As the temperature drops and our days shorten, Canadian start to gather their winter essentials; thick coats, warm boots, bags of salt and a sturdy shovel. Winter tires, on the other hand, have always been a point of debate. Some people say they can’t live without them while others say they’re not worth the price tag. Below, you’ll find three reasons why snow tires really are a winter essential.
1. They’re Built for the Snow
Tires have to meet strict performance criteria in order to earn the coveted “winter tire” label. When temperatures drop, the rubber used for regular or “all-season” tires hardens making them ineffective on the slick roadways. The rubber used for snow tires, on the other hand, stays soft which allows them to better conform to the texture of the snow and ice covered roads.
2. They Have Unique Treads
Snow tires have unique treads that are wider and larger than standard “all season” tires. The tread on snow tires have two functions. First, it’s designed to wick away moisture from the tires main point of contact which allows for more control. Second, the larger tread means that when the tires rotate, they can grip into the ice and snow and, ultimately, kick it out behind them as the vehicle moves along the slick surface.
3. Better Stopping
Starting a vehicle in slick conditions is hard. Stopping a vehicle in slick conditions is even harder. Studies have shown that snow tires can decrease your stopping distance by up to 37%. That is an enormous advantage on our snowy northern roads. This could not only prevent an accident, it could end up saving a life.
When In Doubt, Stay Off The Roads
We encourage all drivers to consider purchasing a set of high quality winter tires for their vehicles. Winter tires give you more control in snowy conditions. With that said, if the road are bad and you don’t have to drive, the safest option is always to stay put until the weather – and the roads – clear up.
Discounts Available – Call Your Broker!
If you do have winter tires, be sure to call your broker today. You may qualify for a discount on your auto insurance!
Today is the official first day of winter. I don’t know who decides these things, but it seems to me winter has been lingering about for a couple of weeks now. Seeing as old man winter has officially returned, it seems only fitting to address one of the most dreaded winter activities: driving. Below you’ll find some tips to help you stay safe on the winter roads.
1. Invest in a good set of winter tires.
The rubber used to make winter tires stays softer in chilly temperatures which gives you a better grip on slippery roads.
2. Maintain your vehicle.
Get your breaks, battery and windshield whippers checked. Keep spare windshield washer fluid in your car and try to keep your gas tank at least half full to help prevent freezing gas lines.
3. Be prepared.
Along with the standard ice scraper and a pair of warm winter gloves, it’s a good idea to put together an emergency kit with winter travel in mind. Some useful items to include are:
- a warm blanket and warm clothes
- a shovel
- a bag of sand to help create friction if you get stuck
- non-perishable snacks and water
- some flares
- booster cables
4. Keep an eye on the weather.
Check the weather reports before embarking on any trips, especially long distance ones. If the driving conditions are poor and you don’t have to travel, it’s best to stay indoors and off the roads.
5. Go slow in snow.
If you do have to drive, give yourself lots of extra time, take it slow and be extra diligent. Remember, even if you can drive well in the snow, that doesn’t mean all the other drivers can.
Who doesn’t want a lower auto premium? Here are five tips to keep your premiums as low as possible without sacrificing important coverages.
- Ask about special discounts
Do you have winter tires on your vehicle? How about a theft prevention device? These details can add up to significant savings. Be sure to ask your broker about any special discounts or programs to maximize your savings
- Bundle up!
Many companies offer a multi-policy discount for clients who place their property and auto insurance with the same insurer. This can save you up to 15% off your premium. When getting a quote, be sure to advise your broker of any property policies you have as this can impact your quote.
- Shop around
When your renewal lands in your mailbox this year, don’t be afraid to find out what other brokers have to offer. The insurance market is always changing and what was a good price five years ago may not be so hot today. Contact brokers in your area to see what each can offer. You may find a lower price – or peace of mind that the policy you have is the right one for you
- Stay collision and conviction-free
This is the most important tip of all. Careful driving habits are the most effective way to keep your premiums down. Companies love to see conviction-free and collision-free drivers, so much so, that many offer conviction free and good driving discounts.
- Ask about Driving Record Protection
Obviously, accidents do happen. That’s why we’re here! But did you know that a single collision can affect your auto insurance premium for six years or more?
The Driving Record Protection endorsement is an optional coverage offered by certain companies. It is designed to protect your driving record if you do find yourself in an at-fault collision. This means the good rate you’ve earned over the years is kept intact and you can breathe easy knowing your premium won’t fly through the roof on the next renewal.
Contact your broker today to find out if you’re eligible for this endorsement.