Tyre and alloy insurance: when is it right for me?

Woman walks with brand new wheel to the car. Conception of repair.

Drivers are offered a range of insurance products, protection schemes and other add-ons when buying a new car – but which ones make the most sense for you?

We’re explaining what each of these terms mean and what’s actually on offer, so you can shop in confidence and buy the ones best for you.

Here, we’re looking at tyre and alloy insurance.

What is tyre and alloy insurance and how does it work?

As the name implies, tyre and alloy insurance is an optional policy that goes towards the cost of repairing or replacing your tyres and alloy wheels if they are damaged by hazards on the road.

The level of coverage can vary depending on the policy and provider, but many will cover damage from punctures and cuts, as well as impact damage caused by potholes, kerbs, and other hazards.

You will typically pay a premium for tyre and alloy insurance and, in the event of damage, will have to make a claim to have the repairs or replacement covered by your insurance.

What’s included in tyre and alloy insurance policies?

Your insurance policy will show exactly what’s covered, though many policies offer to cover the cost of the repair or replacement, alongside any associated labour costs.

The cost of refurbishing the tyres and/or alloy wheels will be covered up to a certain amount. That amount will be specified in the terms and conditions, so make sure you read them carefully so you know how much you can claim.

The exact circumstances covered will vary depending on the policy and provider, but most tend to cover:

  • Accidental damage like getting a puncture
  • Malicious damage, like having your tyres stolen or damaged in a criminal act (many will ask for the crime reference number in the event of claim – so make sure you report any incident to the police)
  • Other fixes needed, like rebalancing wheels and replacing tyre valves

Most policies allow you to claim a few times per year, though the amount and circumstances vary so check the contract.

If they can’t be refurbished, your policy will contribute towards replacing them (again up to a specified amount). Just note that few, if any, policies will cover the entire cost of replacement – they’ll just pay towards it.

Drawbacks and risks for tyre and alloy insurance

There will be several caveats and exclusions to your policy, so read the paperwork properly.

Pre-existing damage isn’t normally covered, so you won’t be able to make a claim for any scuffs or scrapes made before the policy start date. Policies don’t tend to cover damage caused by wear and tear or by intentional acts of damage either.

Check what type of wheel is covered in your policy, as some providers exclude tyres and wheels with specific styles and finishes. Non-original tyres are also often excluded, so if your tyres aren’t the ones that came on the brand-new car, repairs might not be covered.

Make sure you read the terms and conditions of the policy before you sign, so you know it offers you the coverage you need.

Another thing to check is how many repairs and refurbishments you can get. Typically, claims are made on a per-wheel basis (with two tyres classed as two claims) even if multiple tyres are claimed for at the same time.

Many insurance providers will allow you to make multiple refurbishments claims over a specific time period but check the time duration and the number of claims you can make in that period, as it can vary between insurance providers.

Is tyre and alloy insurance worth it?

It’s important to make an informed decision before buying any finance or insurance product. You can consult free, impartial sites like MoneyHelper and Citizen’s Advice as part of your research into whether something is right for you.

Tyre and alloy insurance can help drivers avoid costly repairs and offers peace of mind to those wo want to protect their vehicle. If you live in an area with poor road conditions and pot holes, which can increase the risk of tyre and alloy damage, then you may benefit from it.

There are exclusions, as covered above, and policies may not pay out the full amount needed to repair or replace tyres and alloys – so read your terms and conditions properly and ask so that you can clarify anything needed.

The value for money depends on individual circumstances – it can be relatively affordable compared to paying for repairs or replacements, but this depends on the extent of the damage, frequency of claims, and other factors like the type of vehicle, the level of coverage, and the provider.

To find a tyre and alloy insurance policy that works for you, make sure you check the coverage limits and that a likely claim would be successful. You should get an insurance policy that makes your life easier and protects you where you need it the most – don’t get pulled into paying out for something you don’t need.


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