The Ontario Ministry of Finance announced in the fall of 2015 that it will require all provincial insurance companies to offer a discount for drivers who have purchased and installed winter tires on their vehicles. This mandate, effective January 1, 2016, is part of the province’s plan to help reduce auto insurance rates. The most obvious component of this initiative is the savings that vehicle owners are rewarded with for taking steps towards safer driving. But what else should you know about the new Winter Tire Discount?
- The discount was implemented effective January 1, 2016. This means that if you are purchasing or renewing an auto insurance policy after this date, you are now able to add this discount to your policy if you qualify. If your policy renews later in the year (say, in July for example), you may be able to add the discount to your policy mid-term, but some insurance companies require that the discount be added on at your next renewal – your broker will be able to confirm this for you.
- Winter Tires are classified as: tires recognized as meeting or exceeding the minimum snow traction requirements set by the Rubber Association of Canada, and are designed for use in both cold weather and severe snow weather conditions. Tires that meet this requirement are marked with a snowflake & mountain symbol on the sidewall.
- Keep your bill of sale. Insurance companies vary in regards to what documentation they require as proof that winter tires have been installed. Some simply require verbal confirmation, while others will require a copy of the bill of sale for the tires, the installation, or both. Again, your broker will be able to confirm this, but it is always best practice to keep your proof of payment on file in the event that a claim occurs in the future.
- Most importantly, how much can you save? The discount varies from company to company, but typically falls within the range of 2-5%. Below is a short list of insurers and the Winter Tire Discounts they offer:
- AIG – 3%
- Aviva – 5%
- Chubb Insurance – 3%
- Guarantee Gold – 5%
- Intact Insurance and Novex – 3%
- Jevco Insurance – 2%
- RSA Insurance – 3%
Be it a small or large amount of savings, the fact that auto insurers are finding new ways to encourage road safety is a step in the right direction. Not only does it protect the lives and vehicles of those they insure, but also the driving community at large.
To find out if you qualify for the Ontario Winter Tire Discount and how much you can save, speak to one of our personal insurance experts today.