Know the relationship between car insurance and your tyres

There is a thing about insurance that we all get our car insured and religiously pay the premiums but we definitely never want to be in the situation where we actually have to claim the insurance. It's actually like buying a fire extinguisher; you buy it but persistently pray that you never get into a scenario where you actually have to use it. Due to several reasons, a situation may arise where you have to make a claim to your car insurance company. What would be the insurer's reaction?

Payouts are hated by insurers

It's not surprising at all because nobody likes getting deprived of their moolah and sometimes it looks like the insurers are at the top that list. It doesn't matter if you have paid them the periodic premiums and the payout (at least a part of it) is actually your own moolah. However,  think we are being too harsh on them because did you have a tough job of ensuring the genuineness of the claim. With that being said, it is horribly tough to walk away from an insurance claims discussion with a smiling face. The agent may point out various reasons to reject your claim and some of these may be directly be related to your car tyres.

Car insurance is affected by tyres

It basically affects your car insurance in two major ways. Due to some reasons, your tyres may invalidate your insurance policy and there are few situations where due to the tyres your insurance premium get bumped up, let's find out how that happens.

Yes, tyres can annul your insurance

Basically, the insurance company identifies the "roadworthiness" of your vehicle at the time of the mishap to be eligible for the insurance coverage. There can be various definitions for "roadworthy" and that bloody includes the tyres of your vehicle. The logic behind this is that if due to some reasons (those may even relate to your car tyres) your car has been compromised then they would not honor your claim. The car tyres may be deemed as the reason for making your car in a "non-roadworthy" in respect to the following conditions.

Changing the misfit tyres

This does not imply to the new cars as they have original bluey tyre fitting. After the certain period of time, earphone when you replace your tyres it is recommended by the manufacturer to stick to the original size specifications. In order to be on a completely safe side, you can even go for the same tyre brand.

Width: Height: Diameter:
Speed index:

The original fitments are carefully chosen by the manufacturer to make sure that the driving is safe and sound so by changing these tyres the vehicle's handling, braking ability and other factors are highly affected. It makes the tyres unfit for safe driving.

There are three aspects of significance:

  • Tyre size

Always stick to the original size recommendation by the manufacturer. If you are considering a plus sizing of your tyres then do read the pros and cons of the choice but keeping that aside the + sizing of your tyres without the informing your insurer may invalidate your insurance. In case of this modification, do inform your insurer by calling or writing as it may do the trick. It may result in an increased premium but you'll get to do what you want and still keep the insurance valid.

  • Speed Rating and its connection with tyres

The new tyres would not support your regular speed if they are fitted with a lower rating than the original fitment. It can lead to some unfortunate incidents and the insurance company may deny entertaining your claim stating the reason to be the modification and non-worthiness for the road of the car. It is actually illegal in some countries to drive on tyres with lower speed rating than the original fitment.

  • Tyres have relation with load rating

Fitting the tyres with a lower rating may lead to overloaded or underinflated tyres. This would result in quicker tyre wear and an increased fair go of tyre-related accidents; moreover, your car would not remain "roadworthy." Click here for an interesting case study on this aspect.

Tyres with illegal features

The defective and damaged tyres with visible lumps, bulges, and tears are cited as being illegal. The tread depth of the tyre is bloody crucial; the legal depth limit is 1.6mm around the central 3/4th portion of the tread around the whole circumference.

Due to any of the stated reasons, if your tyres are deemed to be illegal then you

- may have to pay a fine,

- are likely to incur penalty points,

can be prosecuted

- risk invalidating your car insurance

Tyres can raise the amount of insurance premium

The involvement of a car in an accident automatically pushes up your premium as you are seen as an unsafe driver. Secondly, the insurance premium may increase depending on the penalty points you incurred. In the UK, driving based offenses garner penalty points then become attached to your driving record. The penalty points vary depending on the offense, it ranges from 3 points for driving on under-inflated tyres to 11 points for as full as a goog driving. 3 points teen petty but if you don't pay any attention to your tyres then they can build up bloody rapidly. More the penalty points, higher the insurance premium! For more details, click here.

How can you resolve it?

The simple solution to ensure car safety is the regular checking of your tyre pressure. It reduces the fair go of the accident as the underinflated tyres are most likely to result in tyre blowouts. Pay attention to your tyre age and replace the tyres that are no longer in good condition as this is an important aspect of safe driving.

Be aware of your tyre tread depth. Although the legal limit is 1.6mm, most clean the manufacturers recommend the replacement of tyres at 3mm depth.

This study shows on the wet surface at tread depth below 3 mm, the dramatic stopping distance increases and at 1.6mm (the legal minimum), the stopping distance increases by 44.6%.

An interesting point for you

It may look like that all of this drum is ensuring that you don't invalidate your car insurance or end up paying increased premiums but good oil is that it is all about you, your tyres and your life. The more attention you paid to these aspects of your tyre, you will drive with greater peace of mind. As it was stated earlier, we all get insurance and pay the premium regularly but all the while we are hoping that we would never have the need to make a claim.  

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