Winter Tire Discount: How Staying Safe Can Save You Money

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Insurance Advice, and Personal Safety Tips

Canadian winters are bad enough having to deal with shorter days, colder weather, and gloomy grey skies. When it comes to icy roads and snowfall, take the proper precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you by having winter tires installed on your vehicle this winter.

If you’re looking for an easy way to save money and lower premiums on your automobile insurance this winter read on and learn more about Ontario’s Winter Tire Discount.

Ontario Winter Tire Discount

As an added benefit to arming your car with the proper traction to protect against slippery roads, starting January 1st, 2016 automobile insurance holders will be eligible for a Winter Tire Discount if they take the appropriate measures and install winter tires on their vehicle.

This movement comes from insurance companies in adherence with the Ontario Government’s recent mandate, which is helping to promote safer driving practices and accident prevention.

Accident Prevention

Although the Ontario Government has been promoting the use of winter tires since 2014, winter tires have been mandatory in Quebec since 2008, and have resulted in a decrease in winter collisions by 18% This move has also seen crashes causing serious injury or death decrease by 36%, so it’s great to see more being done to encourage safer habits in Ontario.

Vehicles equipped with winter tires have been shown to decrease the stopping distance of a car by 30%-40% more than all-season tires. By cutting the length of time, and distance where you don’t have control over your car, this can be the measure that prevents serious injury, or even worse.

Knowing that winter tires can supplement safe driving habits to prevent accidents should hopefully encourage those out there that haven’t already taken precautions. For everyone else, we commend your safety standards!

Now you know that winter tires can help decrease accidents, but do you know how they work?

Increased Winter Driving Safety

Contrary to popular belief, snow tires aren’t superior to others based on depth of tread alone. The greatest strength of winter tires lies in the tread designs, and the rubber compounds they’re built out of.

Winter tires don’t just work better because the deeper treads grip snow better, they’re often actually built from a different rubber compound than all other tires. The rubber on most tires will harden as the weather drops, reducing traction and making them less effective at gripping the road, but not on winter tires. The greatest benefit of winter tires is that they stay softer and more malleable in colder temperatures than summer or all-season tires. This softness is what helps the tires maintain contact with and adhere to the small imperfections in the road, improving grip and traction, allowing you more control over your car.

In addition to the tread design, winter tires are also outfitted with small grooves called sipes. As a tire rotates and compacts the snows beneath it, the tire begins to melt the top layer of snow, which becomes water. The tiny sipes on the tire work to move this water away from the sides of the tires, further maintaining the tire’s contact with the road. This process can also help greatly reduce incidences of hydroplaning, which can be difficult to manage for experienced drivers, and immobilizing for inexperienced ones.

With the science of winter tires out of the way, let’s move on to winter tire advice.

Winter Tire Advice

Summer and all-season tires start to become rigid in the months approaching winter, even before the snow begins to fall. As the rubber becomes hard, they lose their effectiveness. Experts recommend that you switch into your winter tires when the temperature begins to drop to 7°C and below. Don’t wait for snow fall to get your tires swapped!

When choosing winter tires, what should you be looking for? We recommend going with a thinner width than what your summer or all season tires are sporting. Utilizing a thinner tire decreases the surface area available, which increases the pressure exerted by the wheel. This extra pressure can help make it better for slicing through snow, and prevent hydroplaning

Another thing to note is that winter tires aren’t just about getting your car to move forward, but they also help slow and stop your vehicle. Some people will think that having all wheel drive will help them better drive in, and handle icy conditions, but without the proper tires stopping will remain difficult regardless of how many wheels you have spinning.

Also, on the subject of drive wheels, some drivers will only get winter tires installed on the tires that propel the car forward. It’s always recommended that you get a set of 4 matching winter tires for your vehicle, because if your drive wheels are the only ones with winter tires, the unbalanced traction could result in a spin-out. It should also be noted that the Winter Tire Discount is only eligible if all 4 tires on your vehicle are winter tires.

When choosing winter tires, we recommend you listen to an experienced professional to select the tires that best suit the make and model of your vehicle. The advice provided above should serve only as guidelines, and are not hard and fast rules.

Discounts Ranging from 2% to 5%

Depending on your policy and driving record, you may see insurance discounts ranging anywhere between 2% and 5%; just the added incentive to get yourself a set of winter tires this year, and improve road safety for everyone during those harsh winter months. As if you needed any more reason!

Winter tires may be an added expense, but you shouldn’t put a price on safety. And with these winter tire discounts to help off-set the cost, the timing has never been better. The Winter Tire Discount applies only to personal use vehicles. Every insurer will carry their own eligibility guidelines, such as the period during which the tires must be installed, the age of the tires used, proof of purchase for the winter tires, and proof of installation.

Contact your local insurance broker today and see what level of discount you may be eligible for.

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