UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Winter tires are proven to reduce the risk of accidents on slippery or snowy roads. But do insurance companies really give you a discount for having winter tires?
Many insurance companies give winter tire discounts to drivers living in wintry climates. Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about winter tire insurance discounts, including how much you can save with winter tires.
Yes, Many Insurance Companies Offer Discounts for Winter Tires
Winter tires are heavy-duty tires with unique treads designed to grip the road more effectively. During winter, with snow and slush on the road, winter tires can make a significant difference in your risk of slipping and sliding. They reduce the risk of an accident.
Winter tires allow you to stop up to 40% sooner than all-season tires. They also significantly improve a vehicle’s handling in winter weather.
Some states – including northern states or states with high elevation mountain passes – require the use of winter tires during certain times of the year. Other states require you to carry chains during winter months.
Some states – even states with harsh winters – don’t require winter tires at all. Alaska, for example, has no winter tire requirements whatsoever. Drivers are free to use their summer tires all year round.
In certain states and with certain car insurance companies, you can save 5% to 10% on car insurance premiums by having winter tires.
Some Companies Offer 5% to 10% Discounts for Having Winter Tires
You may be able to save anywhere from 5% to 10% by having winter tires on your vehicle.
Discounts vary between insurance companies. Some insurance companies offer no discounts whatsoever. Others offer significant discounts.
If you live in a wintry climate, you may be able to find an insurance company willing to offer a small discount on winter tires. Otherwise, winter tire discounts are rare in most of the United States.
Winter Tires Can Save You Thousands on Car Insurance
Winter tires may not lead directly to an insurance discount. However, they can indirectly save you thousands of dollars on car insurance.
If winter tires help you avoid just one at-fault accident, then they can easily save you thousands of dollars on car insurance.
A single at-fault accident can cause car insurance rates to skyrocket 40% or more. Some companies nearly double your rates after a single at-fault accident.
Let’s say you’re driving on a snowy road and pull up to a stoplight too quickly. You slam the brakes, but your car continues sliding towards the bumper of the vehicle in front of you. You hit the bumper, and you’re 100% at-fault for the accident.
You and your car insurance company are required to pay for the cost of repairing the other vehicle to pre-loss condition. You may also be required to pay the other driver’s medical bills and other expenses. If the other driver suffered from whiplash, for example, then you may need to pay.
Even if your insurance company covers all of these costs, you’ll still pay higher insurance premiums in the future. If your insurance company denies your claim, or only covers damage up to a certain limit, then you may be required to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket.
All of these costs could have been avoided with winter tires, which allow you to stop up to 40% sooner on wintry roads.
How Much Do Winter Tires Cost?
There are two main reasons people avoid installing winter tires on a vehicle: the upfront cost and the hassle of changing the tires every year.
Generally, a set of four winter tires costs between $200 to $800. This cost includes only the rubber – not the wheels and rims.
You may want to mount your winter tires on a separate, less-attractive set of rims. Road salt, gravel, and other winter road hazards can chew through your nice summer tire rims.
The cost of winter tires may seem high. However, many see winter tires as an investment in making themselves – and their families – safer. Any additional winter tire car insurance discount is just a cherry on top.
If you live in a wintry climate, then winter tires may be a smart investment. Winter tires help you stop up to 40% sooner and improve winter handling. Some insurance companies offer discounts for having winter tires, especially for drivers living in northern, mountainous, or wintry parts of the country.
Shop around today to find a car insurance company giving a winter tire car insurance discount.