I always find it strange to hear my customers say “will my car be insured if I fit winter tyres”. I used to think that they were joking at first, but for some reason, they were very serious, apparently it was something that they had read in a national newspaper. When I checked this out, it said that if you modify or change your car from the original specs, then you should
inform your insurance company, or you could not be insured in case that you had an accident. I suspect that this covers thousands of motorists driving about today, “with what they would consider minor adjustments” to their cars, such as fitting winter tyres, or a “go faster stripe “down the side.
There is no doubt that winter tyres do affect your cars performance, but only for the better by making the car drive with better control and brake better in winter weather from rain to ice and snow. As long as you sick to the same size and the advised load rating for your car, you should be fine and proud to fit the winter tyres.
Insurance companies should give you “discount” for fitting winter tyres
Even this year our customers have asked about the affect winter tyres can have on their insurance, so I thought that I would look into a little deeper and write an article about the subject. In my opinion I think that you should get a rebate from your insurance company if you make your car safer by fitting winters to it. In fact the big debate to me is “are cars with illegal part worn tyres insured” and the answer is NO, but I will look at that in a future article.
The problem has also become an issue with the insurers themselves after a deluge of inquiries from worried car owners, thinking that they would not be insured if they fitted these tyres to their car. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) the problem has been taken up with its members and now over 90% have agreed that they will not increase premiums for their customers that fit the correct winter tyres to their vehicles.
They also agreed that fitting winters to their car made for better road safety over the winter period, in fact many of the other European countries make it a law to fit winters between November and March of the following year, so why should the British motorists be penalized.
A statement from the ABI says; “often motor insurers will not charge an additional premium when their insured customers use winter tyres, provided that they meet, and are fitted in accordance with, the vehicle manufacturers’ specifications and are in a roadworthy condition”
If you are unsure about your own insurance company as regarding their stance on the matter, then you can either ring them up or go to the ABI website where insurers are listed, who comply with “good to fit winter tyres “ruling. The web address is… https://www.abi.org.uk/~/media/Files/Documents/Publications/Public/Migrated/Motor/ABI%20guide%20to%20winter%20tyres%20The%20motor%20insurance%20commitment.pdf
Winter tyres will not incur extra insurance costs
Have I have stated earlier in this article the insurance companies often increased the costs of your insurance if you modified your car in any way and did not inform them, things like an upgraded modified engine spring to mind. They regarded you as been more likely to have an accident, if you had modified your car and also your car may have become a bigger target to car thieves, so an extra premium would have been charged.
At first when winter tyres became more popular the insurance companies gave out mixed messages, but the ABI can now confirm that winter tyres are a safety issue and are a great improvement when fitted to your car through the winter period.
My own advice would be to inform your insurance company that you are fitting winter tyres. You will, not have to pay any extra premiums. Some companies do require you to inform than a list can be found on the ABI web-site. Nick Starling, ABI’s director of general insurance, said: “Insurers do not want to penalize motorists who take steps, like fitting winter tyres, to improve their safety on dangerous winter roads. Last year cold weather came early and there was some uncertainty for customers about the insurance implications of fitting winter tyres. This commitment clarifies the position for motorists.”
Always fit the same size or a size recommended by your tyre dealer if a direct replacement cannot be found. Good tyre retailers will have a web site for converting the sizes over legally and should be accepted by the insurance companies. Some insurance companies such as Tesco and The Co-operative insurance company state that you are alright to fit winters but you should not oversize them. Over sizing any tyres is not a good thing anyway?
Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work
and parts. We also sell Winter Tyres Online from our website www.pellontyres.co.uk by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.