Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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UPDATED: Oct 24, 2021

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Tire blowouts are every motorist’s worst nightmare. Tire blowouts, especially at highway speeds, can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles. If other vehicles are close by, a single tire blowout can trigger a major multi-vehicle accident. This could cause significant damage and result in serious injury to yourself or other drivers.

If this happens to you, knowing whether you’ll need to consider filing tire blowout insurance claims is important in determining how tire damage will be paid for after an incident.

How your insurance company will view a tire blowout depends on what kind of damage the incident causes.

If you retain control of your car, no other vehicles are involved, and there is no additional damage to your car other than the tire, there won’t be any need to file a car insurance claim with your insurer. However, if the answer to any of these questions is yes, filing a claim may be necessary.

Is damage from a tire blowout covered by insurance? Read on to find out more about what your insurer covers, what they do not, whether tires are typically covered, statistics on blowouts, and more.

To get started, see how your car insurance protection stacks up against other policies by entering your ZIP code into the free search tool on this page; that way you’ll be prepared if your vehicle gets damaged due to a tire blowout.

What does your car insurance company cover?

Is damage from a tire blowout covered by insurance? It all depends on what kind of damage can a tire blowout cause.

Most likely the tire itself will not be covered by your auto insurance company, whether it is State Farm, Progressive, or other company. Instead, it will usually only be covered by its own manufacturer’s warranty. However, there are three different portions of a standard car insurance policy that may provide coverage in case of a car tire blowout.

Take a moment to read through the next few sections to find out what liability, comprehensive, and personal injury protection cover in the event of a tire blowout.

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Will liability coverage cover a tire blowout?

The first type of coverage, for an accident involving other vehicles or an incident that causes damage to another person’s property, is liability coverage. This basic coverage is required in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Liability coverage establishes specific limits for payouts resulting from the injury of a single person, multiple individuals, or property damaged by your vehicle. This video provides a brief description of liability coverage.

Next, take a look at this table to see the minimum liability coverage requirements across the country, as reported by the Insurance Information Institute.

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For reference,

  • BI – bodily injury
  • PD – property damage
  • Liab – liability
  • UM – uninsured motorist
  • UIM – underinsured motorist
  • PIP – personal injury protection
  • MedPay – medical payment

While most states only require liability coverage amounts varying from $10,000 to $50,000 in these categories, experts recommend increased coverage amounts of 100/250/50.

However, in general, liability coverage won’t cover the cost of damages to your vehicle, only the cost of damages and injuries (up to your policy limits) of another driver involved in an accident in which you’re found to be at-fault.

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Will comprehensive coverage cover a tire blow-out?

If you have a tire blow-out and no other car is involved, but your car sustains damage in addition to the blown out tire, your comprehensive coverage may cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle. However, it would generally not replace the tire itself (in most cases, as we noted earlier, this may be covered by the manufacturer warranty on the tire itself).

What is comprehensive coverage? It typically covers damages caused by theft (including coverage for tire theft in some cases), vandalism, or an act of nature like a hailstorm, fire, or flood.

Comprehensive coverage is also known as “other than collision,” and while it costs more than liability coverage, it is definitely worth considering adding to your policy.

Will personal injury protection cover a tire blow-out?

Some car insurance policies provide for personal injury protection (PIP) coverage (it may also be required as a part of your liability coverage, depending on where you live). PIP provides coverage for medical payments involving injuries you may have suffered because of a tire blowout accident.

PIP also covers lost wages if you are out of work after a covered accident occurs. It’s important to first check your regular health insurance policy to see if your medical expenses are covered, before filing a claim with your car insurance provider.

Keep in mind if you do decide a car insurance claim is necessary, you’ll need to file any claims as soon as possible, because there is typically a time limit on reporting car insurance claims (referred to as the statute of limitations).

Take a look at this table to see the statue of limitations for filing both personal injury and property damage claims in your state.

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As you can see, the statue of limitations varies by state and sometimes by claim type, so you’ll need to file sooner rather than later, in the event you believe you’ve been involved in a covered incident.

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Does car insurance cover tires?

Does Geico cover tire blowouts? Does State Farm Insurance cover tire damage? What about other insurance companies?

As a rule of thumb, automobile tires are not specifically covered by your car insurance policy. Tires, along with items such as brake pads and windshield wiper blades, are generally not covered by the manufacturer’s new car warranty or the dealer’s extended service contract either.

So what, if anything, does cover your tires? Keep reading to find out.

Does my tire manufacturer warranty cover my tires?

Do tire warranties cover blowouts? Damaged tires, whether the damage is caused by a blowout or other road hazard, are sometimes covered by the tire manufacturer’s own warranty program. This program will cover a tire that can be proven defective and is still within the warranty period. This is particularly true when a brand new tire has a blowout.

There is usually a sliding scale for tire coverage that prorates payouts for defective tires. This coverage will only pay a portion of the original cost of the tire, and that will only happen if the manufacturer accepts responsibility.

You’ll need to check the manufacturer information to find out specifics on what is and is not covered for your vehicle’s tires.

Tire Safety and Car Insurance

Blowouts are dangerous and can be expensive to repair, particularly if the tire is not covered by a warranty or the damages are not covered by your insurance company. Let’s take a few minutes to discuss tire safety in a bit more detail. We’ll consider tire blowout statistics, what can cause blowouts, how to prevent them, and other important information.

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What tire blowout statistics do I need to know?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that one in four vehicles have at least one tire that is underinflated. And underinflated tires are a major factor that can contribute to blowouts (we’ll go into greater detail on contributing factors in a later section).

Additionally, the NHTSA states that around 78,000 car accidents each year are the result of unsafe tires. And in 2017, 738 people died due to accidents in which unsafe tires were a contributing factor.

What is a tire blowout?

The NHTSA defines tire blowouts as, “a rapid loss of tire air pressure that can cause your vehicle to lose control.”

Is a tire blowout considered an accident? On it’s own, the answer is no. If you have a tire blowout that does not involve any other vehicles, it’s typically not considered a car accident. However, if as a result of a tire blowout, your vehicle causes property damage, you may be considered at-fault in an accident, according to Nolo.

Tire failures can happen any time of the year, but usually in warm places. Heat is the major factor that causes tire blowout, but overweight cars, proper air pressure can also kill a tire. Underinflation is the easiest way to damage a tire, because without proper air pressure the internal components of the tire flex beyond their limits. Eventually, the internal pieces will overflex, weaken and fail.

Overloading a vehicle can also be fatal for tires. If you haul extra heavy loads, you can increase a tire’s weight-carrying capacity by increasing pressure to the maximum load. Another way to fatally hurt a tire is to hit a pothole, driveway lip, or other road hazards.

What do you do if you have a tire blowout?

In the event of a tire blowout accident, it will be important to gather all the relevant information at the site of the incident, including the names of any other involved drivers, insurance information, vehicle information for all involved vehicles, photos of the incident, etc. so you can file a claim.

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What factors can contribute to a tire blowout?

There are a number of factors that can contribute to tire blowouts. These can include the age of your tires, the tire inflation, normal wear and tear, temperature of the road, and more.

  • Tire inflation – under-inflated tires are significantly more prone to blowouts because less air means additional expansion and contraction in a tire, which in turn generates more heat; the greater the heat, the higher the chances of a blowout
  • Age of the tires – the older the tire, the more worn out it is, which makes it easier for the tire to overheat and burst
  • Overloading – when a vehicle is overloaded (i.e. the weight you’re carrying in your vehicle is too heavy for the frame and the tires), it can cause the tires to overheat, which can lead to blowouts
  • Impact damage – hitting your tire on curbs, potholes, and other objects can cause long-term damage that will eventually result in your tire exploding

How can I prevent tire blowouts?

While often ignored, tires are a critical component of any motor vehicle. With proper maintenance and repair, drivers can minimize the potential hazards of tire failure. Tire failures at highway speeds can result in serious injury or even death.

SUVs, because of their high profile, are especially susceptible to rollover crashes. An example of this occurred in 2001 when,

Improper maintenance and possible defects in the manufacture of a number of tires prompted a large-scale investigation of the Ford Explorer and the Firestone tires that were featured on that model. It was discovered that faulty tires led to numerous rollover accidents around the world.

Drivers are often unaware of the slow degradation of the tires on their car. Wear and tear accumulates, mile after mile, and before you may realize it, you should be looking at replacing your tires. Older tires are simply less capable of holding the road and under the right set of circumstances, can quickly contribute to tire failure and a damaging accident.

What is the NHTSA tire safety campaign?

The NHTSA has launched a massive national campaign on tire safety called “Tire Safety: Everything Rides on It”. This campaign stresses the importance of proper tire inflation and maintaining lawful and appropriate vehicle load limits. Take a moment to read through the next few sections to learn more about about the different focus areas of the campaign.

Tire Pressure

The NHTSA advises motorists to check their tire pressure at least monthly and before starting a long road trip. Motorists should make a quick visual check of all four tires every day before driving. Tires that are visibly low should be taken to a garage, examined for punctures or holes, and repaired when necessary.

Most cars come equipped with an emergency spare tire, referred to as a donut. This too should be checked on occasion to make sure it is ready in case of an emergency. Full size spare tires should also be inspected periodically and checked for proper inflation.

The NHTSA brochure about tire safety provides motorists with many helpful tips about maintaining their vehicle tires, including recommending that motorists invest in a simple tire pressure gauge. These inexpensive tools can be kept in the glove box of each vehicle you own, where they will be ready to use when you drive in to a service station for air.

This is important because in its study, the NHTSA determined that 14% of service stations are not equipped with air pumps. And less than half of the gasoline stations that have air service will have a tire pressure gauge.

While many newer vehicles are equipped with automatic tire pressure sensors that will alert drivers when it is time to add air, it is still a good idea to keep your own tire pressure gauge on-hand.

Tire Tread

Drivers should also routinely inspect their tire tread to determine if their tires are wearing evenly. Several factors contribute to uneven or rapid tire wear including over or under inflation. But motorists should also be on the lookout for problems caused by improperly balanced tires.

Each time you check your tires, you should also examine the tread. Tire tread provides gripping action and helps a vehicle to remain stable while on the roadway, preventing slips and slides as well as skids.

Tires should be replaced when tread is worn down to one sixteenth of an inch or less. Tread indicators on newer tires will help you spot tires that are ready to be recycled. The most common way to test the tread on your tires is by using a Lincoln penny.

Place the penny upside down in the tire tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread is too shallow and the tire should be replaced.

The NHTSA estimates that as many as 9% of all motorists are driving on at least one bald tire. Tires that are mismatched can also cause serious problems for motorists.

Blowouts are not the only concern for motorists who are driving on worn or improperly inflated tires. Many other types of accidents are possible if tires are worn and the tread no longer properly grips the road. Bald tires are especially dangerous in wet or slippery road conditions.

Even with brand new tires, motorists should be especially cautious to avoid hydroplaning or skids during a heavy rainfall. Any kind of snow or ice on the surface of the roadway can also cause problems for winter drivers. When tires are worn, the chances for an accident increase dramatically.

Tire Rims

Bent, broken, or poorly fitted tire rims can also cause tires to deflate or to wear unevenly. All too often proper tire care and maintenance is put aside until it’s too late. Keep an eye on your tire rims and make sure to repair or replace them as soon as you see damage. If the damage to your rims is the result of a car accident, your car insurance may cover the broken rims.

Tire Rotation

Tires should be periodically rotated front to back, as per the manufacturer’s instructions, to increase wear and prolong their useful life. Remember, if your tires are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, you’ll need to demonstrate that you took proper care to insure the tires were being used correctly, or the company will likely not cover you in the event of a blowout.

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Does the state inspect tire tread?

Many states now require regular annual vehicle inspections. In order to comply with federal emission control guidelines, drivers must regularly submit their vehicles for inspection to determine if pollution control devices are active and functioning properly.

Many states also require annual safety inspections of currently registered motor vehicles. In this type of inspection, tire wear is also a factor but it can be easy to ignore a tire that may be just a little under the legal limit. Motorists may continue to drive while putting themselves at an increasing risk for a traffic accident.

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What’s the bottom line for tire blowouts and car insurance claims?

As the NHTSA points out, your safety and the safety of your family rides on your automobile tires. Following a few simple rules for tire maintenance can help you prevent costly accidents and the serious injuries that may result.

It is up to each motorist to protect themselves and their passengers. Practicing good safety habits will also ensure that your car insurance premiums don’t increase as the result of an avoidable tire blowout or other tire-related accident.

A tire blowout or tire burst insurance claim may be filed if it qualifies as a covered incident. This can include when the damages fall under your comprehensive policy or when you or others experience injuries as a result of the tire blowout.

Frequently Asked Questions: Tire Blowouts

Still have questions? Read through these frequently asked questions to learn more.

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How can I save on my car insurance?

To save on car insurance there are a couple of steps you can take right away. Start by shopping around and comparing rates (you can do that right here with your ZIP code). Another easy way to save on car insurance is to find out what discounts you may qualify for, depending on your age, job, the vehicle you drive, and a number of other factors.

Take a look at this table to see some of the available discounts from major insurers across the country.

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Depending on your insurer, there are a variety of discounts you may qualify for. Speak with a licensed insurance agent to find out how to get discounts on your car insurance.

What is collision coverage?

Collision coverage provides you with financial protection in the event that you are in a collision with another vehicle or object, like a tree, for example. Damages to your vehicle that occur as the result of a collision will be covered. Take a look at this video to learn more about collision coverage.

Collision coverage, like comprehensive, provides you with coverage beyond the minimum liability requirement. To add collision coverage to your policy, you should speak to your insurance agent.

Enter your ZIP code into our free tool today to start comparing rates so you have coverage if your vehicle is damaged as the result of a tire blowout.