Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Mar 21, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • The three-tire rule regarding car insurance is a myth, as insurance companies will cover all four tires with the right policy
  • Drivers must carry comprehensive auto insurance to cover slashed tires
  • The cost of replacement tires must exceed your deductible for insurance companies to pay for slashed tires

How many tires does insurance cover if they’re slashed? The truth is that car insurance covers one, two, three, or all four of your tires as long as you carry the right policy. The three-tire rule is one of the oldest urban legends in the insurance industry.

However, drivers need comprehensive car insurance to cover slashed tires and other acts of vandalism. Collision insurance will cover tires damaged in an accident, but you need to carry both in a full coverage policy to protect your tires at all times.

Full coverage auto insurance rates are the most expensive on average. Read our guide to learn why drivers think there’s a three-tire rule for insurance and what you can do to find the most affordable car insurance company for slashed tires.

Does insurance cover slashed tires?

Yes, insurance covers tire damage when you carry a full coverage policy. A liability-only policy is not enough to cover slashed tires.

Full coverage car insurance applies to all four tires and includes:

  • Liability 
  • Collision 
  • Comprehensive 

Liability insurance will only cover damage to the other driver if you’re found at fault for an accident. On the other hand, comprehensive auto insurance covers tires slashed by vandals, while collision coverage applies to tires slashed in an accident involving another vehicle or property. 

Full coverage auto insurance rates are more expensive than liability-only. Locate your state on the table below to determine how much policies cost where you reside:

Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Type and State

StatesAverage Monthly Liability RatesAverage Monthly Collision RatesAverage Monthly Comprehensive RatesAverage Monthly Full Coverage Rates
Alabama$37$28$14$79
Alaska$47$31$12$90
Arizona$48$25$16$89
Arkansas$36$29$17$82
California$45$36$8$88
Colorado$49$25$17$91
Connecticut$59$32$11$102
Delaware$69$28$11$107
District of Columbia$58$41$19$118
Florida$76$26$11$113
Georgia$55$30$14$98
Hawaii$39$27$9$75
Idaho$32$20$10$62
Illinois$40$27$11$77
Indiana$34$22$11$67
Iowa$27$19$16$62
Kansas$32$23$21$76
Kentucky$47$24$12$83
Louisiana$73$37$19$128
Maine$30$23$9$62
Maryland$55$31$13$100
Massachusetts$52$34$12$98
Michigan$72$37$13$121
Minnesota$39$20$16$76
Mississippi$41$29$18$88
Missouri$38$24$16$79
Montana$34$23$21$77
Nebraska$33$21$20$74
Nevada$64$27$10$100
New Hampshire$35$26$9$70
New Jersey$76$33$11$119
New Mexico$44$24$15$84
New York$71$34$15$120
North Carolina$31$26$11$67
North Dakota$25$22$20$67
Ohio$35$24$10$69
Oklahoma$40$27$20$88
Oregon$53$20$8$81
Pennsylvania$43$29$13$85
Rhode Island$68$36$11$116
South Carolina$50$24$16$89
South Dakota$26$19$24$69
Tennessee$37$27$13$77
Texas$49$33$19$101
Utah$45$23$10$78
Vermont$30$26$11$68
Virginia$38$25$12$74
Washington$53$24$9$86
West Virginia$43$28$18$88
Wisconsin$33$20$12$65
Wyoming$29$24$23$75
Countrywide$48$29$13$90
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Full coverage with collision and comprehensive policies can double your monthly car insurance rates in most states. But if you want insurance to cover all four of your tires, you should carry a full coverage policy. 

However, limitations do apply. For example, if your tire deflates due to a nail or dry rot, insurance coverage will be inapplicable. In addition, if you’re accused of slashing your own tires, insurance will be irrelevant and you may face insurance fraud charges.

Will insurance cover two slashed tires?

Yes, but coverage amounts depend on your deductible. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly insurance rates. But if you carry a high deductible, your insurance policy may not cover the cost of two tires.

Will insurance cover three slashed tires?

Yes, auto insurance covers three slashed tires. No matter how many tires are damaged in your claim, your comprehensive coverage will extend to all of them. 

Then, why would someone only slash three tires? Because the cost of three tires likely doesn’t meet the cost of your insurance deductible.

Your car insurance deductible is the amount of money you must pay before your insurance company compensates your coverage. So, what’s a reasonable deductible for car insurance? The average auto insurance deductible is between $250 and $500. 

But when a replacement tire costs $167, the cost of three tires barely meets a $500 deductible. And if you carry higher limits of $1,000-$2,000, your insurance won’t apply at all. You will be responsible for those tire fees out of pocket.

Why do you only slash three tires instead of four?

The myth of the three-tire rule stems from the idea that one can disable a vehicle quickly by slashing three tires instead of four. However, slashing one or all four tires will render a vehicle immobile. 

Insurance coverage still applies no matter how many tires are slashed, but your deductible will impact how much your insurance company will pay. In some cases, the cost of three tires won’t exceed the deductible, but the cost of four might. As a result, vandals may only slash three tires instead of four in hopes that it will cost the owner more money out of pocket.

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Which car insurance companies cover slashed tires?

The good news is that most auto insurance companies offer full coverage policies to cover slashed tires and other damages. Does GEICO cover slashed tires? Yes, it does, but we recommend comparing at least three different companies to find the most affordable policy. 

To get you started, we found the average annual rates of the top ten insurance companies in the country:

Top 10 Car Insurance Companies Average Car Insurance Rates

CompanyAvailabilityAverage Annual RatesHigher/Lower than
National Average
Annual Rates
Cheapest Insured
Make and Model
AllstateAll 50 States and D.C.$4,532.9623.82%
(Higher)
2015 Toyota RAV-4
American Family19 States$3,698.771.03%
(Higher)
2015 Honda Civic
FarmersAll 50 States and D.C.$3,907.996.75%
(Higher)
2015 Toyota RAV-4
GEICOAll 50 States and D.C.$3,073.66-16.04%
(Lower)
2015 Toyota RAV-4
Liberty MutualAll 50 States and D.C.$5,295.5544.65%
(Higher)
2015 Toyota RAV-4
Nationwide46 States and D.C.$3,187.20-12.94%
(Lower)
2018 Toyota RAV-4
ProgressiveAll 50 States and D.C.$3,935.367.5%
(Higher)
2015 Toyota RAV-4
State FarmAll 50 States and D.C.$2,731.48-25.39%
(Higher)
2015 Honda Civic
Travelers42 States and D.C.$3,729.321.87%
(Higher)
2015 Ford F-150
USAA
(Military & Family Members)
All 50 States and D.C.$2,489.49-32%
(Lower)
2015 Honda Civic
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Your insurance rates will vary based on your driving record, where you live, and the kind of car you drive. The table above lists the least expensive insured vehicles with each company. If you drive any of the same or similar models, you can look forward to more affordable auto insurance rates. 

However, if you have customized wheels or rims, it will cost more to replace them. You may need custom parts and equipment coverage (CPE) because traditional comprehensive or collision policies won’t cover them.

Not every company offers that additional coverage, but out of the top companies above, the following offer CPE coverage:

  • American Family
  • Farmers
  • Progressive
  • USAA

Liberty Mutual and State Farm provide extensive original parts replacement, but it may not apply to certain rim or wheel kits. Furthermore, each company will offer various types of coverage for different equipment, and rates will vary accordingly. To save money, shop around and obtain car insurance quotes from at least three different companies to find the right coverage for you.

Understanding The Three-Tire Rule: The Bottom Line

The three-tire rule is a car insurance myth which implies that companies will only pay out if all four tires are damaged. This isn’t true. 

As long as you carry a full coverage auto insurance policy, all four of your tires are covered during accidents and from acts of vandalism and inclement weather.

However, how much your insurance covers depends on the type of policy in place. How your tires were damaged and your deductible amount also impact coverage. But there is no limit to the number of slashed tires your policy covers.

Now that you know the three-tire rule isn’t real, you may want to adjust your insurance coverage. If you want your car insurance to cover three tires or less, consider carrying a lower deductible. A lower insurance deductible can raise your monthly rates, but you won’t pay as much out of pocket when replacing slashed tires.