November 26th, 2014
Because they are made of rubber, tires are particularly susceptible to changes in temperature. Performance tires are at an increased risk because they are designed to work best under hot conditions. When things get chilly, these tires can lose a significant amount of their grip or become damaged in ways that present a safety concern. Consumer Reports said that many of the high-performance tires used on sports cars can develop cracks when exposed to cold weather. These cracks are a serious danger and can lead to popped tires that will damage your vehicle and put you at risk.
To combat the loss of traction and physical damage that cold weather brings, many performance car owners purchase winter tires for their vehicles. These tires use a different rubber compound that functions better in the cold and feature specially designed tread patterns or studs that help them grip icy roads better. Because these tires present a dramatic improvement in cars' handling and safety, some car owners believe that they should provide a discount on auto insurance premiums.
Still worth the investment
Unfortunately, the availability of a winter tire discount varies between insurance providers, so there is no definitive answer. In spite of this, it's still probably worth it to invest in winter tires for your ride. The safety benefits they provide act as an insurance policy against dangerous road conditions.
To identify winter tires, take a look at the sidewall. A 1999 agreement between rubber manufacturers standardized a mountain and snowflake logo that is used on all tires specifically designed for winter handling. The presence of the logo means that the tire met certain requirements for grip in winter conditions. While you can purchase all-season tires that provide a decent level of control year-round, purchasing specific seasonal tires is the best way to get the most out of your vehicle.
Bankrate reported that the biggest barrier to widespread winter-tire adoption is the cost of a separate set of tires. Winter rubber can easily run from $200 to $800, and those estimates don't include a spare set of wheels. Mounting your winter tires on a set of less-attractive rims makes changing the tires easier and ensures that the metal of your stylish summer wheels won't get chewed up by road salt and other hazards. While the cost might be prohibitive, the results could save you from an expensive repair bill.