Tire Coverage: What Does Insurance Really Cover?

How many tires does insurance cover? Check out this guide to get all the answers to your tire-related insurance questions.

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Tire Coverage: What Does Insurance Really Cover?Tire Coverage: What Does Insurance Really Cover?

We hate to be obvious, but tires are pretty important for driving. And yet, most people don’t give them a second thought – until they have to, that is. And if you use a car on the regular, then damaged tires become a huge inconvenience. 

So if you find yourself in a situation where your tire is slashed, punctured, or otherwise, you might find yourself wondering what happens next, and whether insurance will step in to cover the fix. Well, wonder no more! We’ve got your answers here. 

Does Insurance Cover Tires?

The short answer is yes, insurance will cover new tires — but only if the damage comes from a covered peril. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some of the incidents commonly covered by these policies:

  • Vandalism: Tire slashings happen (we see you, Carrie Underwood) and tend to be completely random (ok you’re off the hook, Carrie), so your policy should provide coverage for tire replacement. 
  • Potholes: Maybe it’s dark out or you’re driving in a new area or somehow, a road hazard just popped out of nowhere. We get it! And your insurance carrier should, too.   
  • Accidents: Collision insurance should replace damaged tires that result from a car accident. And if the damage extends beyond just the tires, collision insurance may offer a total loss payout for the entire vehicle. 

And while there are lots of circumstances that lead to insurance paying for new tires, there are also some exclusions that insurance doesn't commonly cover — namely:

  • Flat tires: While a blowout stinks (and always seems to happen at the worst time), we’re sad to say that most car insurance policies won’t replace your tires if there are no extenuating circumstances. 
  • Wear and tear: Whether you use your car daily or just for weekend jaunts, your tires will experience normal wear and tear — and insurance won’t cover them when they finally take their final roll. 

When you first purchase a policy, remember to speak with your provider about what’s covered and what’s not. And if you don’t have a copy of your policy, you can, and should, request one! It’s always worth asking about equipment coverage, and your insurance agent should be able to give you the answers you need.

How Many Tires Does Insurance Cover?

There aren’t many insurance myths, but those that exist really stick around. Take the three-tire rule: Supposedly, insurance won’t pay if you have three out of four tires slashed, which is why you sometimes see (forgive the pun) the tired trope of a furious, wronged woman slashing only three of her ex’s wheels. 

Like the Easter Bunny, a lot of people believe in the three-tire rule. At Marble, we are here to spread the truth about insurance — which means revealing that, fortunately, the three-tire rule is just not true! (On the other hand, we’re sorry to say that unfortunately, the Easter Bunny is…not real).

In real life, vandalism is vandalism, no matter how many tires might be involved. Here’s a handy guide if you find yourself in this kind of situation:

  1. First, make sure you’re in a safe space. Slashed tires are bad enough without adding any other danger to the mix.
  2. Then call the police and report the incident. Try to provide as much information as possible. They may come to you to inspect the vehicle. 
  3. Next, inform your insurance company of the incident and file a claim per their instructions. 
  4. Finally, it may take time for the police to complete the report. Be sure to follow up! In any case, there should be an initial report that you can give your insurance. 

So to summarize (and officially bust the myth): If all four tires were slashed and your policy covers vandalism, then you should receive replacements for all four tires. 

What To Know About Insurance Coverage for Tires

When it comes to insurance, you could spend years trying to learn all the ins and outs. But there’s no need to lose your life to the nuances of every possible policy and premium. You just need to know enough to navigate your situation — in this case, how to handle your dead tires. And we can help!

Basic vs. Comprehensive Coverage

Basic coverage: In this case, basic refers to your state's minimum requirement to be a legal driver. In most states, this is usually only liability insurance. But note: this coverage doesn’t typically cover tire loss of any kind. 

Comprehensive coverage: The mother of all automobile policies, comprehensive coverage protects you from a range of tire mishaps, including vandalism, natural disasters, and theft. 

Deductible: This is the amount you have to pay before your policy starts covering any service or repair. All insurance policies involve deductibles, which you can set when you buy your policy. If you choose a high deductible, it often means your premiums will be lower — but when you have an issue, that means that your insurance won’t pay out until you have covered enough expenses out of pocket to hit the deductible. Depending on how much the tire costs to replace, it might not meet your deductible — which means you will end up paying for the whole thing yourself.

Coverage limits: If you’ve opted for a lower coverage limit and the cost of tire replacement exceeds said limit, you may be responsible for some or all of the expense. This is typically only an issue in the case of a major wreck, not a standard case of vandalism. 

If you understand these terms, you’ll know what questions to ask and what info you need. Knowledge is power!

Tire Repair vs. Replacement

Now, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about tire repair versus tire replacement. Up until now, we’ve been talking about tire replacement, and whether your policy will, or will not, pay for that. 

Tire repair, on the other hand, is a completely different service. Repair can come in the form of roadside service like AAA, collision coverage, or towing to a repair facility. For your policy to pay for a repair, the tire has to be, well, repairable as determined by your provider or a professional of their choosing. If your insurer retroactively decides that the damage is too severe, your policy may leave you high and dry, since you’ll have already paid the initial expense.

Find Auto Policies to Cover Any Situation With Marble

Now that you’ve read this article, you’ll never struggle to understand tire coverage again, right? Right! But we’re here to make auto insurance easier, no matter what comes up! Plus, Marble helps members save on insurance, track their policies, and compare options — all while earning rewards. Sign up today!