Why did my insurance company charge an additional premium for fitting winter tyres to my Skoda Yeti?

My wife and I completed the 2010 Lands End to John O’Groats Historic Rally in December, during very bad weather, in our 1962 Rover 100 P4 fitted with M+S tyres. However, after a discussion with a colleague he mentioned that if I fitted winter/snow tyres to my car I needed to inform my insurance company. Our everyday car is a Skoda Yeti 4WD fitted with standard tyres. I contacted Skoda Insurance (underwritten by Allianz) who confirmed that I did need to inform them if I fitted winter tyres and would be charged an additional premium (£10 in my case). Perhaps you could inform your readers of this situation, otherwise their insurance may be invalid if an accident occurs. Another way for insurances companies to extract more money.

Asked on 24 December 2010 by RM, Barrow-in-Furness

Answered by Honest John
I fought against this attitude of insurers and in December 2010 the ABI ruled that winter tyres, even on different wheels, were not a 'modification' and that insurers should not charge extra. You must inform your insurer but if they try to charge extra, keep taking the matter to the next clerk up the food chain until they relent.
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