not be earned if your licence is expired, cancelled, suspended, etc.
A multiple incident exists when a driver is involved in an at-fault collision and is charged and subsequently convicted of a traffic conviction related to the at-fault collision. Where you move on the Safety Rating Scale depends on where you are placed on the scale after the at-fault collision is applied.
- If you remain at or above 0 after the collision is applied, you will not be penalized for the traffic conviction.
- If you fall below 0 after the collision is applied, you will receive a financial penalty for the collision, based on your safety rating after the collision. Then your safety rating will be further reduced for the traffic conviction, but you will not be charged a financial penalty for the traffic conviction.
Note: These rules do not apply to Criminal Code offences or suspensions.
For appeal wins and claim buy-backs for accidents that occur on or after Oct. 12, 2016, you will receive your accident points back, but will lose points for the other conviction(s) that were part of the multiple incident. If these convictions move you into the Penalty Zone, you will be assessed a financial penalty.
Point values for driving incidents
The information below outlines the points value of specific driving incidents.
Note: In the event of a discrepancy between the above wording and the governing legislation, the legislation will prevail.