To qualify, you must purchase and use a full set of four winter
tires, and keep them on your car during the months required by your
insurance provider. These can be tires you have already purchased.
The discount will be applied upon the renewal of your policy.
Compliance is being monitored by the Financial Services Commission
of Ontario (FSCO).
A winter tire discount on insurance is nothing new in Ontario
– many insurance providers have offered it as part of their
policies for years. However, this is the first time in Ontario that
such a discount will be mandatory.
At its heart, the new regulations are a safety measure to
encourage the use of winter tires and reduce the accident rate on
Ontario's roads. According to Ontario's Ministry of Transportation, road
surfaces such as snow, slush, and ice were involved in 11.4% of the
total collisions for 2012, and in regards to visibility snow,
freezing rain, and drifting snow were involved in 9% – for
comparison, 34% of accidents in that year took place during
December through March, suggesting that environmental issues were a
contributing factor in at least a third of these accidents, if not
more. Although not ideal outside of the winter months, winter tires
are very important in accident prevention during cold weather,
particularly when there is ice or uncleared snow on the road
– not only do they reduce the braking distance by 25%, but a
full set of four tires makes the vehicle considerably more stable
than it would be with all-weather tires.
To claim your discount, contact your insurance company once you
have purchased and installed your winter tires, and ensure that you
keep your receipts in case your insurer needs copies.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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