Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) says it will continue to provide low-interest loans for winter tire installation. The public auto insurance provider says the Winter Tire Program has been a success and helped keep premiums affordable.
In a statement last week, MPI confirmed the Winter Tire Program will continue in 2018. Manitoba’s basic auto insurance carrier introduced the initiative four years ago. At the time, the province had among the lowest rates of winter tire use in Canada.
Manitoba Crown Services Minister Colleen Mayer says since the program was introduced, over 100,00 low-interest loans have been processed. Loans are given to motorists for the purchase and installation of winter tires.
“Thanks to this program, which is administered by Manitoba Public Insurance, and an increase in overall awareness about the safety benefits of winter tires, that number [of those using winter tires] has grown significantly, which enhances road safety and helps to keep our auto insurance rates in check,” she said.
Cold Season Tires
Many provinces mandate the use of winter tires during the cold season, while others offer insurance discounts for installing them. Winter tires are made from a specialized rubber compound that functions in cold conditions. Tread patters help keep the tires gripped on icy and wet roads and have been proven to reduce stopping distances.
“Loss prevention strategies of this nature ultimately benefit Manitoba Public Insurance customers through lower rates,” said Satvir Jatana, MPI’s vice president responsible for communications.
“Many of these collisions are fender benders, where one vehicle is unable to stop due to snow or ice, so as more vehicles in Manitoba are equipped with winter tires, we expect collision rates will ultimately decrease.”
The Winter Tire Program allows customers to take a loan of up to $2,000 per vehicle over a timeframe of up to 48 months. Loans are at prime rate with two per cent. MPI says the average loan amount is $1,200, while the average payment plan is three years.