Does auto insurance cover slashed tires?
There’s not much that’s more upsetting than coming out to your car to find that your tires have been slashed. When this happens, you will need to replace the tires before you’re able to drive.
However, you have to look at whether auto insurance covers the cost of replacing the tires when they have been slashed.
One of the first things to explore is what a basic insurance policy will cover. If you choose to get the minimum level of coverage required by the state, you will have liability insurance for property damage and bodily injury.
Slashed tires are considered an act of vandalism and therefore won’t be covered inside a basic insurance policy. If you only have basic coverage, you would be responsible for replacing the tires on your own.
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How an Act of Vandalism is Covered
Vandalism is a non-driving related incident and is therefore covered under comprehensive coverage.
In most states, comprehensive insurance coverage is an add-on that is not required by the state. The only reason it might be needed is if a lienholder deems it mandatory because of the nature of the loan.
If you want auto insurance to cover the slashed tires, you would need to have comprehensive coverage on your policy. When searching for coverage, it’s a good idea to look at quotes that include comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive coverage is generally only a few dollars more per month. Having comprehensive coverage pays off in the end if you ever have to file a claim.
Filing a Claim with Insurance
When you find that your tires are slashed, you will need to file a claim with insurance as soon as possible. The insurance company can then begin conducting their investigation.
If your tires were in fact slashed as an act of vandalism, the insurance company should take care of the costs if you have comprehensive coverage.
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However, there are going to be instances when your coverage is denied because the tires were not slashed. Such instances include:
- Slashing your own tires after getting a flat
- Driving over tire spikes
- Not following traffic laws which result in tires tearing
You will often be required to have an appraiser look at the tires. The insurance company will be able to determine if the tires were slashed or if something else happened.
As such, it’s of the utmost importance that you are completely honest from the beginning as to how the tire damage happened.
How to Determine How to Proceed with Slashed Tires
Any time you file a claim with the auto insurance company, you are required to pay your deductible. This deductible varies from policy to policy.
Some people set their deductible low and pay a higher premium. Others choose to set the deductible higher as a way of getting a lower premium.
Once you file a claim, you will know the cost of replacing the tires once you go to the appraiser. If the cost of replacing the tires is $600, then it’s more cost-effective for you to pay a $500 deductible and let the insurance company take care of replacing the tires.
However, if you have a $1000 deductible, it’s often better for you to replace the tires on your own and avoid paying the deductible.
Much of this is going to depend on how many tires were slashed and what kind of vehicle you drive. Larger cars, such as SUVs, often have larger tires and are therefore more expensive.
In the end, auto insurance will cover slashed tires if you have comprehensive coverage in place. Depending upon your deductible and the cost of replacing the tires, it may or may not be worth it for you to go through the insurance company to handle the replacement.
Ultimately, it’s important to get the right coverage so that you have more options when something happens to your vehicle.
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