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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Off-Topic Discussions > Winter Tyres and Insurance



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      07-23-2010, 04:00 AM   #1
SteveC
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Winter Tyres and Insurance

Having lived in Germany for 17 years, I was used to changing wheels in Winter to mount winter tyres, thereby ensuring the safety of my car in sub zero temperatures and snow. Driving on summer tyres in winter voided your insurance, due to that fact that summer tyres increased your chances of having an accident several fold

The weather in the UK is not that much different to Germany, its cold, wet, slippery and snows and very clearly summer tyres are as much a liability here as they are in Deutchland.

So why on earth do UK insurance companies charge you an extra 170.00 a year if you want to fit winter tyres?

I drive a BMW M-Sport. My plan was to buy a set of winter wheels from BMW comprising standard spec. 17" rims with winter run flats. For the privilege my insurance company want to charge me an extra premium

There's absolutely no doubt that using summer tyres in winter contributes to thousands of accidents on UK roads, costing the insurance companies millions in claims and their logic is based on pure ignorance.

The problem is that in the UK , the only category insurance companies have for changing wheels, is "an alloy wheel upgrade" which makes the car more desirable and therefore subject to greater risk of theft.

The concept of Winter tyres and the increased safety they bring has completely escaped them

Just another example of our unerring ability to shoot ourselves in the foot
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      07-23-2010, 05:09 AM   #2
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Not all insurance companies are like this

LV have no issues with me fitting winter tyres and alloys
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      07-23-2010, 05:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveC View Post
Having lived in Germany for 17 years, I was used to changing wheels in Winter to mount winter tyres, thereby ensuring the safety of my car in sub zero temperatures and snow. Driving on summer tyres in winter voided your insurance, due to that fact that summer tyres increased your chances of having an accident several fold

The weather in the UK is not that much different to Germany, its cold, wet, slippery and snows and very clearly summer tyres are as much a liability here as they are in Deutchland.

So why on earth do UK insurance companies charge you an extra 170.00 a year if you want to fit winter tyres?

I drive a BMW M-Sport. My plan was to buy a set of winter wheels from BMW comprising standard spec. 17" rims with winter run flats. For the privilege my insurance company want to charge me an extra premium

There's absolutely no doubt that using summer tyres in winter contributes to thousands of accidents on UK roads, costing the insurance companies millions in claims and their logic is based on pure ignorance.

The problem is that in the UK , the only category insurance companies have for changing wheels, is "an alloy wheel upgrade" which makes the car more desirable and therefore subject to greater risk of theft.

The concept of Winter tyres and the increased safety they bring has completely escaped them

Just another example of our unerring ability to shoot ourselves in the foot
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      07-23-2010, 05:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briers View Post
Not all insurance companies are like this

LV have no issues with me fitting winter tyres and alloys
That's interesting - I assumed all insurers would be equally shortsighted...
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      07-23-2010, 08:40 AM   #5
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I don't understand why you are telling the insurer that you have fitted winter tyres??

Surely, as long as the alloys are the standard size, the tyres the same size, speed and load rating then you have not materially increased the risk?

If you are looking to increase the size of alloy and generally make the vehicle a susceptible to a higher risk then yes, I see their point, but to tell them that you are fitting winter tyres is similar to telling them you are changing from Bridgestone to Michelin.
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      07-23-2010, 10:02 AM   #6
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I think the issue is that most people would fit smaller alloys to allow for narrower winter tyres. If it was just a tyre change, it wouldn't be a problem, I'm sure.
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      07-23-2010, 10:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quattrogmbh View Post
I don't understand why you are telling the insurer that you have fitted winter tyres??

Surely, as long as the alloys are the standard size, the tyres the same size, speed and load rating then you have not materially increased the risk?

If you are looking to increase the size of alloy and generally make the vehicle a susceptible to a higher risk then yes, I see their point, but to tell them that you are fitting winter tyres is similar to telling them you are changing from Bridgestone to Michelin.
BMW provide complete sets of winter wheels and tyres for my M-Sport car. The Winter tyres are fitted on standard 17" rims, while my summer tyres are on 18" M-Sport rims. in In the eyes of my insurance company changing wheels constitutes modifying my car. And if I modify my car and don't inform them I risk invalidating my policy in the event of a claim.

In short, through its complete ignorance of the benefits of winter tyres, my insurance company penalizes me for fitting bog standard wheels with safer tyres.

Last edited by SteveC; 07-23-2010 at 10:30 AM.
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      07-23-2010, 10:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parapaul View Post
I think the issue is that most people would fit smaller alloys to allow for narrower winter tyres. If it was just a tyre change, it wouldn't be a problem, I'm sure.
Correct.

BMW winter wheels are slightly narrower and mounted on 17" rims; the same wheels as the standard SE version of the 3 Series.

In essence my insurance company want to charge me more for downgrading to standard wheels with safer tyres.

Pure ignorance
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