MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Desjardins General Insurance
(DGI) is rewarding motorists in Ontario who invest in safe winter driving by
providing a five per cent auto insurance discount to its customers who install
winter tires on their vehicles.
"All the evidence shows that winter tires are very effective at
preventing accidents during the cold winter months," said Denis Côté, DGI's
Vice-President of Marketing Services. "These tires have deeper,
specially-designed treads and are made of innovative rubber compounds that are
softer and more pliant and as a result perform much better not only in ice,
snow, and slush, but also in both dry and wet conditions when the temperature
dips below 7(degrees)C. That's basically everywhere in Ontario from November
through the end of March."
Despite overwhelming evidence that winter tires significantly improve
braking, traction and cornering, a 2005 study by The Canadian Press and Léger
Marketing found that only 29 per cent of Ontario drivers use winter tires.
Testing in winter conditions by Transport Canada and the Rubber
Association of Canada found that stopping was 30 to 40 per cent longer with
all-season tires versus winter tires. The testing also showed the value of
winter tires on cornering: vehicles with all-season tires ended up off the
testing track when cornering, even at speeds of only 40 to 50 kilometres an
hour. With winter tires, the vehicles had no problem.
The results were consistent for front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel
drive vehicles. In every case, the winter tires significantly outperformed the
Consumers can view demonstration videos of the testing by visiting the
According to Mr. Côté, many people recognize the need for winter tires in
snow-belt and Northern areas of the province, but may not feel they are
necessary in the GTA and other Southern Ontario areas where the winters are
"The fact is, the GTA has more freezing rain, ice pellets, melting snow
and those cold, icy mornings before the salt trucks have been out when people
are heading to work or school," he says. "These conditions are much more
dangerous than just plain snow."
One impediment to the wider use of winter tires is the perceived extra
cost, but according to Mr. Côté, winter tires are a smart investment.
"Winter tires will extend the life of your all-season tires because of
the simple fact that your warm weather tires won't be on the road for five
months of the year," he explains. "So other than the relatively minor cost of
mounting and the balancing the tires with each installation, you're really not
spending any more for tires over the life of your vehicle. And the insurance
discount we're offering should offset the bi-annual tire installation costs."
"But more importantly, using winter tires will reduce your likelihood of
an accident by between 30 and 40 per cent. When you consider the cost of even
a minor fender bender, let alone a more serious collision, winter tires are
obviously an excellent financial and safety investment," he adds.
According to the Rubber Association of Canada, it's important to install
four winter tires, rather than just two. Installing only two tires can change
a vehicle's handling so much as to be unsafe.
It's also important not to use winter tires in the warm months of the
year as the softer tread wears away quickly in the heat, and braking and
handling is significantly less effective than with all-season tires.
Consumers interested in DGI's winter tire discount should visit
About Desjardins General Insurance
Desjardins General Insurance is a trademark, the property of Desjardins
General Insurance Group (DGIG), and a registered business name used in Ontario
and Alberta by its subsidiaries Certas Direct Insurance Company and Certas
Home and Auto Insurance. DGIG is a member of Desjardins Group, the largest
cooperative financial group in Canada. With over 3,400 employees across
Canada, a portfolio of 1.8 million policies in force, a business volume of
$1.4 billion and assets of $3.1 billion, DGIG ranks among the largest property
and casualty (P&C) insurers in Canada.
For further information:
For further information: Media Contact: Joe Daly, (905) 306-5252 ext.
5305; Stéphane Mailhot, (418) 835-4900, ext. 7284