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Does insurance cover slashed tires?

Flat tire of an old rusty car close up
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There are several reasons for slashed tire damage: hitting an object in the road, rough conditions, material defects and even vandalism. And while insurance does not cover normal wear and tear, optional comprehensive and collision coverage will usually cover tire damage from an incident – including slashed tires.

Will my car insurance cover my tires?

Depending on the circumstances, either your comprehensive or collision coverage will likely cover your slashed tires.

Comprehensive coverage will cover slashed tires caused by vandalism or riots, for example. For example, if your tires are slashed by someone who is upset with you then your comprehensive coverage will most likely pay to repair or replace your tires.

If your tires are slashed while your vehicle is moving – for example, you drive over spikes or debris of some sort – then your collision coverage will most likely cover the damage.

You will want to verify with your auto insurance provider that your policy covers your tires should incidents like this happen. However, insurance will not cover tire damage due to normal wear and tear, if you punctured your tire yourself or have a flat tire.

When will the car insurance company deny my claim for slashed tires?

Your insurance company will deny your claim for slashed tires if it is determined that you have intentionally caused the damage. Generally, any type of intentional act, regardless of what it is, will be denied by your insurer.

Your insurance company will also deny your claim if it is determined that you drove over tire spikes or that you violated traffic laws or drove in a way that resulted in the tire damage. For example, if you are determined to be at fault in an accident that causes damage to your tires. In other words, if the damage is determined to be your fault and to have been avoidable then your insurance will most likely refuse to cover the claim.

How to file a car insurance claim for slashed tires

The first step to take when filing a claim for slashed tires is to call your insurance provider. Your insurer can help determine if a claim can be filed and then start the claims process. After contacting your car insurance company, consider the following:

  1. Write down as many details as possible. This will help ascertain whether or not it was an act of vandalism and if you can file a claim.
  2. You may need a police report if the slashed tire was an act of vandalism. Most insurance companies require a formal police report in case of theft, vandalism or accidents before they can process your claim.
  3. Replace your tires once you receive the claims money from your insurer. You may or may not choose to take the perpetrator to court for causing damage to your vehicle.

Other tire damage covered by insurance

Insurance will likely cover your tire damage so long as it is not excluded on your insurance policy. In addition to covering slashed tires, your policy may cover manufacturer defects, damages caused by road hazards and other acts of vandalism. Additionally, stolen tires may be covered.

While your car insurance will not cover a flat tire, the damage caused to your car or wheels may be covered by your insurance, depending on the circumstances. However, roadside assistance may be able to help you in the event that you have a flat tire by providing a tow truck or other solution.

If you need more robust tire coverage, then you may want to consider purchasing a tire protection plan from a tire dealer or other shop while purchasing your vehicle. This type of protection plan typically covers things like wear and tear for a certain number of years or up to a certain mileage. It will also cover damage caused by picking up a nail or other road hazards.

Frequently asked questions

Are slashed tires covered by roadside assistance?

No, roadside assistance does not cover slashed tires. It may cover flat tires, depending on the circumstances. For broken wheels, slashed or stolen tires, you will need comprehensive coverage.

Will I need to file a police report for slashed tires?

Most insurance companies require a police report if the slashed tire was an act of vandalism. Contacting the police may also help you catch the culprit and prevent future acts of vandalism on your vehicle.

Learn more:

Written by
Cynthia Widmayer
Insurance Contributor
Cynthia Widmayer is an insurance contributor for Bankrate and has over two years of experience as a personal finance writer. She covers home, car and life insurance products for Bankrate, The Simple Dollar and among others.
Edited by
Insurance Editor