Auto claims increase 49% during the winter months between December and February, according to Aviva Canada's annual statistics.
Slippery roads, whiteout conditions and other weather-related factors contributed to more than $37.1-million auto collision claim payments made by the insurer during the winter of 2010, an Aviva Canada release says.
The collision claim rate by insured drivers during the rest of the seasons sits at 3.1% and increases to 4.7% during the winter months, the release adds.
Alberta sees the largest (66%) increase in winter auto claim frequency versus the rest of the year. New Brunswick is next at 60%, followed by Nova Scotia at 53% and Ontario and Quebec at 44% each. Newfoundland and Labrador have the smallest increase at 37%. Prince Edward Island tends to see an increase of 41%.
"Canadians are traditionally very experienced winter drivers, but the first snowfall of the year can be extremely challenging, even for the most capable motorist," said Mauro Convertini, vice president of national auto claims at Aviva Canada. "It sounds very simple, but the biggest key to prevention is to slow down as icy road conditions result in vehicle sliding and skidding."
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