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Canadians not buying into snow tires: RBC Insurance survey

MISSISSAUGA, ON - November 18, 2008 — Despite Canada's snowy winters, only 57 per cent of Canadian drivers put snow tires on their cars and of the 43 per cent who don't, half (54 per cent) are not willing to spend the money to do so, according to an RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid consumer survey.

"Installing winter tires should be a critical safety measure for all Canadian drivers," said Francois Boulanger, president and CEO of RBC General Insurance Company. "Canadians need to think of it as an investment in their family's safety."

Drivers in the Prairie Provinces appear to be most averse to installing winter tires. Fifty-nine per cent of drivers in Alberta and 69 per cent in Manitoba and Saskatchewan do not use snow tires on their vehicles. Of those drivers who don't use winter tires in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, more than half (57 per cent) are not willing to purchase them. In Alberta, the number increases to 62 per cent.

In Ontario, 57 per cent of drivers do not use snow tires on their vehicles and in British Columbia, the number decreases to about 52 per cent.

"Drivers in regions that don't typically get heavy snowfall should not overlook the value of winter tires," added Boulanger. "Preventing even a small 'fender bender' could save them from an insurance rate increase as a result of an insurance claim."

In Quebec, where the use of snow tires during the winter months becomes law on December 15, 2008, 96 per cent of drivers use snow tires; and in Atlantic Canada where snow fall accumulation is often high, 72 per cent report using snow tires.

These are the findings of an RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid survey conducted between March 27 and April 10, 2008. The poll was based on a randomly selected sample of 2,251 adult Canadians, who were interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±2.19 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. The data was statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the census data.

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Media Contacts:
Kerry Gaetano, (905) 816-5583, kerry.gaetano@rbc.com
Margie McNeil, (905) 606-1425, margie.mcneil@rbc.com


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11/18/2008 08:01:58