Car insurance is there to act as a financial security blanket for moments where things fall apart with your car. Of course, insurers are usually only capable of covering incidents that are out of your control, such as an accident. Tire blowouts, at first glance, are a grey area. On the one hand, blowouts can be caused by negligence. On the other hand, blowouts can cause severe damage and even spark an accident. So, what's the deal here?
With a standard insurance policy, a tire blowout will not be grounds for coverage simply because it is seen as a driver's negligence in most cases. However, if you have Comprehensive Coverage, you might be able to get the damage covered depending on your policy. The only time you can expect the blowout to be covered by accident policies is when other cars are involved in a crash relating to a blowout.
A tire blowout is never something you want to have to pay out of pocket, but it will be in most cases. Wondering where the exceptions to the rule are? We did the research, so you won't have to.
Is A Tire Blowout Considered An Accident?
For most car insurance policies to cover damage, it has to be considered an accident. That's why it's called "Accident Coverage," after all. Though tire blowouts are never planned, they are not considered accidents unless other cars are involved. This leads to a lot of nuances in how policy underwriting is done regarding blowouts.
So if you ran over something and then had a tire blow out, it wouldn't be an accident. On the other hand, if you had a blowout that caused your car to collide with a passing truck, that would be considered to be an accident by most underwriters.
Why Aren't Tire Blowouts Considered Accidents?
Tire blowouts are considered to be acts that result from negligence. In some cases, the negligence is from not seeing a piece of shrapnel on the road and running it over. Other times, blowouts occur as a result of wear and tear. The insurers often argue that blowouts can be prevented with proper tire maintenance.
To a point, they're correct. Many blowouts can be prevented by replacing tires or rotating tires regularly. Since most blowouts do not harm any car aside from your own, it doesn't make sense to define it as an accident. They might deny your claim.
Is There Any Insurance Coverage That Would Cover A Blowout?
Insurance companies might not cover a blowout with Accident Coverage, but there is Comprehensive Coverage that might. Comprehensive Coverage is a type of insurance that is designed with "life's mishaps" involved. In other words, if your car was damaged as a result of issues not relating to an accident, Comprehensive Coverage is what will help you cover this.
Comprehensive Coverage means that you can get damages covered from hail, mudslides, vandalism, and yes, things like tire blowouts. Because it offers so much more protection, it's generally required for people driving a car that's still being financed. If you're leasing or renting a car, it's a stipulation of the contract as well.
What Happens If A Tire Blowout Leads To An Accident?
Let's say that you were driving along the road, and you hear a loud bang. The next thing you know, your car spins out and hits another vehicle. That's right. You had a blowout, lost control of your vehicle, and hit someone. You will need to know what to do:
- The first thing you should do is call 911 and report the accident. Check to see if you and other people involved require medical care.
- Next, call your insurance company and report the accident. Answer any questions they may have, and if necessary, ask for a towing service to help you out.
- Take photos of the accident and the offending tire.
- If anyone witnessed the accident, ask them for their information. Trade information with the other parties involved.
- From here, your insurance company will tell you what needs to be done to handle the claim. You may need to rent a car and get your vehicle repaired, depending on what your coverage allows for.
Who Is At-Fault If A Tire Blowout Causes A Car Accident?
Because a tire blowout is often seen as a matter of car maintenance neglect or poor driving, an insurance investigator's typical outcome will hold the car's owner at fault. So if it was your car that had a blowout, then you will be deemed at fault. Regardless of fault, Accident and Liability Coverage will handle most of the damages that will arise from the accident.
If a person gets injured as a result of your car accident, then the coverage that will handle that is the PIP (Personal Injury Protection) Coverage. This is often a subsection of Liability Coverage, but that depends on what your state laws dictate. Either way, most basic plans will be able to cover a typical accident.
Can You Get Sued As A Result Of A Tire Blowout-Related Accident?
Lawsuits are highly unlikely, simply because Liability insurance is meant to handle any lawsuits that could arise from your hypothetical car accident. With that said, there are always exceptions to the rule. If a victim of the car accident hires a personal injury attorney who asks for more than what you're covered for, it's possible that you could have to defend yourself in court.
Understanding The Damage From Tire Blowouts
Having a tire blowout isn't something most people would consider to be pleasant. However, it's not just unpleasant. It can damage your tire and cause ramifications that can lead to serious breakdowns and worse. To help you understand the full gamut of what a blowout can entail, let's take a look at important questions regarding this common car issue.
Does Insurance Cover A New Tire Replacement From A Blowout?
Here's the strange thing about Comprehensive Coverage: it won't cover the price of a new tire that you need from a blowout. However, it will cover any additional damage that your car could undergo due to the blowout. So while you may be responsible for a replacement tire, you will not have to worry about the damage that could have been incurred to your rims.
What Kind Of Damage Can A Tire Blowout Cause?
The most obvious issue that comes with a tire blowout is tire damage. At the very least, you should expect to have to replace the tire that blew out. However, it also can cause other damage to your car. If you have to drive a bit when you first get the blown tire, it's possible to sustain damage to the wheel rim. Prolonged driving on a blown tire can also cause damage to your struts. In extreme cases, you also may get frame damage depending on the terrain that you've driven on.
Of course, the more significant danger that comes with a blown tire is an accident. Blowing out a tire knocks your steering out of your control. This, in turn, can cause a collision with multiple vehicles. Having both Accident and Comprehensive Coverage will ensure that you walk away with as few bills as possible.
Do Tire Warranties Cover Blowouts?
It depends on the situation. Tire brands cover blowouts that occur on new tires that are still within their warranty period, but only if they are caused by a defect in the tire's make. A brand new tire shouldn't blow out unless it's hit a piece of serious shrapnel or if it's been installed improperly.
If you recently replaced your tire and it blew out, then chances are you can call up the tire company and ask for a replacement. Most companies will require you to show a receipt, and some might even ask that a professional garage installs the tire. With that said, you're best off reading the warranty on your tires to find out what you will need to ask for a replacement.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Blown Out Tire?
Fixing a tire that's blown out means that the damage is far too much for a single puncture patch to fix it. In most cases, the only way to repair a blown-out tire is to replace the tire. A replacement tire usually runs for $50 to $300, depending on the make of your car. You may also need to pay a small fee for installation.
Of course, replacing the tire alone doesn't cover the full cost of a typical replacement. Most tire blowouts happen while you're on the road, often far away from a garage or home. You cannot drive a car that has a blown-out tire. If you cannot change the tire yourself, then you will need to get a tow truck to bring you to the closes garage. This can cost between $25 to $50 in most cases.
How Can You Prevent A Tire Blowout?
Admittedly, tire blowouts aren't always preventable. However, there are still measures you can take to make sure your tires are at a lower risk of a serious blowout. The best ways to prevent it include:
- Keep your tires filled with air to their appropriate pressure level at all times.
- Replace your tires every six years.
- Switch to winterized tires in the winter if you live in a cold area.
- Take care of holes that occur in your tires as soon as you notice them.
- Be alert on the road, and don't hit shrapnel lying around on highways.
- Avoid driving on roads that are known for potholes and garbage being littered on them.
- Before you go driving, give your tires a quick visual inspection to see if something may have hit them.
Tire blowouts are some of the most common causes of single-person accidents on the road, which is why it pays off to know what insurance companies have to say about them. Most insurers will not cover the cost to replace a blown-out tire since it's considered a matter of maintenance. If it's an accident with more than one car, then Accident Coverage will handle it.
However, there are still ways to recoup costs relating to your blowout. For example, warranties and Comprehensive Coverage can help. So, go ahead and ask your insurance agent about them. You might end up making the right call for your car.