What Are the Best Options for Tire Insurance?

What Are the Best Options for Tire Insurance?

Tire damage can be covered by car insurance if you have comprehensive and collision coverage.

But it rarely makes sense to use your auto insurance policy to replace your tires if you don't have any other damage to your car. Before you pay out of pocket to replace damaged tires, check your tire warranty and road-hazard protection to save money on repairs.

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Does insurance cover tires?

Car insurance will pay to replace your tires if you have a full coverage policy with comprehensive and collision coverage, and the damage was caused by a covered incident, like an accident or vandalism.

Comprehensive coverage will help replace your tires and wheels if they're:

  • Slashed
  • Stolen
  • Damaged in a fire or storm
  • Damaged when you hit a large animal, like a deer
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Collision coverage will help replace your tires and wheels if they're:

  • Damaged in an accident
  • Damaged when you hit a pothole
  • Punctured by road debris, or in a construction zone
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However, the cost of buying a new tire is typically less than the deductible for your comprehensive and collision coverage. That means you usually shouldn't file an insurance claim for one tire or wheel if they're the only part of your car that's damaged.

Example

If a replacement tire costs $150 and your deductible is $500, it wouldn't make sense to submit a claim for damage to one tire because your deductible is higher than the cost of replacing the tire.

However, if you have two flat tires, a bent wheel and a cracked bumper, then it may make sense to file a claim because the repairs will likely cost more than $500.

Does insurance cover flat tires?

If your tires are flat due to wear and tear, insurance won't pay to replace them. However, if you have roadside assistance can get help if you're stuck on the side of the road. Most roadside assistance programs will swap out your flat tire with your spare so you can get back on the road, but you'll still have to pay to repair or replace your tire.


How do tire warranties work? What do they cover?

A tire and wheel warranty will protect your tires against road hazards, material defects and premature wear on your tires. Most standard tires come with a tire warranty from the manufacturer, so you don't have to pay full price for a replacement. However, these warranties often come with an expiration date.

There are many different types of tire warranties, and some only apply to new tires. When looking into tire coverage, you should consider:

  • What are the types of tire warranties?
  • Is tire insurance worth it?

Types of tire warranties

There are five main types of tire warranties, which generally last for a certain period of time or a certain number of miles. Because tires take the most wear and tear from the road, they will need to be replaced more than once over the life of your car. It's important to find the best tire warranty for your situation.

  • Treadwear warranty
  • Limited road-hazard warranty
  • Uniformity warranty
  • Materials warranty
  • Trial-period warranty

If you are buying tires for a specific purpose, it's important to consider the type of tire protection plan each warranty offers. Some warranties come standard with a tire, and you will need to purchase others for added tire and wheel protection.

  • Treadwear warranty: A treadwear warranty is one of the most common types of mileage warranties, and it comes standard with most tires. This will cover you for a certain number of years or miles, such as five years or 50,000 miles.


    To be eligible for a claim, the tires must wear down evenly and the tread must measure 2/32 of an inch or less. The tire is unsafe for driving once it reaches this measurement. The manufacturer will prorate the remaining mileage owed to you, and you can put that money toward a new set of tires.

    How long does it last? Each warranty is different and will vary depending on the manufacturer.

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  • Limited road-hazard warranty: Limited road-hazard protection can help pay for the costs of a tire repair or replacement due to potholes, nails, wood and other debris. It is also known as road-hazard protection, road-hazard insurance or a road-hazard warranty.


    Stationary objects like sidewalks, curbs and walls are not considered road hazards. In other words, if you were to damage your tire by jumping a curb, then road-hazard coverage would not cover the cost to fix it.

    How long does it last? Tire road-hazard warranty programs typically cover the tire's first year and are offered by many tire retailers.

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  • Uniformity warranty: This warranty is often called a ride uniformity warranty. It covers defects associated with ride quality. In other words, if your tire causes shaking and bumping while you drive, the manufacturer will replace the tire. However, ride defects are rare.

    How long does it last? Typically 30 days to one year, as this issue would become immediately apparent when driving with the new tires.

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  • Materials warranty: A materials warranty, often called a workmanship warranty, covers material defects that may have occurred when the tire was originally made.


    The manufacturer will pay for claims made in full before the tread reaches the 2/32-inch measurement. After the tread wears down, the claim amount will be prorated to help pay for a new set of tires. But to make a claim on a materials warranty, you would have to prove the tire is not worn down from use or maintenance, which can be difficult.

    How long does it last? This depends on the manufacturer; it could be for the tire's life span.

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  • Trial-period warranty: Sometimes, manufacturers will allow consumers to "try out" a set of tires for a period of time. If you return the tires by the end of the trial period, you can often receive a full refund or credit toward a new set of tires from the same manufacturer.

    How long does it last? Because it's a trial period, this warranty only typically lasts 30 to 45 days.

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Many tire warranties do not cover things like wheel alignment and wheel replacement, so it's important to check for exclusions within the policy. Then, consider the need and purpose of the type of tires you purchase. Keep in mind that tires sold with mileage warranties are made with sturdier materials to extend tire life. However, most winter tires do not come with mileage warranties, as these tires are often made of materials for better traction — not mileage.

Is tire insurance worth it?

Car insurance is often not the best way to cover tire damage, but tire warranties can be used in place of insurance for certain types of damage. In expensive cases in which there is significant damage to the car beyond just the tires, auto insurance will cover the cost of all the damage, minus your deductible.

For some, purchasing a tire warranty is a good investment, especially if it comes with road-hazard protection. Consider your location and whether the roads are well-maintained where you live, as road hazards will cause your tires to wear down quickly. Take advantage of the fact that many tire manufacturers offer lifetime warranties on certain tires for better protection. Many tire retailers also offer free road-hazard protection.

However, some drivers do not want to insure something they can afford to replace on their own. Compare the cost of insurance against the cost of a new tire. Regardless of what you decide, it's smart to have a roadside assistance service to help you in the event of a flat or otherwise damaged tire.


Frequently asked questions

Does insurance cover slashed tires?

Yes, car insurance does cover slashed tires, but only if you have a full coverage policy with comprehensive coverage. You should check to see how much replacement tires cost before you file a claim, though. Most of the time, the cost to replace your tires is less than your deductible.

How many tires does insurance cover?

Insurance covers all four of your tires if you have comprehensive and collision coverage. However, insurance will only replace tires that are damaged in a covered event, like a crash or vandalism.

Does insurance cover stolen wheels?

Insurance will help replace stolen wheels if you have comprehensive and collision coverage. However, custom wheels may not be covered if they weren't installed by the original manufacturer. Some insurance companies offer custom parts and equipment coverage for an extra fee, which can help cover custom rims.

Does insurance cover a nail in my tire?

If you have collision coverage, insurance may cover a nail in your tire. It doesn't usually make sense to file a claim for a single flat tire because the cost to replace one tire is generally much less than your deductible. Instead, you should check your tire warranty to see if a nail puncture is covered.

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