Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: May 10, 2022

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The Truth in a Nutshell

  • Car insurance covers tires sometimes, but only if you have the right coverage
  • Tires that are flat, slashed or stolen will not be covered by your liability-only car insurance
  • Comprehensive car insurance will cover stolen tires or slashed tires

One particular issue many consumers seem concerned about is tires, seeing that they’re getting more and more expensive these days, especially those fancy big ones. It might surprise you to learn that only sometimes will car insurance cover tires, and then only if you have the right coverage.

So, does insurance cover flat tires? Are tires covered under insurance at all? What about if they are stolen or slashed? What types of car insurance coverage do you need to cover your tires?

Keep reading to learn just when your car insurance will pay for your tires and what coverage you need to make that happen.

If you are looking to upgrade your car insurance to cover your tires being slashed or stolen, enter your ZIP now to compare quotes.

Let’s tackle some common tire-related insurance questions so drivers have a better idea of their coverage.

Does car insurance cover flat tires?

Does insurance cover flat tires or does car insurance cover a nail in tire? Does car insurance cover a tire puncture? Sadly, when it comes to car insurance, flat tires are not covered.

Flat tires are a fact of life. At some point, chances are that you will have a flat tire. Not only will it be an inconvenience but expensive as well since your car insurance won’t help you pay for it.

If you get a flat, it could be that your tires are overinflated or underinflated, or you simply ran over a nail. If you don’t inflate your tires adequately, more road friction means more heat and a possible blowout. Conversely, an overinflated tire could be susceptible to damage from a pothole or a particularly rough road.

Also, be sure to keep an eye on the tread of the tire – they don’t last forever, especially if you don’t rotate them regularly. Poor tread can lead to blow-outs and accidents driving in icy conditions. That being said, tires are generally your responsibility, though as mentioned earlier, if you have a warranty, you may be covered at the shop where you purchased them.

So if you run over a nail and get a flat, your insurance company will likely tell you you’re on your own. However, when it comes to a damaged car tire, insurance companies will cover damage to your vehicle if a blowout or flat tire is the culprit.

For example, if your tire blows out and causes damage to the body of your vehicle, you should be able to file a claim if you have comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage will handle damage like hail, fire, vandalism, or theft and is usually quite cheap.

Let’s look at the average annual rate for comprehensive coverage by state. You can use the search box to find your state.

Average Annual Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates by State
StatesAverage Annual Rates for Comprehensive Insurance
New Hampshire$103.03
Rhode Island$122.17
North Carolina$123.00
New Jersey$123.18
New York$156.66
South Carolina$165.38
New Mexico$166.89
West Virginia$195.04
North Dakota$227.64
South Dakota$228.59
District of Columbia$230.25
U.S. Average$138.87
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The monthly average rate for comprehensive is around $10 a month. That is definitely worth it to know you are covered for damages.

Additionally, if you get into an accident as a result of a flat, insurance should also come into play.

You should always check your tires before you head out, especially on a road trip.  Being stranded on the side of the road is no way to spend a vacation.

Thankfully, most newer car’s safety features include a tire monitoring system that lets you know if your tire is going flat. This can keep you from causing major damage to your car. Your insurance company may also provide roadside assistance insurance coverage to at least change the flat and/or tow you somewhere to get help.

Roadside assistance is usually an add-on feature available for your auto policy. If you choose to add this coverage, your auto insurance company will send someone to help you if you need to replace a flat, or if you need fuel delivery, towing, a jumpstart, or a locksmith. The cost of roadside assistance varies, but around $15-$25 per year is fairly standard.

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Does car insurance cover tire and wear and tear?

So far, we’ve discussed what your coverage options are if you have a flat tire. What about wear and tear?

First and foremost, car insurance does not cover normal wear and tear of tires, even if you have full coverage auto insurance. Many things degrade over time, but insurance is in place to cover unexpected events, not the normal breaking down of things. Is tire damage covered by insurance? Again, normal damage to tires is not covered. You cannot file an insurance claim for this type of damage.

In other words, if your tires become cracked and worn, you’ll need to head over to the tire store and replace them on your own dime, that is, unless you have a warranty with the manufacturer or installer.

Does car insurance cover tires that were slashed?

If someone happens to slash your tires, you might want to determine who your enemies are. You should also file a police report and contact your insurance company within 24 hours of the incident.

Does auto insurance cover tires if they have been vandalized? Yes, but you’ll need to have comprehensive coverage in place to get your tires replaced via your insurance company.

Comprehensive insurance covers incidents involving your car that collision coverage will not pay for, i.e., incidents that do not involve a collision with another vehicle. Collision insurance will only pay for damage to your tires if it happened during an accident.

Comprehensive insurance coverage includes vandalism, which encompasses tire slashing. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to pay your comprehensive deductible, which depending on the cost of the tires, might not even be worth it. Filing with insurance may be a bad idea, especially if you carry a high deductible to keep your insurance rates down.

For example, say they only slash one tire. Typically, you’ll want your tires to match up, so buying one replacement might not make sense.

Additionally, insurance providers might depreciate the value of the tire based on its age and mileage, so you wouldn’t get the full value of the slashed tire.

Remember, insurance companies will make you whole, not make you better off.

Lastly, if you file a claim, your insurance rate could go up, further complicating the decision to involve your insurance company.

If you are going to damage someone’s tires, there is a popular misconception about how many tires to slash. Why do you only slash three tires instead of four?

The thought was that should you only slash three tires, car insurance wouldn’t pay for the replacement tires. That’s not true, and your car insurance will pay to replace any number of tires that were vandalized.

In addition to auto vandalism, comprehensive car insurance coverage will pay for damage related to weather or natural disasters, damage from falling tree limbs, animal collisions, and vehicle theft. It’s a good idea to add this coverage to your policy if you can. A policy with liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage is called full-coverage car insurance.

Does car insurance cover tires that were stolen?

Does insurance cover tire replacement if yours are stolen? Again, your comprehensive coverage comes into play if someone happens to steal your tires.

However, the claim would be subject to an insurance deductible, as noted above. Additionally, you’ll want to have a sales receipt handy if the tires/wheels were purchased aftermarket.

And if the tires/wheels are extremely expensive, you might even need to purchase a rider to get coverage. At a minimum, save the receipt and take photos of the tires/wheels and keep them in a safe place.

Finally, as with the slashed tires, your insurance company will probably only make you whole, not leave you in a better position after the theft. So you’ll have to determine if it makes sense to replace them yourself.

Tip: If you have liability-only car insurance, you won’t be covered for vandalism or theft to your tires, so think twice about skimping on your coverage if you’ve got a lot to protect. Your liability insurance does not cover any damage to your vehicle or person, only the other party’s damages.

Make sure you take the time to read your auto insurance policy so you know exactly what coverage you have. You can always add coverage, especially when you shop for new car insurance.

Comparing car insurance quotes is the best way to get all of the coverage you need at the best price. Enter your ZIP to get quotes on insurance that includes comprehensive so you know your tires will be covered if they are stolen or vandalized.