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How tires affect car insurance

Selecting the correct size and type is a good place to start.


Fact checked

Though a regular set of tires may not directly affect your car insurance, correctly maintaining your vehicle and having the right tires can help prevent increased premiums over time.

Do tires affect car insurance?

Car insurance agencies want to know that you’re taking care of your car since a well-maintained vehicle makes for a safer ride. Proper maintenance can get you discounts and cheaper rates, depending on your provider’s policies.

In general, it’s best to buy tires that meet your vehicle’s specifications. Let your insurer know if you have modified tires in case it needs to calculate that into your rate. It’s better to be honest up front and get coverage for your modified wheels than risk losing coverage when you really need it.

Must read: Are new tires covered by car insurance?

The purpose of car insurance is to cover unexpected damages, so typical wear and tear isn’t usually covered. However, if you’re in a collision, insurance might reimburse you for tire repairs after the deductible has been paid.

What happens if I have the wrong kinds of tires?

Incorrect or improperly maintained tires are a risk to your passengers and the cars around you. Potential consequences include:

  • Increased likelihood of an accident. Your car is only as reliable as the sum of its parts. If you have the wrong tires, your car could lose its grip and cause a collision.
  • Increased wear and tear. Inappropriate tires may not be equipped to handle the force of the car on top of them. Expect incorrect tires to wear down more easily.
  • Increased insurance premiums. The more accidents you have, the higher your insurance premium is. Having faulty tires could hurt your rates in the long run if they lead to more claims submitted.

How do I know what kind of tires I have?

To determine the type of tires your car needs, check your owner’s manual or placard on the door jamb of the driver’s side door. There, you’ll find a label specifying your car’s requirements for tire size, load index, and speed rating.

What if I have oversized tires?

Oversized tires are sometimes considered an unnecessary risk by insurance companies. They alter the odometer and speedometer reading, which can lead to higher chances of an accident. Other modifications, such as custom tires or rims, could require coverage that will protect your vehicle’s upgrades, like modified car insurance.

What if I have winter or all-season tires?

Since winter tires usually make driving on snow and ice safer, some insurance companies provide discounts for vehicles armed with hearty wheels. But check with your provider, because a tire discount isn’t common or guaranteed.

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Bottom line

Though tires may not directly impact insurance rates, a well-maintained set with the correct specifications will likely save you money and trouble in the long run.

Taking the time to compare car insurance quotes will help you find the best overall deal for your situation.

Frequently asked questions about tires and car insurance

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