Will auto insurance cover a flat tire?

Will auto insurance cover a flat tire? Generally no, because it's expected wear and tear on your vehicle. However, your auto insurance may kick in for certain situations, like instances of theft or vandalism. Auto insurance companies may also cover damages caused to your vehicle by a flat tire. If you have a tire blowout and resulting damage, auto insurance will pay for a portion of the repairs to the body or rims of your vehicle. A roadside assistance program can also help you as part of your insurance coverage in the event of a flat tire.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Jul 18, 2021

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What You Should Know

  • Auto insurance typically does not cover a flat tire, as that’s considered normal wear and tear.
  • Coverage may kick in for specific situations including tire theft, vandalism, or tire blowouts resulting in damage.
  • Purchasing additional roadside assistance coverage may provide coverage in unexpected situations.

You pay a lot of money for auto insurance to cover unexpected events. But will auto insurance cover a flat tire?

Generally, auto insurance companies do not cover a flat tire.

However, there are certain situations where your auto insurance company will cover a flat tire or certain related costs. Having an understanding of what is and isn’t covered in these situations is important to understanding auto insurance and what your policy may or may not do.

There’s a good reason why insurance companies don’t cover flat tires: flat tires are part of the expected wear and tear on your vehicle. The tread of your tire may be worn down, causing the tire to get damaged the next time you go over a speed bump.

Some flat tires are caused by driver negligence. For instance, you might have over-inflated or under-inflated your tire, for example.

When it’s all said and done, knowing what auto insurance companies do and don’t cover in terms of flat tires can help save you money. Stick with us as we take a closer look at everything you need to know about auto insurance coverage and flat tires.

Worried about the expense of a flat tire? Saving on auto insurance can allow you to pay for a new tire. Begin your path to affordable auto insurance by plugging your ZIP code into our free auto insurance comparison tool.

Will auto insurance cover a flat tire?

Automobile insurance is designed to cover unexpected events. If you get into an unexpected accident, for example, then auto insurance will cover the cost of repairing that damage.

But here’s the big question: What does auto insurance not cover? Auto insurance does not cover expected events, including wear and tear on your vehicle. Vehicle wear and tear is an expected, ordinary part of car ownership. You expect your car’s parts to gradually break down over time.

Your car’s tires are no different. Your car’s tires need to be periodically replaced. The tread wears down over time. So will insurance cover a new tire from normal wear and tear? When the tread wears down or an old tire springs a leak, your auto insurance company will not cover the cost of replacing the flat tire.

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Auto Insurance Doesn’t Cover Tire Wear and Tear

Flat tires are a part of car ownership. Sometimes, a flat tire is caused by wear and tear. In other cases, the driver is responsible for the flat tire. The driver over-inflated or under-inflated the tire, for example, or drove on the tire long after the tread had worn down.

If you don’t inflate your tires adequately, for example, then it causes increased road friction on your tires, increasing the chances of a blowout. Similarly, an over-inflated tire could get a blowout from a pothole or speed bump.

Some drivers fail to check the tread of their tires until it’s too late.

Tires are only supposed to be used up to a certain tread depth. Check your tires to see if you can spot warning lines – also called wear bars – indicating the tread is too low and your tires need to be replaced.

In all of these situations, auto insurance will not cover a flat tire.

Auto Insurance May Cover Vehicle Damage Caused by a Flat Tire

Auto insurance companies will rarely cover the cost of repairing or replacing a flat tire. However, there is a caveat:

Your auto insurance should cover any vehicle damage that was caused by that flat tire.

If you were driving on the freeway and your tire blew out, for example, causing you to skid into the median, then this may be an example of going through your insurance company to get your repairs done.

In other words, your auto insurance should cover the repair costs on the rest of the vehicle, although your tire replacement will not be covered.

Auto Insurance May Cover Slashed Tires or Stolen Tires

Does insurance cover tires being slashed? Auto insurance will rarely cover a flat tire in ordinary circumstances.

However, if your tires have been slashed or stolen, then auto insurance will cover the cost of repairing or replacing those tires – assuming you have comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive coverage is an optional auto insurance policy that covers things like vandalism, storm damage, and theft. Comprehensive coverage is also known as full coverage insurance, just in case you were wondering does full coverage car insurance cover slashed tires.

Even though it’s considered optional, the Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that almost four out of five drivers tend to purchase it, along with collision coverage. In fact, while many drivers may be tempted to keep premiums lower without these coverages, many auto insurance companies do offer affordable options for both.

Of course, filing an insurance claim for a single slashed tire might not be worth it. A single tire – especially an older tire with depreciated value – is worth less than your deductible. Plus, it’s generally recommended that you replace all four tires simultaneously instead of having one new tire and three old ones.

As for stolen tires, your auto insurance will cover the cost of replacing the stolen tires assuming you have comprehensive auto insurance coverage.

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Getting Roadside Assistance for Flat Tires

If you are worried about flat tires – whether that’s on your car or on your motorcycle – then consider getting your auto insurance roadside assistance or through a third-party provider like AAA.

Roadside assistance programs won’t cover the cost of replacing your flat tire.

However, they will cover the cost of dispatching someone to your location to change a flat tire or tow your vehicle.

Don’t feel comfortable changing your own tire? Want extra peace of mind? Then roadside assistance policies can help. They typically cost between $50 and $200 per year.

In addition to changing your tire, these programs can deliver fuel to your location if you run out of gas or tow your vehicle to the nearest service station.

Frequently Asked Questions: Flat Tires

We’ve covered the basics of does car insurance cover flat tires, but we want to make sure we’ve answered all of your questions. Here are some of the top questions and answers tied to tires and auto insurance.

#1 – How much does it cost to fix a flat tire?

How much it costs to fix a flat tire will largely depend on the type of damage your tire sustained. If you’re talking about a puncture around the edges or a simple patch and plug, you may end up spending as little as $10 or $20.

But if the tire is damaged beyond repair and needs to be replaced, that cost can vary even more — from as low as $50 or $60, to upwards of one or $200, depending on the make and model of the car, and the types of tires you want to buy.

#2 – Will roadside assistance bring you a tire?

You don’t want to count on roadside assistance to bring you a tire. Roadside assistance can, however, help you change your tire by putting on a spare.

#3 – Does insurance cover tire blowout damage?

That depends on the circumstances.

If you experienced a tire blowout, but there is no other damage to your car, your auto insurance will not likely cover it. However, if the damage caused other damage to your car, it’s possible that damage may be covered by your policy.

#4 – Are flat tires covered under warranty?

Flat tires may be covered under the tire manufacturer’s warranty. However, it has to be from a defect in the tire, such as premature wear or leakage.

#5 – Does auto insurance cover a nail in the tire?

No, auto insurance still won’t cover your flat tire from a nail. However, if you crash because of a flat tire, your insurance company will cover some of the vehicle body repair costs. And if you are wondering does auto insurance cover tire damage from potholes, the answer is the same as for flat tires from nails.

Bottom line? Auto insurance companies rarely cover flat tires. If your car’s tires were slashed or stolen, however, then you may be able to make a claim under your comprehensive coverage and your insurance may pay for slashed tires.

If you have roadside assistance (through your insurance or through a company like AAA), then the cost of replacing your flat tire with your spare tire should be covered, although the actual tire will not be covered.

Now that you know the ins and outs of auto insurance coverage and flat tires, now’s the time to save big. Shop for cheap auto insurance rates by entering your ZIP code into our free auto insurance comparison tool now.

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