Will my car insurance cover a tire blowout?
Tire blowouts can be caused by over-inflated tires, worn-out tread, road hazards and other factors. Whatever the cause, a blowout occurs when a tire suddenly goes flat. If a vehicle is in motion at the time, the blowout can lead to damage to the vehicle, even causing a car accident if the driver loses control. If a tire blows out on your vehicle, is that accident covered?
Tire Blows Out But Vehicle Stops Safely
Sometimes a driver is able to pull over safely after a blow-out. Although he avoided any collisions, his shredded tire tread may have caused damage to his wheel well, fender and undercarriage. Blown tires can whip around with extreme force, denting a vehicle or damaging its paint. In this situation, the damage to the vehicle would be covered under the driver’s comprehensive policy.
Comprehensive car insurance coverage applies toward accidents that are unavoidable or are caused by acts of nature. In the case of the blown tire, the insured driver could not have done anything different to prevent the damage brought on by the tire: He navigated the car off of the road safely. Comprehensive claims usually do not count against your driving record in terms of your premiums, and will often have a lower deductible than your collision coverage.
Tire Blows Out And Vehicle Loses Control
If your tire blows out on the street or highway and causes you to lose control and run off the road, any subsequent damage to your vehicle would be handled as a collision. For example, you might run into a tree or guard rail, or you may simply damage your suspension when your car goes off the road. At high rate of speeds, a vehicle with a blown-out tire may even flip and roll over. Regardless, any body damage caused by anything other than the shredded tire is considered collision damage.
In the occasion of single-car collisions, the driver will almost always be found at fault by insurance. Even if the tire blowout was unavoidable, it is still your responsibility to stop the vehicle safely. In these instances, you will be responsible to pay your deductible and the accident may count against your insurance premiums. Collision deductibles are often higher than comprehensive deductibles, but not always.
What is Covered?
No matter whether your tire blow out caused damage to your vehicle or made you lose control and drive off the road, your insurance company will only pay for the damage caused to your vehicle, not the tire itself. The only occasion where tires are damaged under most insurance policies is the event of vandalism to the tire. Otherwise, damage to a tire is considered to be wear and tear and the replacement will not be covered by insurance.
The car insurance company will pay for body damage to the vehicle and a tow from the scene of the accident. If you carry the appropriate coverage, your insurance company will also pay for a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired. If the wheel or axle is damaged due to the accident, your insurance company should pay for this damage as well.
If you are involved in an accident caused by a blown-out tire, it’s a good idea to retain the tire if possible. You can show the shredded tire to the adjuster, who may be able to confirm the cause of the blowout. If you are unable to find any part of the tire, don’t worry, but it is helpful for the adjuster to have that information if possible. The same goes for any other tire-related claim, such as vandalism.
In order to prevent risky tire blowouts, it’s important to properly maintain your tires. Keep them inflated to the correct level and routinely check the sidewall for any cracks or bulges. Also be sure that your tires have enough tread and that the thread is wearing evenly.
By preventing a blowout, you can save yourself from potentially dangerous accidents. If you do have an accident caused by a blowout, however, you know that the damage will be covered by your insurance company as long as you carry full coverage on your vehicle. If you have any questions about your policy and how it applies, you can contact your agent or insurance customer service hotline and clarify any concerns you may have.