Does Car Insurance Cover Damage to Tires?

By Jennifer Brozic 08/04/2021 4:00pm

Does Car Insurance Cover Damaged Tires

Having adequate insurance coverage can help protect you if you’re in an accident or another covered event damages your vehicle. Car insurance may even help pay for tire damage in certain situations. But what your policy covers depends on how the tires were damaged and what types of coverage you have.

When Does Car Insurance Cover Tire Damage?

There may be situations when your standard auto insurance policy covers the cost to repair or replace your tires. If you have collision and comprehensive coverage, your insurance company will typically cover tire damage if:

  • Your tires are slashed. Has your neighborhood recently seen an uptick in vandalism? If the culprits slash your tires when no one’s around, comprehensive coverage can help pay to replace them.
  • Your tires got stolen. If a thief steals your tires off the rims, comprehensive may cover the cost of new ones.
  • You drive over a pothole. Potholes can cause extensive vehicle damage. If you hit one and the pothole damages your tires or wheels, your insurance company can help if you have collision coverage.
  • You’re in an accident. If a crash with a vehicle or other stationary object damages your tires and you have collision coverage, your insurance company may cover the event.


It’s important to note that while insurance might be able to help in these situations, unless you’re in an accident, it may not be worth filing a claim. Both collision and comprehensive coverage have a deductible, which you have to pay before the insurance company helps with repair costs. When you meet your deductible, there might not be much left for your insurer to pay.

For example, if your deductible is $500, and the cost to replace your tires is $450, insurance won’t cover anything. If your deductible is $500 and the cost to replace your tires is $600, you may choose to cover the extra $100 out of pocket rather than risking a premium increase by filing a claim.

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When Does Car Insurance Not Cover Tire Damage?

While your insurance company may cover tires under certain circumstances, there are times when your standard policy won’t pick up the bill, including:

  • Wear and tear. Insurance is meant to protect you against accidents and other risks that are beyond your control. It doesn’t cover basic wear and tear. Replacing your tires when they’ve run their course is part of the cost of owning a vehicle.
  • Flat tire. If you wake up one morning to find that you have a flat, insurance won’t cover it. But if you have roadside assistance, they can help you put on the spare, so you can drive your car to a dealership or tire retailer to get it replaced.
  • Road hazards. If a nail, piece of glass, or other debris damages a tire while driving, you’re responsible for paying to repair or replace it.

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How Can I Get Coverage for My Tires?

If you want coverage for your vehicle tires beyond what your standard auto insurance policy provides, you have a couple of options.

Road Hazard Protection

If you’re buying new tires at your local auto service center, they may offer road hazard protection. Road hazard protection pays to repair or replace your tires if glass, metal, nails, or other debris on the road damage them. Some plans also offer tire-changing assistance.

Road hazard protection plans are often good only for a certain number of miles. Or they may only cover tires that have a certain amount of tread remaining. Terms and conditions vary by plan, so it’s important to read yours carefully if you choose to purchase this type of protection.

Road hazard protection plans typically cost between $15 to $30 a tire. Some plans charge a flat fee, while others charge a percentage of the cost of the tire. Some tire dealers include road hazard protection for free with your tire purchase.

Tire and Wheel Protection

Like road hazard protection, tire and wheel protection also covers damage from road hazards, such as metal, glass, nails, and other debris. But it also offers additional benefits. It doesn’t just repair or replace damaged tires; it repairs and replaces broken wheels and sensors, too.

Tire and wheel protection plans often cover towing expenses and the cost of alternate transportation while your tires or wheels get repaired — up to a certain dollar amount. Some plans also cover cosmetic and curb damage, whereas road hazard protection plans usually do not.

Some tire and wheel protection plans limit mileage and maximum lifetime benefits, while others don’t. It’s important to read your contract carefully so you understand what’s covered.

Many car dealerships offer tire and wheel protection as an add-on when you purchase a vehicle. You may also be able to get a plan from certain automotive retailers and vehicle service contract companies.