Ontario Winter Tire Discount On Car Insurance Now Mandatory

Come January 1, 2016 all Ontario car insurance companies must offer a winter tire discount.

Reports suggest that currently only about half of Ontario auto insurers offer drivers a winter tire discount on their insurance, however this is going to change in the new year. Come January 1, 2016 all Ontario car insurance companies must offer the discount to drivers who change their tires seasonally.

"The standard [winter tire discount] in the insurance industry prior to it being mandated was 5 per cent," said InsuranceHotline’s own in-house expert Anne Marie Thomas in a discussion with the Globe and Mail. "It’s worth asking about because if you already put on winter tires, you’re getting a discount for something you’re already doing."

As a result of the new mandated discount, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is encouraging people to shop around for a better rate.

"Consumers renewing their policy before Jan. 1, 2016 and who install winter tires, should shop around for the best possible rates and the coverage that fits their needs," spokesman Malon Edwards told the Globe and Mail. "Drivers whose policy renewal is on or after Jan. 1, 2016 should call their insurer to inquire about a possible mid-term discount on their auto insurance premiums."

How winter tires make a difference

According to the Rubber Association of Canada, winter tires offer up to 50 per cent or more traction than all-seasons. And, in a statement the Ministry of Finance says, "Winter tires enhance safety and reduce the likelihood of collisions by improving traction, braking and handling in frost, snow, slush and under cold and icy conditions."

Generally it’s recommended that winter tires be installed when the temperatures dip to 7° Celsius however for insurance purposes they should be on the car from November until April.

The Ministry of Finance offers the following tips for drivers who will be buying, installing and maintaining winter tires this coming winter:

  • Look for tires marked with a logo of a peaked mountain with a snowflake (pictured above)
  • Install winter 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
  • Check the tires' air pressure at least once a month

Don’t wait until 2016 to pay less. Compare rates today.

Why wait for the new year to pay less on your car insurance rates? That’s months away. Many insurers offer a winter tire discount today. Compare 30+ car insurance quotes for a better rate now.