Winter tires can increase stability and traction in colder temperatures, gripping icy and snowy roads better than all-season tires. As snow falls and the weather changes, thick slush and translucent black ice will coat driveways, sidewalks, and roads. Winter conditions are hazardous to drivers, often reducing visibility and increasing the likelihood of collisions. Fortunately, winter tires are one way to safeguard yourself during harsh winter conditions. Although the Ontario government hasn’t made winter tires mandatory, they’re highly recommended. Having them on your car will help protect you, your family, and other drivers. And a nice bonus? Installing winter tires can save you money on your auto insurance, too! Let’s look at the winter tire insurance discount in Ontario.
What is a winter tire discount?
In Ontario, you may be eligible for a winter tire insurance discount if you have a full set of winter tires. True winter tires will be marked with a logo of a three-peaked mountain and a snowflake. The FSRA (Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario) requires all Ontario insurance companies to provide a winter tire insurance discount for drivers who install winter tires. At isure, we think this is a great opportunity to reward drivers who invest in safe driving with lower car insurance rates. Winter tires provide better traction; and better traction means the chances of getting into an accident are reduced. Fewer car crashes means lower car insurance rates. Most insurance companies require that winter tires be on your vehicle from November through April. We advise that you keep all of your winter tire purchase and installation receipts, as these may be required by your insurance company.
Fun facts about winter tires
- Winter tires can shorten your braking distance by as much as 25% because of the added traction!
- All-season tires, identified by their signature “M + S” marking for mud and snow tires, do not qualify for a discount. All-season tires begin to stiffen and lose their grip at seven degrees Celsius — a temperature we usually start to see in October. Consider booking time with your mechanic as soon as the temperature drops, even if it’s before your insurance company’s guidelines.
- Ontario’s Accident Benefits coverage is the most generous among provinces with private marketplace systems. Less accidents means fewer injuries and lower car insurance premiums for everyone!
- Utilizing winter tires is a great investment for safety reasons, but they can also help to extend the life of your all-season tires, too.
What is the timeframe for the discount?
Insurance providers have specified dates for when to take off winter tires in Ontario. Typically, the end date is in March or April. And even though it’s unlikely that your insurance provider will check in on the status of your winter tires, they have the right to deny your claim if you’re caught without them during the specified dates. The reasoning behind this is that the insurance company is giving you a discount in exchange for your agreement to use snow tires. The winter tires are part of the insurance policy; therefore, you can void your policy by not having them. It is deemed as a material misrepresentation, a clause in most auto insurance policies.
Typically, the winter tire insurance discount applies for the duration of your auto insurance policy; however, you should also inquire about the discount upon renewal or when switching auto insurance providers.
Winter tire buying tips from the Ministry of Transportation
- Look for the peaked mountain with a snowflake logo on the tire.
- For best results, always install winter tires in sets of four.
- Regularly check the winter tires’ air pressure. Colder weather can bring your tire pressure down, which makes it harder to drive safely.
- Never mix different tread patterns or size tires.
- Replace worn tires or ones that are close to the tread-wear indicators.
To learn more about protecting your investment, please click here to read more about winter tire maintenance.
How to get the winter tire discount in Ontario
Each insurer will have different discounts and rules around the winter tire insurance discount. By law, insurance companies are required to offer you a 2-5% discount once informing them that you have winter tires. All of our isure-approved insurers offer tire discounts – check with an isure broker today for the best percentage (insurers offer different discounts and qualification criteria differs.)
Important: The Ontario government notes that you need to have winter tires installed on all four wheels to qualify.
Are you an isure client?
Let us know that you have winter tires and we will ensure that you receive the winter tire insurance discount. Additionally, we encourage all isure customers to ask us about our tire coverage through isure-approved CAA Insurance because in the event that a road hazard damages your tires, this coverage can protect you.
If you are not an isure customer, give us a call and we will happily provide you with a car insurance quote or more information to find you the car insurance company with the best winter tire insurance discount.