Does Car Insurance Cover Tire Damage?
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Drivers are primarily worried about collisions, speeding tickets, and inclement weather. Tire damage is likely the last thing on your mind when you are behind the wheel. Tires are out of sight so they tend to be out of mind. After all, tires are made of incredibly durable rubber that seems to roll over just about every surface. Tires are fallible. Drive long enough and you will eventually encounter a tire problem, be it a flat, low air, physical damage, or something else. The question is whether your auto insurance will cover tire damage.
Insurance Coverage for Tire Wear and Tear
For the most part, auto insurance does not cover regular tire wear and tear, even if there is full coverage in place. Auto insurance is meant to cover unanticipated events as opposed to the regular break down of auto parts. Therefore, if your vehicle’s tire is worn, cracked, or damaged in another manner, it is up to you to visit the tire store for a replacement. However, if you have a warranty with the installer or manufacturer, it might be possible to file a successful claim that covers all or some of the cost of a replacement tire.
Car Insurance and Flat Tires
Flat tires happen to everyone yet auto insurance is not applicable when a tire loses its air. If you have a flat tire, you likely ran over something sharp or have excessive air or too little air in the tire. Fail to properly inflate your tires and you will endure a tire blowout in due time. Unfortunately, flat tires are completely your responsibility. The only financial relief you might enjoy is through a warranty provided through the shop where the tires were originally purchased. The insurance representative will state the company cannot cover all or any of the cost of a repair or replacement.
Though repairing your flat tire is your own responsibility, you should still consider contacting your auto insurance provider after you have a flat. The insurance provider might offer roadside assistance to help you change the flat tire. The insurance company might even provide a tow to the closest tire repair shop. However, if a tire blows out and results in damage to the vehicle’s body, you can file a claim through comprehensive coverage. Furthermore, if you are involved in an accident due to a flat tire, your auto insurance should kick in as the damage extends beyond the tires to the body of the vehicle.
Car Insurance and Stolen Tires
In the context of auto insurance, stolen tires are distinct from flat tires and other tire problems. If your car’s tires are stolen, comprehensive coverage will apply. However, you will still have to pay the deductible. Be sure to keep all receipts for tires and wheels. If your tires and/or wheels are especially costly it might also be necessary to add a rider for coverage. If you file a claim with your insurer, they will likely only make you whole as opposed to putting you in a better financial position following this unfortunate ordeal. Therefore, it might make more financial sense to replace the tires on your own.
Car Insurance and Slashed Tires
Slashed tires are an absolute nightmare. Thankfully, your auto insurer and the police can help. File a police report immediately after the tire slashing. Reach out to the insurance provider within a day of the event. As long as you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance provider will replace your tires. This form of coverage accounts for vandalism. Tire slashing falls under the umbrella of vandalism. However, you will still have to pay the deductible so filing the claim might not be worth it in the first place.
The insurance provider might reduce the tire value based on depreciation so you won’t receive the full value of the tire. Rather, you will be made whole as opposed to making money from the incident. Making matters worse is the fact that filing a claim can send your insurance rate higher.
Look at Your Auto Insurance Contract for Tire Coverage Details
When in doubt, take a look at the paperwork. Your auto insurance contract will explain the extent of your coverage. Take some time to read over your insurance policy to ensure you have a full understanding of what auto insurance covers. If you are confused by the language, contact your insurance carrier for an explanation in plain English. The insurance company is required by law to put all of the details of the auto insurance policy in writing. If your insurance provider states coverage for tire damage hinges on the unique situation, ask for specifics. You deserve to know the extent of your auto insurance coverage down to the smallest detail.