Since its introduction four years ago, more than 100,000 low-interest loans have been processed under the province’s Winter Tire Program, Crown Services Minister Colleen Mayer and Manitoba Public Insurance announced today.
“Prior to this program, Manitoba had one of the lowest rates of winter tire use in all of Canada,” said Mayer. “Thanks to this program, which is administered by Manitoba Public Insurance, and an increase in overall awareness about the safety benefits of winter tires, that number has grown significantly, which enhances road safety and helps to keep our auto insurance rates in check.”
Winter tires have a cold weather rubber compound and tread patterns designed to perform on wet, snow-covered and icy surfaces. Numerous road safety studies confirm that winter tires reduce braking distances by lessening sliding on ice and snow.
“Loss prevention strategies of this nature ultimately benefit Manitoba Public Insurance customers through lower rates,” said Satvir Jatana, vice-president responsible for communications, Manitoba Public Insurance.
“Our historic data shows an increase in collision claims during the winter months,” said Jatana. “Many of these collisions are fender benders, where one vehicle is unable to stop due to snow or ice, so as more vehicles in Manitoba are equipped with winter tires, we expect collision rates will ultimately decrease.”
Nearly 700 participating retailers
The program provides loans of up to 48 months at prime plus two per cent, up to $2,000 per vehicle. Participation is as easy as going to any one of 695 participating winter tire retailers throughout the province to confirm eligibility and have the loan authorization processed.
Eligible tires display a snowflake symbol, as endorsed by Transport Canada. This symbol indicates that the tires have met specific snow traction performance requirements and are designed to be used in severe snow conditions.
Financing is available to eligible customers for the purchase of winter tires in addition to associated installation costs including rims, tire pressure monitoring system, addition of studs to tires (some limitations apply), mounting and balancing, wheel alignment and shop supplies.
Customers interested in participating in the program are encouraged to visit Manitoba Public Insurance’s website at mpi.mb.ca for more information on program rules and to select a participating retailer.
- The average length of a winter tire loan is currently about three years.
- The average loan amount is approximately $1,200.
- At temperatures just below freezing on dry pavement, winter tires have been shown to reduce stopping distances by as much as 30 per cent compared with all-season tires.
- Winter tires offer significantly better traction on snow-covered or icy road surfaces at temperatures well below -30 C than all-season tires have at 4 C.