What is the winter tire discount in Ontario?
As of January 1, 2016, all insurance providers operating in Ontario are required to provide a winter tire discount—typically 2 to 5 per cent—to policyholders who purchase and install winter tires.
The Ontario winter tire discount, which was mandated by the Ministry of Finance and the Government of Ontario, was put into force to not only reduce car insurance rates but also to improve overall roadway safety.
Any drivers seeking a new policy or whose policy is up for renewal should speak to an insurance broker to determine the rates and coverage that fits their needs.
How to qualify for the Ontario winter tire discount
The requirements for the Ontario winter tire discount vary by insurance company, making it all the more important for drivers to connect with an expert insurance broker.
In most cases, it is likely you'll need to prove to your insurer that you have installed winter tires with the winter tire emblem. This is generally done by providing pictures, receipts or documentation that confirms a verbal endorsement.
As a policyholder, you may be required to provide a bill of sale and/or proof of installation of the winter tires. You are required to keep the following for your records:
- Proof of purchase
- Proof of installation or remove (e.g., receipt/invoice)
- Clear photo of the tire (be sure to include the winter tire emblem)
The winter tire discount will remain on your car insurance for the full term of the policy (usually a one-year term). This includes the time when winter tires are not on your vehicle.
Due to the declining effectiveness of tires over time, the winter tire discount may expire after 5 years after the discount was first applied.
Therefore, it's important to let your insurance broker know every time you make any upgrades to your vehicle, including getting new tires.
Why are winter tires better?
Winter tires are critical to road safety in hazardous conditions. In fact, when compared to all-season tires, vehicles equipped with winter tires have been shown to decrease the stopping distance of a car by 30 to 40 per cent in temperatures less than 7°C.
Winter tires are designed to enhance safety and reduce the likelihood of collisions in frost, snow, slush, and under cold and icy conditions. When purchasing and installing winter tires, it’s important to do the following:
- Purchase tires that feature a logo of a peaked mountain and a snowflake. This indicates that the tires are rated for winter conditions.
- Install winter tires in sets of four.
- Avoid mixing tires that feature different tread patterns.
- Check your tire pressure monthly and change tires that are worn.
The Ontario winter tire discount is meant to encourage drivers to take full advantage of the safety benefits winter tires have to offer. To ensure you are getting the most out of your policy, contact your Scrivens insurance broker today.