At this point, you have an informed idea about how to choose tires and get the best deals. Did you stop to consider tire insurance as well? Tire insurance, also sometimes included as part of road hazard protection plans, is a specialized type of coverage designed specifically to add protection for your vehicle’s tires. Tires are not generally covered under typical automobile insurance policies. A tire manufacturer’s warranty does come with new tires, however, but its coverage terms have limitations.
For example, a tire manufacturer’s warranty protects you against defects in craftsmanship and materials. In such cases, the tires are replaced at no cost to you. Typical defects known to activate tire manufacturer’s warranties include tread loss and cracks in the sidewalls, but no punctures from outside sources or items.
This means you could drive over a nail or spike and pop your tire and all the repair and replacement costs would be charged to you out-of-pocket.
This is where tire insurance becomes important. A difference exists between straight tire insurance (tire and wheel coverage) and road hazard or roadside protection plans. Tire and wheel insurance does cover damages caused by nails, glass, metal objects, potholes, and various other types of damaging debris.
Tire insurance also covers towing charges as part of road hazard damage policies. Each tire insurance policy has its own deductible terms and conditions in addition to towing range mileage limitations.
Road hazard protection plans are also known as mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) or vehicle protection programs. Road hazard protection programs cover broader issues, but they also have certain limitations. These limitations are commonly taking the form of intentional exclusions. Exclusions are issues not covered by the policy or plan you pay for because the expenses and services fall outside the terms.
For example, wheel and rim replacement are typically not covered by road hazard protection plans. Alignments are often needed after an incident where a tire or tires require repairs or replacement. Alignments are unfortunately also typical exclusions from road hazard protection plans. Finally, curb damage is almost never covered by road hazard protection plans or basic tire insurance policies.
AAA and AARP memberships offer different tiers of roadside assistance, which includes tire changing and towing services. The good news is many auto warranty companies offer customizable coverage plans. This means you might be able to purchase additional tire coverage at a more comprehensive level as an add-on for an extra cost.