Finding your car propped up on blocks because thieves stole all four tires is any driver’s nightmare. Not only is your car undrivable, but you’re stuck with the headache and expense of replacing the tires.
Does insurance cover situations like stolen tires? Or will you be on the hook for the cost?
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about filing an insurance claim for stolen tires, including:
- What policy covers tire theft
- Typical costs to replace stolen tires
- How to file a claim for stolen tires
- Steps to take if your tires are stolen
- Preventing tire theft
Understanding if and how insurance covers stolen tires will prepare you if thieves target your vehicle.
What Insurance Covers Stolen Tires?
If thieves steal your tires, you’ll need the right auto insurance coverage to get them replaced. Here’s how it works:
Liability insurance – Only covers injury/damage you cause to others. Does NOT cover stolen tires.
Collision insurance – Covers accident damage. Does NOT cover theft.
Comprehensive insurance – Covers non-accident damage including theft and vandalism. Will cover stolen tires.
So comprehensive car insurance is key. Comprehensive policies help pay for damage from weather, fire, vandalism, falling objects, and theft. Since stolen tires fall under theft damage, comprehensive coverage will apply.
You’ll likely pay your comprehensive deductible toward the new tires. But your insurer will cover the remaining cost.
Without comprehensive coverage, you’d have to pay the full price out of pocket.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Stolen Tires?
Replacing one tire averages around $167, according to Consumer Reports. So a full set of four stolen tires costs approximately $668.
But prices can range much higher for large truck tires, performance tires, or specialty wheels. Unique styles or brands like Monster Truck tires can cost $800+ per tire!
Bottom line, paying hundreds to over $1,000 without insurance would be a financial blow. Comprehensive coverage is critical to lessen the burden.
How to File an Insurance Claim for Stolen Tires
If you discover your tires stolen, follow these steps to file your comprehensive claim:
File a police report – Get documentation of the incident to submit to your insurer.
Take photos – Photograph your car on blocks from multiple angles. Document any other damage.
Call your insurer to start your claim. Provide details on what happened and the police report case number.
Get a shop quote for replacement tires and give to your insurer. Keep the detailed receipt after new tires are installed.
Pay your deductible when you pick up the car. Your insurer will reimburse the shop for the remaining cost.
Having a police report and photos strengthens your claim. Give your insurer all the documentation up front to facilitate smooth processing.
What to Do if Your Tires Are Stolen
If you find your car tires stolen, stay calm but act quickly. Here are the steps experts recommend:
Call the police immediately to file a report.
Take photos to document the theft and condition of your car. Look for other damage.
Contact your insurance company to start your claim.
Arrange towing to a repair shop if the car is unsafe to drive.
Get a written repair estimate from the shop.
Provide copies of the police report, photos, and estimate to your claims adjuster.
Pay your deductible when new tires are installed.
Follow up with your insurer on any reimbursements owed.
Promptly reporting the theft and providing documentation to your insurer ensures you get your car back on the road sooner.
How to Prevent Your Tires from Being Stolen
While comprehensive insurance can ease the financial sting, avoiding tire theft in the first place is ideal. Here are some tips:
Park in well-lit areas – Thieves target dark streets and parking lots.
Get wheel locks – Lug nuts that need a special key help deter theft.
Install a car alarm – An alarm drawing attention can scare away thieves.
Use a tire boot – A barrier device making it hard to access lug nuts.
Etch VIN on tires – Makes stolen tires easier to identify and trace.
Engrave rims – Unique markings help prove ownership if stolen.
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