Date Published: 2023/11/01

Read Time: mins

Stay safe (and save money!) with winter tires.

A car driving down a snowy road on a winter day with winter tires.

As we say goodbye to pumpkin spice lattes and hello to peppermint hot chocolates, it's time to prepare for the snowy and icy roads that come with winter in Canada. Installing winter tires on your vehicle is one of the best ways to stay safe in winter driving conditions. They provide better traction, improved handling and increased safety in winter weather. But did you know that having winter tires on your vehicle can also save you money on your car insurance?

In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of winter tires and explore the potential insurance discount for drivers in Ontario.

What are the benefits of winter tires? 

Winter tires are designed to provide better traction and handling in cold weather conditions. They are made with a softer rubber compound that stays pliable in frigid temperatures, which allows them to grip the road better than summer or all-season tires. Winter tires also have deeper treads and better biting edges than other tires, which helps them maintain traction on snow and ice, increasing safety on slippery roads.

When should I install and remove my winter tires?

You should install winter tires when the temperature drops below 7°C. At this temperature, other tires start losing their grip on the road, making driving dangerous. You also want to install winter tires before the first snowfall, as it ensures you're prepared for any sudden weather changes.

If you still need to do so, contact a trusted professional to schedule an appointment to install winter tires on your vehicle for the upcoming season. Appointments book up fast during the winter rush. It's also important to replace all four tires at the same time to ensure consistent traction and control.

Once the temperature rises above 7°C consistently, it's time to remove winter tires from your vehicle. These tires are designed specifically for cold weather conditions and can wear out quickly in warmer temperatures.

Can I get a discount on my car insurance with winter tires?

As of 2016, insurance providers in Ontario must offer a discount on car insurance to drivers who install winter tires on their vehicles between specific dates, typically November through April.1 The discount is usually in the range of two to five percent, but it will depend on your insurance company.

Each insurer will also have its own requirements for the discount to apply. Typically, your insurance company will ask during a new policy setup if you have winter tires for your vehicle. They may require proof of purchase or installation of your winter tires, such as a receipt. If you have yet to inform your insurer that you have winter tires or recently purchased winter tires for your vehicle, call your insurance broker to update them and inquire about the discount.

Remember, each insurance company and province has its own rules to qualify for the winter tire discount. In any event, you can improve your winter driving safety by installing winter tires. Confirm with your broker which dates you need to have your winter tires on and off your vehicle, along with any other requirements set by your insurer.

If you're a current Orbit policyholder and have questions about the winter tire discount or your car insurance coverage, call 877-976-7248 to review your policy or learn more about your coverage options.

If you're shopping for car insurance and would like to request a quote, visit our website to request a free quote.

1. Ontario Newsroom