November 06, 2011 19:00 ET

Insurers Give Green Light to Cold Weather Tyres as Another Harsh Winter is Predicted

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 7, 2011) - With an early cold winter being forecast, Swinton Insurance has teamed up with Goodyear Tyres to dispel the myths around fitting cold weather tyres to cars.

Swinton surveyed its panel of insurers to find out if they consider the fitment of cold weather tyres to be a modification to the vehicle.

A modification would usually see an increase in the car insurance premium.

Ten major insurers on Swinton's panel, said that they do not see fitting of cold weather tyres as a modification and therefore would not need to increase the premium.

However, all insurers recommended motorists should inform them of any change to tyres, to make entirely sure the new tyres do not fall outside the manufacturers recommended specification and incur a premium rise.

Some of the UK's largest insurers were surveyed as part of Swinton's panel including Ageas, Aviva, Axa, Provident, Chaucer and RSA.

Aviva was one of the insurers that encourage the fitment of cold weather tyres as they aid mobility in poor conditions and provide increased performance credentials in temperatures below 7 degrees.

After a series of particularly harsh winters and with another one predicted for this year, cold weather tyres – common in Germany and Eastern Europe - are becoming more popular in the UK.

Once the weather drops below 7°C, the rubber on regular 'summer' tyres hardens up, lessening their grip on the road.

Cold weather tyres are manufactured with more natural rubber and silica, which keeps them supple in the colder weather offering greater grip in cold conditions including snow and ice and can offer up to 55% reduction in braking distance*. Not only that, cold weather tyres such as Goodyear's UltraGrip 8 tyres offer 41% better lateral grip on the snow and 6% better resistance to aquaplaning on curved roads**.

Steve Chelton Insurance Development Manager at Swinton said, "It is great to see that insurers are not penalising motorists for taking extra safety measures like fitting cold weather tyres."

With our winters apparently getting harsher cold weather tyres are becoming more popular in the UK. Our panel of insurers have clarified that cold weather tyres shouldn't been seen as a modification when fitted to a vehicle so motorist shouldn't be worried about increased car insurance premiums.

"However, we would advise always to check with your motor insurance provider to inform them of the change."

Michelle Fisher, Brand Manager for Goodyear Tyres said, "More and more motorists are beginning to fit cold weather tyres during colder months. Met Office stats show that we can have up to 156 days between October and March below 7 degrees. It is at these temperatures that cold weather tyres provide optimum performance keeping motorists on track to get from A to B easily."

*Compared to a Goodyear summer tyre, measured by TÜV SÜD Automotive in March & April 2011;
Tyre Size: 205/55R16; Test Car: Golf VI; Location: Arctic Falls (Sweden); Report nr: 76245861

**Compared to a Goodyear summer tyre, measured by TÜV SÜD Automotive in April 2011;
Tyre Size: 205/55R16; Test Car: Golf VI; Location: Papenburg (GE); Report nr: 76245861

About Swinton

  • With 603 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer
  • Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community
  • Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance
  • With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates.

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