Does insurance cover slashed tires? That depends on what kind of insurance coverage you have and your provider’s specific rules regarding such a situation.
Insurance Coverage for Slashed Tires
If you’re leaving work or out running errands and you see that your tires are slashed, the first thing you should do is figure out if your insurance policy will cover your damaged tires. If you only have liability coverage, then your insurance will not pay for the tires. As CarInsurance.com points out, liability insurance only covers damage or injuries resulting from an accident that you’re at fault for. Because slashed tires are usually the result of deliberate acts of vandalism and, in some cases, poorly maintained roads, they are not covered by liability insurance.
CarInsurance.com also notes that comprehensive insurance will cover your slashed tires. However, you must have a comprehensive policy already in place, and many drivers don’t because it’s an optional policy not required by law. Keep in mind, if you do have comprehensive coverage and you file a claim, you have to pay a deductible. If replacing your tires costs less than your deductible, it doesn’t make sense to file a claim.
Let’s say that two of your tires are slashed, and it’s going to cost $350 to replace them. If your deductible is $500, you’ll end up paying for the replacement because your deductible exceeds the repair costs. Plus, most insurance companies will only pay the depreciated value of the tires. That means if your insurance covers your new tires, they’ll have to cost less than what you paid for your damaged tires.
The purpose of insurance is to return your vehicle to the way it was, whether it’s before you have an accident or before your tires get slashed. To return your tires to the way they were before they were vandalized, your insurance company will take into consideration how much mileage you’ve put on your tires, plus wear and tear. So the money you get from your insurance company would actually pay for a used set of tires instead of a new set of tires.
Should You File a Claim for Slashed Tires?
If you’re still wondering whether you should file a claim if your tires get slashed, keep in mind that your insurance provider will factor in the cause of the damage. As CarInsuranceCompanies.com notes, depending on how the damage is caused, you can either use your comprehensive coverage or your collision damage to pay for your tires.
When you inform your car insurance company that your tires have been slashed, they’ll want to know how they were slashed. If you don’t know, it’s more than likely a random act of vandalism. Your insurance company will want to launch an investigation. According to CarInsuranceCompanies.com, other causes include:
- Riot damage.
- Driving over spikes or debris.
- An acquaintance is upset with you.
AutoInsurance.org points out that because comprehensive insurance covers damage caused by riots or vandalism (random or by someone you know), your comprehensive insurance will cover your tires. If you have a low deductible, it shouldn’t cost too much out of pocket to replace your tires. Remember, lower deductibles come with higher premiums.
If you have collision insurance and you damage your tires by running over spikes or hitting a pothole, your collision coverage will likely pay for the damage. Verify with your provider that your policy covers damaged tires. What a specific policy will cover can vary depending on the company.
According to Progressive, if you want even more protection for your tires, consider purchasing a tire protection plan from your local tire dealer. The typical protection plan covers wear and tear for a specified number of years or miles. It will also cover damage caused by nails and other road hazards. You can shop around for a tire protection plan to make sure you get one that provides adequate protection at a reasonable price.
If you have custom wheels or rims, you may want to purchase custom parts and equipment coverage (CPE) from your insurance provider. CPE will replace your custom wheels or rims if they sustain damage in an accident. Progressive offers a CPE plan that will cover your custom wheels for up to $5000.
How to File a Claim for Slashed Tires
If your tires are slashed and you decide to file a claim, it’s important to stay calm and focused. AutoInsurance.org suggest you take the following steps:
- Contact your insurance company, and if necessary, the police right away. If your slashed tires are a result of vandalism, your provider will probably require you to file a police report. Not only will the offender have to face legal consequences, but your insurance company can also sue them for damage costs.
- Provide as many details as you can. Make sure to get photographic evidence of the damage and write down the location of your car when the tires were slashed. You’ll also want to note the time. If you didn’t see your tires get slashed, it’s ok to estimate the time. Providing as many details as you’re able will help your insurance company conduct a thorough and efficient investigation. After you file your claim, an appraiser will visit your home or workplace to verify that the tires were actually slashed. Filing an accurate claim will ensure that your provider doesn’t deny your claim and that they pay you a fair amount.
- Replace your tires. After your insurance company processes your claim, you can pay your deductible and take your car to the auto shop for new tires. If you have rental car coverage, you can use it to rent a car while yours is in the shop.
Keep in mind that, as CarInsuranceCompanies.com points out, your insurance company will deny your claim if the appraiser determines:
- You slashed your tires after getting a flat.
- You drove over tire spikes.
- You violated traffic laws or engaged in unsafe driving that resulted in tire damage.
Your insurance company’s appraisers are experts at determining if someone slashed your tires or if something else happened, so be honest and accurate when filing a claim.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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