Millions of drivers across the province can expect a break on their auto insurance thanks to Thursday’s Ontario budget including a discount for drivers who use snow tires.

The budget declared that all insurance companies must give drivers who buy and install winter tires a discount on their insurance. A move that might make more drivers buy snow tires to save money down the road.  

“I think so, I think it’s a great incentive for the government to not necessarily force but encourage drivers to actually put winter tires on,” said Hayden Barnes.

Joe Saulnier sells tires for Kal Tire and says the science behind a snow tire is an investment in safety.

“Millions of dollars of research and development on the importance of compounds, the importance of siping (the process of cutting thin slits across a rubber surface to improve traction), of tread and grooving; everything related to a winter tire is completely different than an all season,” says Saulnier.

Some insurance brokers say this could lead to reduced claims, which could lead to lower premiums. But some say insurance companies might have to spend more money on administration work to ensure clients are telling the truth about their tires.

“We are going to be required to get proof that clients have installed winter tire and not just purchase but to make sure they’ve installed them,” says insurance broker Randy Mooney.

The Liberal government has yet to announce when the snow tire insurance discount will take affect or how much of a discount it will be.