How Your Choice Of Tires And Wheels May Affect Your Auto Insurance

8 August 2018
 Categories: Insurance, Blog


Many factors affect car insurance rates, so it's no surprise that many people don't know them all. For example, do you know that your tires can also affect your auto insurance premiums? Here are three ways in which this may happen:

Winter Tire Discounts

Standard tires start losing traction when the weather reaches 40oF. Low temperatures also reduce the flexibility of tires as well as their grip on the road. All of these reduce your car's handling and can easily lead to an accident.

Invest in winter tires to prevent such accidents. Winter tires feature deeper treads to provide traction under cold conditions; they are also designed from materials that maintain their flexibility even under cold temperature.

Insurers know this and may offer you a discount if you are using these tires. Whether or not your insurer offers the discount depends on your auto insurance carrier; just contact your insurer to learn more about this and other available discounts.

Claim Denial Due To Oversized Wheels

Using oversized rims or tires can lead to a rate hike, claim denial, or policy cancelation. Ideally, you need to inform your auto insurer when getting modified wheels so that they can determine your true auto insurance rates. This is because modified cars tend to be either more expensive or dangerous than their unmodified counterparts.

For example, some people modify their cars by replacing their manufacturer-recommended tires with bigger ones. Unfortunately, using oversized tires makes your car more dangerous than using manufacturer-recommended tires. For example, if you install oversized wheels without modifying the brakes, your car will be difficult to stop, and this increases the risk of a crash.

Claim Denial Due To Illegal Tires

Finally, your insurer can also deny your claim if you are using illegal tires; this is especially true if accident investigations reveal that the legal variety could have prevented the accident. Therefore, anytime you are replacing your original tires you want to make sure they are legal to prevent problems with both the authorities and your car insurer.

There are several things that can render your tires illegal. For example, car tires can be illegal if their treads are separated, their belt material is exposed (such as due to a cut), or their tread depth is less than 4/32 of an inch.

As you can see, wheels and tires are very important as far as auto insurance is concerned. Therefore, before installing experimental tires and wheels on your car, it's best to give your insurance agent a call first to understand the ramifications.