Are customers getting a good deal from winter tire discounts in Ontario?

Published: November 27, 2018

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In Ontario, motorists receive auto insurance discounts for installing winter tires. The good news is this discount is mandatory since the Ontario government compelled insurers to offer reduced premiums to drivers with cold season rubber.

However, what do these discounts actually mean in terms of dollar savings and it is worth it? Well, the first thing to consider is that winter tires protect motorists during the winter, improving road grip and stopping times on icy and wet roads. With that in mind, installing winter tires is essential for maintaining safety on roads.

Still, many customers will be thinking how much do they save through auto insurance discounts? While Ontario mandates insurers to offer a discount, the government does not say the percentage amount of the discount.

It is worth considering some basic requirements needed to receive an auto insurance discount for winter tires.

  • Obviously, you will need to have winter tires and have them installed on your vehicle
  • All four tires must be winter rubber
  • Different winter tires with different tread sizes and patterns should be avoided
  • Tires must be certified as winter ready. To help motorists know which rubber is designed for winter use, industry accepted tires feature a severe winter tire symbol on the sidewall. This symbol is a peaked mountain with a snowflake.

So, are the dollar savings worth it? The answer is probably no, but again winter tires can save your life. Ontario is one of Canada’s most expensive auto insurance markets with an average premium of around $1500 each year. If you get a 10% discount for installing winter tires you can count yourself lucky as the standard is around 5%.

With a 5% discount, the customer would save $75 each year based on the average premium. However, each single winter tire costs on average $140, while totals $560 with tax pushing the total to over $630. In other words, by time the winter tires are installed the auto insurance discount becomes pointless.

It is worth noting that your winter tires should be good for years and the discounts will roll over each year, so the savings will add up over time.