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UPDATED: Apr 23, 2020
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When you come out to your car and notice that you have slashed tires, it’s important to know what you can do about it. Your auto insurance may or may not cover the repairs. You have to look at how it happened and the level of coverage that you have on your policy.
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The Issue of Slashed Tires
Once you notice that your tires have been slashed, you need to call the insurance company. You will be asked to identify how they were slashed. If you don’t know, it is most likely an act of vandalism. However, an investigation will need to be conducted.
Some of the most common reasons for tires getting slashed include:
- Upset the wrong person
- Driving over tire spikes or debris
The reality is that insurance companies determine whether they are going to pay for the tires or not based upon what happened. There might be various reasons as explained in your policy as to why a claim would be denied.
The various ways the tires get slashed may be covered by different types of coverage on your policy.
Not having the right coverage could result in your claim being denied. This is why it’s often best to have more coverage than what the state requires. Otherwise, you could be out-of-pocket for more expenses when it comes to car damage.
It’s always best to try to get insurance to pay than to have to pay on your own. Adding a little bit of coverage often won’t cost you a lot more on monthly premiums.
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What kind of coverage do you have?
The kind of coverage you have on your auto insurance policy will determine whether tire replacement will be covered.
The basic auto insurance as required by the state will cover you for car accidents with another vehicle. This is because you will have bodily injury and property damage liability on your policy.
Tires being slashed will generally fall outside of this definition. If your tires are slashed, it usually involves someone slashing them on purpose or you driving over something that would slash them. Either way, it’s not covered by your basic policy.
This means that you need to add additional coverage in order to be protected. This would include comprehensive coverage as well as collision coverage.
- Comprehensive coverage takes care of all “non-driving” related incidents. Vandalism falls under this category, which is how most incidents of tires being slashed are identified.
- Collision coverage includes events where you collide into a stationary object, which can include road spikes. Depending upon the road spikes and your speed when running over them, they have the potential to damage your tires and various other aspects of your car as well.
While you should always follow the rules of the road, accidents happen. Construction zone safety might still result in slashed tires because of the debris around. Most insurance companies will take care of the damage if you have the right coverage in place.
If you don’t have the coverage and your tires are slashed on private property, you might also look at suing the owners of the property. While suing might work in some instances, most property owners cover themselves.
This cover is done with signage (or a disclaimer that you sign) that essentially says that you are parking at your own risk. This signage ensures that the owner is not at fault for any damage that might occur to your vehicle.
Filing the Claim
A claim should be filed as soon as possible. This fast action will let the insurance company know something has happened. It will also ensure you don’t miss the deadlines where a claim could be denied because of waiting too long.
If the slashed tires were the result of vandalism or another crime, be sure you file a police report before filing a claim.
This report will make it easier to provide more information to the insurance company. Insurance will ask for the police report number if you do have a report.
Your auto insurance policy will have fine print that details various events where you will not be covered. It is important to familiarize yourself with this area. It ensures you don’t try filing a claim for something where you are not covered.
Track days, for example, are not covered by most auto insurance policies. If you damage your car in any way, including someone slashing your tires because they want to sabotage your race, you would not be covered.
You should never let the idea that it could cost you more on your insurance premiums prevent you from filing a claim. It’s better to file the claim and have the insurance company tell you that you don’t qualify for the reimbursement than to leave an incident unreported.
Identify the Replacement Costs
If you experience slashed tires, you need to identify the replacement costs. The cost of a tire might only be a few hundred dollars. The deductible you would have to pay could be substantially more than this.
When you set up a policy, you identify the deductible you want to pay. This amount could be $500 or $1000 in most instances.
If the cost to replace the tires is less than the deductible, it would be easier for you to pay for the tire replacement out of pocket.
However, you would still want to go through the claims process and then make the decision to pay as opposed to having the tire replacement go through the insurance company.
Much of your decision is going to depend on whether your tires were just part of the damage to your car. You might also have rim damage and various other problems that increase the cost of repairs.
Ultimately, tires being slashed is an expense you might have to encounter from time to time. If you can file a claim for insurance to cover the costs, it is the best scenario.
However, you will want to look to see if you have sufficient coverage and whether it is cost-effective for insurance to cover the cost of the claim.
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