While ICBC recommends the use of snow tires in snowy conditions, and driving without proper winter tires may not be the safest decision, it does not affect a customer’s eligibility to make a claim and it does not void the driver’s insurance (although it could lead to ticketing by law enforcement).
In the event of a claim, the act of not having or using the appropriate equipment doesn’t automatically mean a driver will be deemed at-fault. However, drivers involved in a crash who were not using snow tires or chains when appropriate may be deemed negligent, and could lose their discount and face higher insurance premiums on their next renewal.
Tips on buying snow tires:
– In areas of B.C. that experience substantial snowfall, winter tires are recommended because they deliver much better snow and ice performance because of their tread designs, which provide as much as 50 percent better traction.
– It is important to choose snow tires marked with a pictograph of a snowflake inside a peaked mountain, which indicates that tire has specifically been designed for use in severe snow conditions.
– Do not mix snow tires. Use the same make, size and type on all four tires. Different tread patterns can reduce the stability of your vehicle. Make sure your tires have good tread and are inflated correctly, including your spare tire.