Will Car Insurance Cover a Flat Tire?

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While flat tires are a major inconvenience, your car insurance policy will likely only cover them if they’re a result of vandalism, a pothole collision, or an accident.
More often than not, you’re financially on the hook for repairing or replacing your flat tire. Car insurance doesn’t cover wear and tear, which is what most flat tires boil down to.
Roadside assistance, on the other hand, can be a real lifesaver!
Whether you’re shopping for comprehensive insurance, coverage options that include roadside assistance, or both, Jerry is always on hand! Or rather, in hand. Jerry compares rates from dozens of providers to find you the perfect policy.
Jerry also offers a roadside assistance membership (for just $6.99 a month!) in case the unexpected happens. Benefits include towing, lockout services, and even Uber credits.
If you ever find yourself at the side of the road with a flat, here’s what you need to know about insurance coverage and flat tires.
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Does car insurance cover flat tires?

Whether or not insurance will cover a flat tire depends entirely on the circumstances that flattened it.

If it’s wear and tear

Insurance does not cover wear-and-tear damage to your car.
With tires, wear and tear includes any expected damage that the tires will occur as part of their working life—this means tread wear, nails or other sharp debris on the road, temperature fluctuation wear from hot and cold temperatures, and potential overinflation.
What some insurance companies do offer is roadside assistance for wear-and-tear damage.
The emergency roadside assistance program with Jerry includes vehicle towing up to 10 miles—which is super helpful if you have a flat and the last gas station was a while back. You’ll also be covered for jump starts, tire changes, fuel delivery, and lockout, among other things.

If it isn’t wear and tear

Tire damage that isn’t a result of wear and tear might be covered under your insurance policy. Remember to consider the cost of your deductible—it may be higher than the cost for you to repair or replace your tire(s) out of pocket!
Pothole damage
Potholes can pop tires, break suspensions, and wreck alignment. Avoiding potholes is obviously your best bet, but that’s not always possible. Thankfully, insurance typically covers damage incurred as a result of pothole collisions—so you won’t have to pay the price for shoddy road maintenance.
Blowouts that cause additional damage
Overinflation, extreme temperature changes, debris, and low tread can cause blowouts. But since this is considered wear and tear, your insurance policy won’t cover the tire damage.
If a tire blowout results in additional damage to your car, insurance will cover the cost of the damage—but not the cost of the tire.
Vandalism
If your tires are popped or slashed, it’s considered vandalism and insurance will cover the cost of replacements Your provider may request a copy of the police report, so be sure to report the vandalism as soon as possible.
Key Takeaway Insurance won’t cover tire damage after a blowout, but it may cover other damage to your car that occurs as the result of a blowout.

What type of insurance covers tire damage?

If your tires are damaged due to vandalism, comprehensive insurance will cover the cost of replacements. As a general rule, comprehensive coverage pays for damage that isn’t the result of a collision.
Tire damage caused by accidents or pothole collisions, on the other hand, is usually covered by collision coverage.
Take note: Unless you have a very low deductible, your deductible may be higher than the cost of fixing your tire. Weigh your options carefully, as paying out of pocket may be the most cost-effective solution.

How to protect your tires

The best way to protect your tires against flats is diligence. Regular tire maintenance can help prevent blowouts or damage caused by flats. This includes rotating tires regularly for even wear on the treads, keeping tires inflated to manufacturer-specified PSI, and sealing tires with a protectant.
It’s not always possible to avoid debris that can pop your tires, but there are ways to mitigate the risk:
  • Avoid driving near construction sites
  • Avoid the shoulder on highways, where debris frequently winds up
  • Don’t park too close to curbs—the slant built into the roads for drainage is a prime location for nails and other debris to collect

Protecting yourself (and your tires) with insurance

Diligence is key to protecting your tires—and that means using sensible driving habits and having good insurance coverage.
If you’re looking for comprehensive insurance, collision insurance, or roadside assistance, Jerry can help! Jerry is a pocket insurance broker that works just as diligently as you do to find the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
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FAQs

Does insurance cover running over a nail?

No. Nails and sharp debris that embed in the tires are considered normal wear and tear. If running over a nail results in a blowout, insurance will only cover the cost of any damage incurred to your car—it won’t cover the cost of the tire.

How many flat tires will insurance cover?

If the tires are flat as a result of vandalism, insurance will cover as many as you need on your car. Insurance will not cover any tire damage if the flat resulted from wear and tear like low tread or nails.
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