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Tire blowouts are accidents in which a tire explodes, often leading to the driver of the vehicle veering or swerving on the road. In some cases, tire blowouts can lead to serious accidents. In other cases, the driver is able to maneuver the car to a position of safety on the side of the road without damage to the driver’s vehicle or injury to others. How a tire blowout accident is written up by the police determines how it is assessed by an insurance company (different than stolen rims and tires), and therefore whether it will be covered by car insurance and whether it will increase your insurance premiums.
Is a tire blowout covered under my car insurance policy?
There are several types of coverage you can have on your automobile, and the type you have will determine, in part, if your insurance covers a tire blowout accident. First, you must have liability coverage on your automobile. Liability is the type of coverage which pays for damage you cause to other people and their vehicles, so if you have a tire blowout accident and your car strikes another vehicle, your liability insurance would pay for the damage to the other person’s vehicle and any medical bills related to their injuries, up to your policy limits. However, this only covers another driver and not you or your vehicle. If another driver makes a claim on your liability insurance, it can cause your rates to increase.
Personal injury protection or bodily injury coverage is what pays for your medical bills if you are involved in an accident and it is your “fault.” Although a tire blowing out is not technically your fault, if you are injured in a tire blowout accident, your personal injury protection will cover your medical bills, assuming they are not covered by another form of insurance such as your health coverage. If you are forced to file a claim under your personal injury protection, your rates may increase.
Comprehensive insurance is an optional coverage you can take out on your vehicle which covers you for damage caused to your vehicle in a non-accident related incident. A tire blowout usually falls under this category if no other vehicles are involved. Comprehensive insurance will pay for damage to your vehicle caused by the tire blowout, but not usually for the tire itself. If you have a blowout and the only damage is the tire, you will have to look to other forms of insurance to pay for the damage. However, if you also have secondary damage, such as dents or scrapes, your comprehensive coverage will cover it. If the damage is slight, however, you may not want to file a claim, as this could increase your insurance rates.
If my tire blowout is not covered how can I get my tire repair covered?
Most tires come with warranties. Warranties protect you from damages caused by defects in the structure of the tire, or other damages which are not considered “normal wear and tear.” If your tire is under warranty, you can have the tire replaced, often for free, depending on the wording of your warranty.
When a tire blowout happens – Remember, Safety First!
If you do have a tire blowout, it is important to keep safety in mind first. Do not slam on brakes; instead, accelerate gently, which will cause the car to compensate and pull toward the direction of the blown tire. Do not jerk the wheel; instead, steer smoothly toward the shoulder until you can safely stop. Once you have stopped, you should set out flares or put on your safety flashers to alert other drivers to steer around your car. Call for help immediately and wait with your car until it arrives.
If you do experience a tire blowout and you have comprehensive coverage, you should notify your insurance company immediately to see if they will cover the damage. However, if there is no physical damage to your car and the tire is the only thing damaged, you might want to see if your tire warranty will cover the replacement costs, as your insurance company probably will not pay for the tire only. If you do not have a tire warranty which will cover the replacement, you may have to pay for it yourself.