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Tyre and rim insurance

Need tyre and rim insurance? Here's where to get protection.

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You might be surprised to know that most car insurance policies don't cover tyres and rims. If you want cover for punctures, cuts and bursts, you might need to buy special cover, or have it added on to your existing policy. Cover can be an affordable option for many, but might not be worth it for others. Our guide will help you decide.

How does tyre and rim insurance work?

Most car insurance policies will exclude cover for tyre damage caused by things like punctures, cuts or bursts. This is where tyre and rim insurance comes in. It can cover you for damage to your tyres and rims. This includes blowouts, punctures and damage from different road hazards like driving through a pothole.

To get cover for tyre and rim insurance, you will usually have to pay extra (on top of your monthly car insurance premium) to have it covered. Some insurers offer tyre and rim cover as an optional extra. Alternatively, you can buy standalone cover.

If you get a puncture, cut or burst tyre, you can claim the repair costs back through your insurance. Keep in mind that you will likely still have to pay an excess (a contribution you're required to pay towards a claim) and in many cases, replacing your tyres and rims might be less than the cost of the tyre and rim insurance policy. It all depends on how much your tyres and rims are worth.

What does it cover?

Tyre and rim insurance can cover you for the following:

  • Tyres. If your tyres are punctured, cracked or damaged by potholes, kerbs, glass or any other form of road debris, you are covered. Many policies provide unlimited number of tyre repair claims and usually have a limit on how many tyre replacements you can get per year.
  • Rims. If your rims are scratched, damaged or destroyed, it's usually covered. Once again, there is usually a limit on how many claims you can make a year.
  • Towing costs. If you suffer a blowout or puncture and can't drive, tyre and rim insurance can help towards towing costs. Keep in mind that they have benefit limits, meaning they might not cover you for entire towing costs.
  • Car rental. You can get money towards a rental car if your car is unfit to drive due to tyre or rim damage.
  • Accommodation costs. Some policies will pay your accommodation costs if you're further than 100km from your home address and your car is unsafe to drive.

What doesn't it cover?

Here's an overview of what many tyre and rim insurance policies will not cover. For a full list, always consult the product disclosure statement (PDS).

  • Tyres with dry rot or flat spots
  • Tyres where the tread is below any tread wear indicator
  • Tyres that have been recapped.
  • Tyres or wheels on unregistered vehicles or that are unroadworthy
  • Tyres designed for racing
  • Tyres or rims subject to a recall by the manufacturer
  • Damage to tyres or wheels as the result of an accident
  • Damage to tyres or wheels caused by negligence, vandalism, abuse or misuse
  • Cosmetic damage to tyres or wheels which is in nature, and does not affect the operation of the vehicle.

Is it worth it?

This depends on the value of your tyres and rims. If they cost a lot of money, then tyre and rim insurance might be worth it. For example, based on a quote for a 2019 Toyota Corolla*, an annual policy with Eric Motor Vehicle Tyre & Wheel Insurance costs $85.29, or $7.96 a month. As well as protecting your tyres and wheels, it also provides you with towing, accommodation and rental car cover. If you have an expensive set of tyres and rims, then insurance might be a smart option.

Tyre replacement can cost anywhere from $80 to $800 depending on size, brand and the type of vehicle. So the decision really comes down to how much your tyres would cost to replace. Before you buy a policy, look into how much it would cost you to replace your vehicle's tyres.

Tyre and rim cover might also be worth it if you travel a lot, or live in a rural area. This is because it can cover towing costs and provide you with a rental car or accommodation cover. Keep in mind that not all policies offer this benefit, so check the PDS before you sign up.

*30 year old male, 2019 Toyota Corolla Ascent

Who offers it?

Below is a table of some of the providers that offer tyre and rim insurance, including their key features and benefits.

InsurerFeatures
Eric Motor Vehicle Tyre & Wheel Insurance
  • Tyre Repair & Replacement
  • Accommodation
  • Rental Car
  • Towing
Swann Insurance
  • Tyre & Rim Repair & Replacement
  • Emergency Accommodation (Optional)
  • Road Assistance (Optional)
AAA Finance
  • Tyre & Rim Repair & Replacement
  • Roadside Assistance (Optional)
  • Towing
NLC Insurance
  • Tyre & Rim Repair & Replacement
  • Wheel alignment up to $60 per claim

How are tyres and rims covered under normal car insurance?

Tyres and rims are usually not covered under normal car insurance, unless you specify otherwise. Most policies specify the following, "You are not covered under this policy for: tyre damage caused by punctures, cuts or bursts." Unless they provide tyre and rim insurance as an optional extra, it most likely will not be automatically covered.

Some providers cover you for flat tyres though. For example Youi states in their PDS, "If the car has a flat tyre, we will change it with the spare. If there is no spare or for any reason the tyre cannot be changed, we will tow the car."

How much does it cost to repair your tyres and rims without insurance?

Tyre replacement can vary from around $80 to over $800. Your final bill depends on the damage. For a simple puncture repair, it can cost you as little as $50 to have fixed.

Tyres are often cheap to repair or replace because these days most vehicles are compatible with more than one option. However, if your car or motorcycle requires larger tyres, or ones that are not as common, it's likely to cost you more. The same is true if you are looking for a specific tyre brand.

Generally, the more expensive the car, the more expensive the tyres. For instance. SUVs and sports cars' tyres tend to cost a little more than hatchbacks. As is often the case with vehicle repairs, costs can vary, so insurance might be worth having if you want peace of mind.

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