Road conditions vary across the country, and so do the vehicles being driven on them. That’s why it’s no surprise that a vehicle’s wheels and tires are constantly suffering wear and tear. Unfortunately, replacing wheels and/or tires can be very costly.
Damaging even one tire can lead to expensive quotes and costly repairs, not to mention fees. That’s why tire and wheel protection can be worthwhile for many drivers. This coverage can turn what would’ve been a big headache and a drain on your wallet into an easy phone call.
What is Tire and Wheel Protection?
When damages occur to your home or in the unfortunate situation of a car accident, insurance is what saves you from ending up paying big bucks for repairs. Tire and wheel protection is no different, and it’s often included in full-coverage policies.
It’s a potential costly financial burden lifted from your hands and into the responsibility of the plan provider. There are plenty of hazardous components on streets and roads. Having an easy way of getting new wheels and tires when accidents happen to the feet of your automobile is highly recommended.
What Coverage Typically Includes
Take note that tire and wheel protection shouldn’t be confused with full car insurance. Although car insurance can feature coverage for tires, filing a claim for a single bent wheel or flattened tire from a nail or pothole could be impractical. However, tire and wheel protection covers new and used vehicles from damage caused by road hazards such as nails, metal, glass, potholes, debris, and other things that can cause blowouts.
In other words, these plans cover wheel repairs and flat tires. Depending on the damage, settlement is done with a repair. Yet in circumstances where the wheels are bent and the tire can’t be serviced, a full replacement is paid for by the company. Fees from towing can be covered. If not, you could have the money spent on towing given back to you. What can and can’t be covered is informed before starting your premium.
Tire and wheel protection could also be included with an extended warranty plan. If purchased on its own, the coverage may include roadside assistance. Plans tend to have little to no deductible, meaning you’ll pay almost nothing out of pocket at all.
Some plans can pay for the costs of cosmetic damages to wheels. These are general damages caused to the wheel’s exterior, such as the rims. However, not all plans cover grazes such as curb rashes, superficial wear or tire walls, and tire tread wear that’s more than a specified tread depth.
How Wheel and Tire Protection Can Benefit You
Not having to worry about paying expensive out-of-pocket costs when something breaks is one reason insurance exists in the first place. Unless the vehicle owner has a warranty or a comprehensive car insurance plan, the burden of paying for tire and wheel costs would fall completely on them.
Going without this protection can lead to major time, as well as wallet, drains. This is especially true in areas that are known for cars hitting sporadic potholes on the street or highway.
Most plans combine coverage for wheels and tires. If something happens to either the wheel or tire, you can get replacements or repair work done immediately. People with sports vehicles or low-profile tires usually need repairs more frequently. Driving over a small crack or bump in the pavement can wreak havoc on rim edges, breaking tires in the process.
Keep in mind that OEM wheels and tires are usually pricey. Some models are sold for exorbitant figures, even when a single rim or tire is broken. Just a single wheel can have some expensive quotes, even without a tire change. Coverage on them takes away the financial trouble, one that some can or cannot afford every time an accident takes place.
Not every tire and wheel protection plan is the same. Some feature bonuses like roadside assistance, reimbursements for towing, and damage to the rims. If you’re comparing plans, go over the options with the providers thoroughly so you understand what the coverage does and doesn’t pay for.
A motorist planning on upgrading their vehicle every year would probably choose a plan with a cheaper deductible. But motorists anticipating driving the same model for several years might benefit more from a premium plan. The coverage applies to damages not commonly found on recently purchased cars.
Coverage of Cosmetic Damages
Cosmetic damage to vehicle wheels and tires can happen with ordinary travel, even if you manage to avoid hitting potholes. Going over small speed bumps a little too quickly or turning too close to the curb are known to break rim facings and cause flats. A plan featuring cosmetic protection would pay for these situations.
Though not always included in a base coverage plan, your provider will tell you if cosmetic coverage is available as an add-on extension, or even it’s recommended for you in the first place. Drivers of compacts, coupes and other sports-like automobiles are often better off with the coverage.
Who Tire and Wheel Protection is Best For?
People with low-profile tires will get the most benefit. Big wheels and rims look nice and are staples for cars that are of low height. But these vehicles are also more sensitive to bad road conditions than bigger vehicles with thicker tire walls and wheels.
Just one small imperfection in the road could be enough to damage one or more tires. Low-profile cars are especially vulnerable to tire punctures as well. Driving on the highway can spell trouble at any moment, particularly where glass is present.
Wheel and tire coverage for first-time or inexperienced drivers is advisable. They’re more likely to unknowingly hit the curb, drive close to the shoulder, or fail at avoiding a pothole. Because new drivers are unpredictable, the more protection the better.
People driving in areas known for potholes should strongly consider getting a wheel and tire protection plan. Places with poorly-maintained roads are riddled with uneven streets and highways. These can become a huge risk to passenger safety and a hazard to tires and wheels. Additionally, dry and winter weather can cause harm to your wheels.
Motorists driving on roads treated with magnesium chloride, something intentionally added to streets in climates with dry and winter weather conditions can quickly destroy the chrome facings of rims and tire sidewalls. Even when tires are seasonally exposed to these elements, the damage they do to the feet of your car can warrant protection coverage.
As for those who don’t need tire and wheel protection, this includes anyone with an older vehicle that’s paid off. If you’re OK with covering or living with vehicle damage and flat tires, this extra coverage may not be necessary.
However, saving yourself the trouble of having to spend big when your tires and wheel break is ideal. In short, there’s no better way to shorten your long-term tire and wheel costs than a protection plan.