TORONTO—Ontario soon will offer discounts on auto insurance premiums to drivers who install four matching winter tires, according to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada.
Although the details still have to be worked out, a provision to offer the discounts will be included in Ontario's 2015 annual budget, according to an article in TRAC's June 2015 e-Newsletter.
With this action, Ontario follows the example of Manitoba, which in September 2014 instituted a program offering low-interest loans to drivers for the purchase of winter tires. More than 28,000 Manitoba drivers took advantage of that program in its first year.
Currently, just over half of Ontario's 9.4 million drivers install winter tires in season, according to TRAC.
“This new budget provision, when it comes into effect, will provide an immediate financial incentive for the expanded use of winter tires in the province,” TRAC said. “And, longer term, this initiative will provide data to the insurance companies on the lower accident and injury rates, along with those associated costs.”
A 2011 study from Quebec, which mandated winter tire use in 2008, showed that winter tires prevented 574 road accidents annually and reduced highway deaths and serious injuries by 3 percent annually, TRAC said.
The Ontario government has directed the Financial Services Commission of Ontario to establish a committee to determine how best to implement the insurance discount, TRAC said. Representatives of TRAC, the Ontario Safety League and the Insurance Bureau of Canada are likely to participate in the committee, the association said.