Will Car Insurance Pay for a Flat Tire?

You buy car insurance to cover unexpected damages. But does car insurance cover a flat tire?

Typically, car insurance policies do not cover flat tires. However, your policy may cover damage caused by a flat tire (say, if you swerved off the road after a blowout). Your insurer may also provide compensation if your tires were slashed or stolen.

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about flat tire insurance claims and how they work.

Car Insurance Does Not Cover Flat Tires or Other ‘Wear and Tear’ Expenses

Will Car Insurance Pay for a Flat Tire?Car insurance covers unexpected events – like a car accident or hail damage. Car insurance does not, however, cover expected events, including ordinary wear and tear on your vehicle.

Because car insurance does not cover wear and tear, car insurance will not typically cover a flat tire. Similarly, car insurance does not typically cover engine failure or general vehicle breakdowns.

Flat tires are part of ordinary wear and tear on your vehicle. It’s an expected part of owning a vehicle: tires don’t last forever, and eventually, your tires will wear down. When you ignore tire damage for too long, it will inevitably lead to a flat tire.

Some flat tires are also caused by driver negligence. You may have over-inflated or under-inflated your tire, for example. However, this is an avoidable event: drivers are responsible for maintaining good tire pressure.

Why Don’t Car Insurance Companies Cover Flat Tires?

Ordinary car insurance policies do not cover flat tires. You cannot make a car insurance claim for damages caused by ordinary wear and tear – including flat tires.

Your car insurance policy will not cover a flat tire caused by worn tread or old rubber, for example.

Your car insurance policy is also not likely to cover flat tires caused by over-inflation or under-inflation.

In all of these cases, your tire was damaged through ordinary wear and tear – not unexpected events. Even if the situation wasn’t strictly wear and tear, your tire was damaged by driver negligence – say, if you failed to check the tire pressure or notice the warning signs for damaged tread.

Car Insurance May Cover Vehicle Damage Caused by a Flat Tire

It’s rare for car insurance policies to ever cover flat tires. However, your insurance policy should cover any vehicle damage caused by that flat tire.

If you were driving on the highway, for example, and your tire exploded, forcing you to swerve off the road, then your insurance policy should cover any damage caused by that event (assuming you have collision coverage).

Or, if your tire blew out while driving, forcing you to swerve into oncoming traffic and hit another vehicle, then your car insurance liability coverage would compensate the other driver for damage, medical expenses, and other costs incurred as a result of your negligence.

Car insurance may cover the cost of repairing your vehicle after a tire blowout. However, car insurance will not cover the cost of replacing the tire itself.

Roadside Assistance Can Cover Certain Damages

If you are concerned about the potential damage caused by a flat tire, then consider getting roadside assistance.

All major insurance companies offer roadside assistance. You can also buy roadside assistance through a third-party provider – like AAA.

Typically, roadside assistance costs $50 to $200 per year. Roadside assistance can cover things like fuel delivery, jumpstarts, towing, and more.

If you don’t feel comfortable changing your flat tire on the side of the road, or if you want added peace of mind, then roadside assistance may be worth a few extra dollars per month.

Comprehensive Coverage Car Insurance Could Cover Slashed or Stolen Tires

Comprehensive coverage covers vandalism, theft, and other non-accident-related expenses. If someone slashed or stole your tire, then you may be able to make a claim through your comprehensive coverage?

Comprehensive coverage is optional in every state. If you have full coverage car insurance, then you have comprehensive coverage, which means your vehicle’s tires will be protected against theft and vandalism.

However, it may not be in your best interest to file an insurance claim for a slashed or stolen tire. Your tire may be worth only $50 or $100, for example, while your comprehensive coverage deductible is $250. Experts also recommend replacing all four tires simultaneously instead of just a single tire, although insurance may only cover the single damaged tire.

Talk to your insurance company to determine your options if your tire was vandalized, slashed, or stolen. In most cases, however, it will not be in your best interest to make an insurance claim.

Final Word

Car insurance policies rarely cover a flat tire. Most policies, however, will cover damage caused by a flat tire – say, if your tire exploded and forced you to swerve into the ditch.

Insurance policies will also cover any tires that were slashed or stolen (assuming you have comprehensive coverage), although it may not be worth it to make a claim.

If you are concerned about flat tire coverage, then consider buying roadside assistance through your own insurance company or through a third-party provider like AAA.

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