Need comprehensive cover for your tyre and rims? Get cover that matches what you paid.
Tyre and rim insurance is a widely available extra, and some car dealers might offer it unprompted. However, like all insurance there are differences between policies and what’s right for one person might not be right for someone else.
This guide takes you through car tyre and rim insurance, including what it will and won’t cover, how it works and whether it’s worth it.
Tyre and rim insurance is designed to help cover what standard car insurance doesn’t. It makes sure your wheels have, at the very least, the same level of cover as your car.
Punctures and flats are unpredictable, and if you’re unlucky they can occur back to back or several times a year. For this reason, many car insurance policies will specifically exclude tyres and rims or may limit you to only a single claim per year. Specialised tyre and rim policies, on the other hand, will typically let you claim multiple times per year.
Similarly, many car insurance policies will actively exclude cover for tyre damage caused by punctures, road cuts or bursting. For example, if you drive past a construction site every day, there’s a good chance of debris eventually bursting a tire. In this case, many car insurance policies would not cover it, while tyre and rim insurance would.
Is tyre and rim insurance worth it?
To work out whether tyre and rim insurance is worth it, look at your car insurance policy and see what it doesn’t cover, that tyre and rim insurance can. Typically, the difference will be that tyre and rim insurance covers you for damage caused by road debris, running over potholes or kerbs, and similar accidental damage. All of these are typically excluded by car insurance policies.
Other differences to watch for include:
- Being able to make multiple claims per year under a tyre and rim policy
- Being able to make tyre and rim claims without risking a substantial increase to your car insurance premiums, or losing your no-claims bonus
- Not having to pay an excess, or having a lower excess
- Extras that are not available with your car insurance, such as emergency accommodation cover if car damage leaves you stranded far from home
Car tyre and rim insurance is typically very cheap compared to car insurance policies premiums and may be well worth it if you think there’s a high chance of tyre damage, or if you’re happy to pay a little bit more for the extra cover.
What to look for in a tyre and rim policy
Compare policies by looking at the conditions in which they will and won’t pay out. In tyre and rim policies, look at the following:
- When it will pay out. Policies will typically specify certain causes of damage that are covered. These are typically tyre and rim damaged caused by punctures, bursting, road debris and similar accidents.
- When it will not pay out. You are unlikely to get cover for tyre damage caused by braking, wear and tear or deterioration over time. Other exclusions will also apply, such as a failure to maintain the recommended tyre pressure.
- If it comes with extras. One extra commonly available with tyre and rim insurance is emergency accommodation cover. This will pay an accommodation allowance if damage to your tyres or rims leaves you stranded far from home. Other extras may also be available.
- How it pays. Depending on the policy, you might be able to claim the cost of repairs, replacements, retreading or more.
The value of a tyre and rim insurance policy depends not only on how much you’re paying for it, but also on what it does and does not cover. Even comprehensive car insurance policies may be lacking in wheel cover, and tyre and rim insurance can be an affordable way of compensating for this.
Take a look at what type of car insurance policy you have and what it covers. Then decide if tyre and rim insurance is worth it. To make sure they work in harmony, you might want to consider looking specifically at tyre cover the next time you switch car insurance and then decide whether you’d like the extra protection offered by tyre and rim policies.