Is Tyre And Alloy Insurance Worth It?

Is Tyre And Alloy Insurance Worth It?

With speed bumps, kerbs and potholes, your car's wheels and tyres take more punishment than any other part. It may make sense then to specifically insure for the cost of repairing them, but is tyre and alloy insurance really worth it?  

We take a look at how wheel and tyre insurance works, what it covers, and most importantly, does it make financial sense? 

How Does Tyre Insurance Work in the UK? 

Like any other insurance policy, tyre insurance providers charge an insurance premium to cover any damage, accidental or malicious, to your tyres. These are usually bought as a one-off payment, lasting for 12 months. 

In the event you damage something by hitting a kerb or pothole, the insurance company will pay to replace the tyre, usually up to a certain value.  

How Expensive is Tyre Insurance? 

Typical policies will cost between £60 to £150 per year and usually offer 2-4 claims in that period.

Types of Tyre Insurance 

There are two main ways to get tyre insurance, one is per-tyre cover, often sold by tyre shops, and the other is a yearly cover, available from multiple online insurance companies.  

You will often find per-tyre cover called things like TyreCare (offered by UK garage KwikFit) or an Extended Warranty (offered by Halfords). These will often be presented to you at the tyre garage when paying for your tyres. 

Costing from £5.99 to £12.00 per wheel, this cover only usually covers one tyre replacement - the one that you bought - this is why some retailers call them extended warranties.  

Annual policies are offered by many online insurance brokers and are usually sold as a “productised” item, i.e. a one-off cost somewhat regardless of tyre type and size, instead of being calculated on a case-by-case basis such as car and home insurance.  

This means factors such as tyre brand, location and car type are not specifically considered in the same way traditional car insurance is. Most insurers offer tiers such as up to 17” 17” to 20” etc. 

How Does Alloy Wheel Insurance Work in the UK? 

Much like Tyre insurance, you pay a yearly premium, the cost of which depends on the size and type of your alloy wheels. If your wheels get damaged, the insurance company will cover the cost of replacing the wheel.  

How Expensive is Alloy Wheel Insurance? 

Alloy wheel insurance costs between £70 and £300 per year. Some companies take payment upfront, and some offer monthly payments.  

What is Covered in Tyre and Alloy Wheel Insurance 

Insurance companies are sure to set out exactly what is and isn’t covered when taking out a policy, but in general, most providers put a clear limit on the cost of each repair or replacement.  

For wheels, the vast majority of the providers we checked out, the cheapest tiers of cover offer up to £100 per repair, and a maximum of 4 repairs per year. Higher tiers offer up to £250 per wheel, but most are still capped at 4 repairs per year.  

Tyre insurance works on a similar system, with most covering 2 tyres per year max, with claim limits selectable from £125 to £400 per tyre. Increasing the claim limit from £125 to £400 doubles the yearly premium. 

Things That Aren’t Covered on Tyre and Wheel Insurance 

Whilst damage both accidental and malicious is covered, tyre wear is not. Most insurers we found will not pay to replace anything with less than 2mm of tread. This also applies to tyres that have been damaged. 

So make sure you keep on top of routine tyre replacement, otherwise your tyre insurance won't pay out at all, you’ll need to do this inspection yourself, as MOT testers may only mention your tyres are low when they’re very close to the 1.6mm legal minimum. 

Is Tyre and Wheel Insurance Worth It? 

Unlike car insurance, tyre and wheel insurance is not a legal requirement so it is up to drivers to decide if they need cover or not. To figure out if tyre insurance makes sense for you, first consider the following factors: 

How many miles do you drive per year? 

The fewer miles you drive, the less likely you are to receive a puncture or damaged alloy and therefore need to claim on your tyre or wheel insurance.  

Because the policies very rarely take into account mileage when calculating a premium, the fewer miles you do, the less cost-effective the insurance will be. 

What type of tyres do you have? 

Performance, luxury or larger cars all tend to have more expensive tyres fitted. It therefore may make more financial sense to insure wheels and tyres on these kinds of vehicles but not on those with cheaper tyres.  

How old is your vehicle? 

Many policies put a strict age limit on the vehicles they will insure the wheels of, common ages being 5 or 7 years. If your car is nearing these milestones, consider if the policy will be invalidated during its duration. 

Can Tyre and Alloy Insurance Save You Money? 

Generally, insurance premiums don’t save you money in the long run; consider that the average driver pays nearly £40,000 in premium fees in their driving lifetime, but very few drivers will receive that amount in insurance payouts.  

Instead, tyre and alloy insurance helps with cash flow, allowing drivers to avoid footing those big bills that always seem to crop up when you least want them to.  

Should I Get Tyre and Alloy Insurance? 

Using what we’ve covered in this article, we’d say that if your car’s tyres and wheels are expensive, you drive a lot of miles, and you don’t generally have cash on hand, tyre and alloy insurance is probably worth considering.  

However, if you don't do many miles or your tyres are reasonably cheap, we’d recommend (if possible) putting some money aside for emergencies so you’re not caught short.  

Bumper Can Help, Without Having to Pay Any Extra 

Bumper offers zero interest-free car repairs at our many partner garages across the UK, and that extends to tyres too. Enabling you to spread the cost of new tyres, without needing to buy a costly insurance policy.  

To find out more, visit the tyre page of our website. 

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