Ontario drivers getting winter tire auto insurance discounts

Published: October 15, 2015

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Drivers in Ontario who will be using winter tires this year will be afforded auto insurance discounts according to a Wednesday announcement by the Ministry of Finance in the province.

The OMF is mandating all insurance providers in Ontario to offer discounts if an owner buys and installs winter tires for the cold season, which starts 1 Jan, 2016. However, the opposition government has said it is merely a gimmick gesture and the Ontario Ministry of Finance readily admits that many insurance companies in the province already offer discounts for winter tire use, some 45 per cent in fact.

Regardless, the OMF says the government is “moving forward with its plan to help lower auto insurance rates.”

“Individual insurers will determine the amount of the discount they offer and what documentation, if any, they require from drivers to verify their use of winter tires.”

Insurance discount premiums whether for new policies or mid-policy price drops for drivers who use winter tires because it gives more traffic security? A car is much less likely to get involved in an accident on an icy road if it has winter tires installed, so insurers discount consumers for being willing to lower the risk.

The government issued some facts about the safety associated with using winter tires on its official website:

  • Winter tires that are in good condition can shorten braking distances by as much as 25 per cent.
  • Ontario’s accident benefits coverage is the most generous among provinces with private marketplace systems.
  • Drivers with winter tires need to first contact their insurance company to determine the amount of the discount they offer and the documentation they require to verify use of winter tires.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa sat in on a demonstration at Tire Canada in Toronto that showed the benefits of using winter tires and used the meeting to announce the new government initiative. He said the government has made “important and necessary reforms” to the insurance industry in Canada’s most populated province, but the liberal government failed in a promise to lower average auto insurance premiums over a two year period.

When buying these tires, Ontario is also reminding drivers to:

• Look for tires marked with a logo of a peaked mountain with a snowflake;

• Install the tires in sets of four;

• Do not mix tires with different tread patterns or size;

• Change tires that are worn close to the tread-wear indicators; and

• Check the tires’ air pressure at least once a month

SOURCE: Ontario Gvt