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Does Car Insurance Cover Tire Damage?

Every vehicle owner has faced this emergency scenario: you walk out to your vehicle only learn one of your tires is flat. If you have auto insurance, you may wonder if your policy pay to replace or repair them.

In some cases, the answer is yes, in others no. To help you make confident auto insurance decisions, in this article we'll discuss auto insurance related topics, like situations when car insurance may cover tire damages and when it won't.

Keep in mind that tire wear and tear is never covered by auto insurance.

Does Car Insurance Cover Tires?

Auto insurance won't reimburse you if your tires become flat because of tire wear and tear. Most auto insurance policies cover unexpected events that are out of the driver's control.

Auto insurance won’t reimburse you if your tires become flat because of tire wear and tear.

Also, across the board in the insurance industry, carriers won't reimburse you for tire damage if you only have liability coverage. Liability insurance only cover damages for another driver's vehicle in accidents that you cause.

Carriers won’t reimburse you for tire damage if you only have liability coverage.

A standard car insurance policy only covers the cost to replace tires in specific situations and only if you have collision or comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy.

  • Collision Insurance – Collision insurance coverage covers the repair or replacement of vehicles damaged by an accident with another vehicle or an object, regardless of who was at fault. It covers damage from collisions with objects or other vehicles.

  • Comprehensive Coverage – Comprehensive insurance pays to repair or replace your car if someone steals or damages it during a non-collision incident. These events are usually out of the driver's control. They include storms, fires, riots, vandalism, car theft, broken windshields, falling objects and contact with animals.

Does Collision or Comprehensive Cover Tires?

Collision or comprehensive coverage will cover the repair costs for flat tire damage when:

  • Vandals slash your tires
  • Thieves steal your tires or rims
  • You're in an accident with another vehicle
  • You've driven over a pothole

Even though your auto insurance may pay for damages, it is not always a good idea to file an insurance claim. Collision and comprehensive coverage usually have deductibles that a person must meet before you'll receive any coverage, which may cost more than buying new tires. Additionally, your insurance company may raise your rates if you file too many claims.

When Auto Insurance Doesn't Cover Flat Tires

Although comprehensive coverage and collision insurance cover damage resulting from unexpected events, they don't cover all incidents. According to Kelley Blue Book, auto insurance coverage won't cover tire damage in the following situations.

  • Normal wear and tear - Car insurance coverage won't cover normal wear and tear your car receives. Your insurance only protects you against unexpected situations. Carriers consider changing out old or worn tires as part of the costs of maintaining your vehicle.

  • Road hazards - Insurance won't pay for nails, glass, or other objects that damage your vehicle's tires when you drive. You will likely have to pay for these costs out of pocket.

  • Flat tire - Your car insurance policy won't cover your tire if it suddenly goes flat. If you have a roadside assistance plan with your insurance company, they may help you put on a spare so you can drive someplace to get it repaired or replaced.

Find Out if Your Manufacturer's Warranty Covers Road Hazards

A manufacturer's warranty is a promise from a company to repair parts when they break down.

Tire warranties protect the consumer from any defects in workmanship or the materials used to manufacture the tire. It is usually extended for the entire life of the tire.

Some manufacturer's warranties will cover road hazards, premature wear and tear, and other damage.

Consider Signing Up for a Roadside Assistance Plan

Most insurance companies won't pay the replacement costs for tires that go bad due to wear and tear. If you're worried about flat tires, consider getting Roadside Assistance.

Many insurance companies now offer Roadside Assistance Plans to their customers. These programs send technicians to help policyholders whose vehicles break down.

Whenever a policyholder calls in, the insurance company sends the technician or tow driver to their location. In many cases, they'll help put a spare tire from your car onto your vehicle until you can drive to a tire shop to replace the tire.

Some insurance companies offer roadside assistance as part of their auto policies. Others require you to purchase it as an add-on service or through a monthly subscription.

Tire Protection Plans and Road Hazard Protection Plans Offer Coverage for Flat Tires

A tire protection plan (also called a road hazard plan) is usually sold by tire dealers. These plans exceed the warranties sold by dealerships. They cover damages caused by road hazards such as:

  • Nails
  • Potholes
  • Screws
  • Glass
  • Jagged Materials

Some plans provide free flat tire repairs for the usable life of the tire (when their tread depth decreases to less than 2/32"). They also cover the costs of mounting, repair, tire pressure monitoring and other issues.

Will Insurance Cover My Damaged Tires in an Accident?

During an afternoon, you accidentally take your eyes off the road for a second. Your vehicle runs over a large curb that causes two of your tires to flatten on the left side and causes some damage to your vehicle's chassis. Would insurance cover the damage to your tires in this situation?

Whether you're covered depends on whether or not you have collision coverage, which pays for collision with inanimate objects. Collision insurance will cover the damages to your vehicle and maybe the tires too, depending on your carrier.

If you don't have collision coverage, you would pay for the costs to repair your car and tires out of pocket.

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Does Auto Insurance Cover Slashed Tires?

If you're had your tires slashed, you should immediately contact your local police department to file a criminal report. Your next step is to contact your local insurance agent. Your policy won't cover your flat tires if you only have liability insurance. Comprehensive insurance is the only insurance that will cover acts of vandalism, such as slashed tires.

Although comprehensive insurance may cover the cost of slashed tires, your insurance company will still require you to pay a deductible.

Although comprehensive insurance may cover the cost of your slashed tires, your insurance company will still require you to pay a deductible. If the price to replace your tires costs less than your deductible, then it makes little sense to file a claim. For example, if it costs $400 to replace your tires and your deductible is $500, you should avoid filing.

Does Auto Insurance Cover Stolen Tires?

You must have comprehensive auto insurance coverage to replace your tires in instances of theft. If you don't have comprehensive coverage, you'll likely have to pay to replace the tires yourself.

You must have comprehensive auto insurance coverage to replace your tires in instances of theft.

Does Insurance Covers Tire Damage from Potholes?

Your policy may cover pothole damage depending on your carrier and the options you have on your car insurance policy. According to the Insurance Information Institute, your insurance provider will cover tire damage that results from potholes if your auto insurance policy has collision coverage.

Collision insurance covers damages to a vehicle that results from accidents with objects like potholes, lamp posts and guard rails. Potholes and other conditions can dent your tire's rims, shred them, or cause misalignments. In some situations, collision coverage may help to replace or repair tires damaged by potholes.

Some auto insurance providers may not cover this damage under their policies. Review your insurance policy to see if it offers or excludes pothole damage.

How to File an Auto Insurance Company Claim for Damaged or Slashed Tires

You should immediately file a claim with your insurance company for tire replacement. Here are several steps you must take to file a claim with a car insurance company.

Contact the police to file a report. Take this initial step if the damage resulted from a criminal act, like vandalism. Slashing tires is a criminal act.

Ask for a copy of the police report so you can give it to your insurance company. After you file, the vandal will have to face legal consequences if caught. Additionally, your carrier can sue them to recoup any financial costs for the tire damages.

Next, submit your insurance claim. Before filing your claim, collect as much supporting evidence about the incident. Take pictures of your damaged tires. Next, estimate the time when your tires were damaged. Give as many accurate details as possible to help the insurance company investigate.

After you file a claim, an insurance adjuster will meet you to appraise the damages to your tires. Your insurer may deny your claim if they believe you inflicted the damage after getting a flat, drove over spikes or violated traffic safety laws.

Your auto insurance provider will evaluate your claim, and if approved, you can replace your tires. After paying your insurance deductible, you can take your vehicle to a repair shop to get new tires for your automobile.

8 Ways To Protect Your Tires

Worn tires may blow out while you're driving. Auto insurance experts say there are several things you can do to prevent the premature aging of tires.

Drive your vehicle regularly

Like the human body, your tires need exercise to stay in shape. They will deteriorate if you don't drive your car regularly. Driving helps to condition the rubber. This activity warms your tires and prevents their rubber material from drying out, cracking or developing fissures.

Use protectant on your tires

Another step to keep your tires in tip-top shape is to use a protectant on tires. Protectants are chemicals that prevent natural elements and sunlight from corroding your tire's rubber tread. Using a water-based protectant can prevent your tires from developing rot. Select protectants that have UV protection for rubber, vinyl and plastics.

Keep in mind that Protectants won't protect your car from sharp objects or damage caused by normal wear and tear of aging tires.

Drive carefully

Although your tires love warmth, they don't enjoy extreme temperatures. When you make sudden stops or speed, you can overheat your tires and break down the treading. To prevent your tires from wearing down, drive more cautiously when you're out on the road to protect your tires from wearing out.

Rotate your tires

Tire rotation is the periodic change of each position of your tires. Mechanics rotate tires to prevent irregular wear on your tire's treading. This situation occurs when one part of the tire wears down more quickly than in other areas. You should also rotate your tires every six months or 7,500 miles so they will wear down evenly. Additionally, make sure that your tires' pressure doesn't get too low. When the pressure is well balanced, you can also avoid irregular wear.

Have your wheels aligned

During a wheel alignment, a car mechanic checks and adjusts the angles of your tires compared to the other wheels of your vehicle's frame. Your car may favor one when its wheels aren't properly aligned. It causes your tires to experience failure when this situation occurs. Mechanics typically recommend that car owners get a wheel alignment every two to three years.

Check your tires regularly for wear and tear

Whenever possible, check your tires for any worn treading that can indicate a tire failure is close. When a tire's treading wears down, your vehicle will have less traction on the road. It impacts your vehicle's fuel efficiency and puts you in danger in hazardous situations, like inclement weather.

Avoid damage from impacts

Although many modern vehicles have immensely powerful engines, your tires are still at risk for damage on the road. If you hit an object, a tire's casing can bulge or break after a hard impact with another object. After a severe impact, check your tires. If you see a visible bulge in your tire's sidewall, it means the impact destroyed the cords inside your tires. Whenever possible, avoid hazards like curbs and potholes that can cause impact damage.

Prevent cuts and punctures

Sharp objects cause this damage on the road. Whenever possible, avoid these road hazards when you see them.

Better Car Insurance Protection

So, now that we answered the question, Does car insurance cover tire damage? you may be wondering about a more affordable car insurance policy that will provide coverage for a flat tire due to an accident or a covered event.

You can save money if you compare quotes with SmartFinancial, a totally free auto insurance comparison tool that can help you find an auto policy that fits your needs and budget. This free quote tool helps compare coverages to find cheap auto insurance rates.

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