Many drivers have been avoiding fitting their cars with the specialised tyres due to reports that discount car insurance policyholders were being penalised by insurers last year. Some motorists reported facing increases to their premium prices of as much as 20 per cent, while others even said they faced invalidation simply for fitting winter tyres to their vehicles.
AA spokesman, Ian Crowder, remarked on the phenomenon, stating that there was quite the uproar over winter tyres last year, as some insurers were erroneously classifying them as modifications. Too many drivers were also refused cover due to insurers’ reactions, Mr Crowder added, but now leading providers, including RBS, Liverpool Victoria, Esure, Direct Line, Co-operative, Churchill, and the AA, have all said that this will not be the case going forward, leaving motorists’ premiums safe.
Winter tyres are regarded as a safety device by the AA, said Mr Crowder, and there is no possible justification to charge extra premiums to drivers who demonstrate enough responsibility to fit them to their cars. Insurance providers also said that, as long as the tyres are fitted professionally and meet the specification of the manufacturer, premiums would remain unchanged, though some insurers will require the tyres to be fitted to all four of your vehicle’s wheels.
In addition, insurers do not need to be formally notified of the use of winter tyres. The majority of insurance providers did say that it was always a good idea to inform your insurer of any changes done to your vehicle.