Will auto insurance cover tire damage from braking?

If your auto insurance covers tire damage caused by braking, make sure the cost is more than your deductible. Even a $200 deductible probably won't cover the cost of a new tire.

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Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Apr 23, 2020

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Things to Remember...

  • General auto insurance policies are meant to cover you and your vehicle during times of emergency, such as collisions
  • If your auto insurance does allow you to apply for reimbursement of tire damage caused by braking, make sure that you know the type of tires you’re replacing, as well as their value
  • Tire retailers offer insurance for the tires they sell, so make sure to see what damages are covered
  • Check the tire manufacturer’s warranty when you purchase new tires to be sure that road hazards aren’t already covered by the manufacturer

Auto insurance policies will not cover tire damage from braking. In fact, most policies don’t cover tire damage at all, unless it’s part of a larger accident claim. For example, you were unsuccessful in your braking and collided with another vehicle or object.

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General auto insurance policies are meant to cover you and your vehicle during times of emergency, such as collisions.

They also might help you out when you’re stranded and unable to operate your car because of a dead battery or you’ve run out of gas. These policies are not meant to cover what’s considered “normal” wear and tear on your car and its parts, including its tires.

What if my insurance deductible is higher than the cost of the tire?

If your auto insurance does allow you to apply for reimbursement of tire damage caused by braking, make sure that you know the type of tires you’re replacing, as well as their value. Unless your insurance deductible is quite low, the cost of a tire won’t even come close to being covered.

The average price of an all-season tire is $80, with another $80 for installation. Even a generous policy with a $200 deductible won’t pay for that tire replacement.

Unfortunately, tires are usually damaged by braking when you’ve been driving at a high speed and you’ve had to stop suddenly. Braking like this can cause the tire to totally blow out, and a tire blowout can lead to a collision or further damage to the vehicle.

If this is the case, you’ll submit a claim to your insurance company for the total damage and, depending on your policy type, the cost of the tire or tires will likely be included in the coverage for the car.

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If my insurance company doesn’t cover it, is there any other way to get tire replacement insurance?

Depending on the brand of car you drive, you may be able to purchase tire replacement coverage from your auto dealer. For instance, Audi sells a service agreement that repairs or replaces wheels or tires damaged from braking, or any other reason.

This is additional protection that owners may purchase directly from their dealer, as an add-on to Audi’s general Vehicle Warranty.

Other car brands, like Honda, offer add-ons to their service contracts that extend the tire manufacturer’s warranty. Honda’s “Care Sentinel” plan covers damage not regularly covered, such as nails, glass, potholes and other hazards on the road.

Tire damage from braking would not be reimbursed. In addition to car dealers, tire retailers offer insurance for the tires they sell.

Like the service contracts offered by some dealers, tire retailers offer road hazard insurance that covers the tire from problems that happen while driving, such as debris that punctures your tire.

These policies usually just cover the tire damage, and will not reimburse you for the mounting, balancing the new tire and disposing of the old tire. As with anything you purchase, be sure to read the fine print before you purchase tire replacement protection. Tire damage caused by braking is a very general condition, and the cause of the damage may be hard to prove.

Some policies specifically exclude what they label general “wear and tear” on the tire and go so far as to have specific guidelines on how much tread wear is permitted.

These policies will also not cover “off-road” driving, so tire damage caused by braking in the middle of a rock quarry is going to be costing you out of your own wallet.

Which is the best type of tire policy to buy?

Policies also vary as to what is included in the reimbursement, how much the policy will reimburse, and how long the coverage is good for.

Check the tire manufacturer’s warranty when you purchase new tires to be sure that road hazards aren’t already covered by the manufacturer.

On the other hand, if you don’t purchase extra coverage at the time you buy the tires, but change your mind when you get home, many tire sellers will allow you to purchase the service within two weeks of the new tire purchase.

As always, though, the best protection is careful, responsible driving. Here are some tips:

  • Maintain legal speeds and keep your tires properly inflated according to manufacturer guidelines
  • Try to leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you as, if you don’t have to brake suddenly to avoid a road hazard, your tires will have less chance of getting damaged

Protection for your entire vehicle starts with a good insurance policy. Enter your zip code in the box to get multiple auto insurance quotes for a policy that fits your needs today!

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