Will my auto insurance pay for a cracked rim?
A cracked rim may be covered by auto insurance under collision or comprehensive coverage, depending on the cause and other circumstances. You'll want to consider your deductible before filing a claim.
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UPDATED: Jun 7, 2022
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- Your insurance company will only cover a cracked rim if you have comprehensive or collision coverage and the crack was the result of a specific cause
- Your insurance company is unlikely to pay to repair a cracked rim and probably prefers replacement for safety reasons
- It may be better to pay for rim replacement yourself rather than having your rates go up
A cracked rim is only covered if your contract includes collision or comprehensive insurance. Each of these covers automobile damage caused by different factors.
The most basic auto insurance policies are comprised of liability coverage, which is intended to cover medical bills and repair costs for the other party if you become involved in an accident. This means they don’t cover your vehicle’s repair costs for a cracked rim.
Will my insurance cover a cracked rim?
Understanding the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage is helpful when looking int cracked rim coverage. Collision or comprehensive insurance may cover a cracked rim where general liability coverage doesn’t, but each does so for different situations.
What does collision insurance cover?
If the rim was cracked because you collided with another car or an object that’s not an animal (like a light pole, mailbox, or house) the damage falls under collision coverage. Examples of common causes of cracked rims that fall under the umbrella of collision coverage include:
- Hitting a curb
- Running over a pothole
- Hitting a roundabout
Collision coverage usually applies even if you are at fault in an accident. The average annual cost of collision insurance is around $500 to $600.
What does comprehensive insurance cover?
Comprehensive insurance is often referred to as “Other Than Collision” insurance because it is meant for instances of damage where a collision did not take place, so the repairs would not fall under collision coverage. This may include:
- Acts of nature like hail or wind blowing rocks or large debris into your car
- A person vandalizing your car
- A person stealing your car or certain components of it (though usually not the contents)
- An animal jumping in front of your car and you hitting it
On average, comprehensive coverage costs $150 a month. If your cracked rim is the result of an incident that was not your fault, was not a collision, or occurred while you were not in the vehicle, it is probably covered by comprehensive coverage.
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Is filing a claim for a cracked rim always the right decision?
While having comprehensive and/or collision insurance provides coverage for many of the circumstances in which you might end up with a cracked rim, using that coverage may not always be a financially smart decision.
You need to consider three things before deciding to file a claim: whether your insurance company will pay, the potential long-term impact on your rates, and how much the replacement will cost.
Does the insurance company always pay if you have comprehensive and/or collision coverage?
There is a car insurance deductible you must pay with both forms of coverage. Your insurance company will not pay anything unless the replacement cost exceeds this deductible.
The average price of rim replacement can range from $250 to $1000, based on your car’s model and make and the type of wheels on it. However, many policies come with a $500 deductible, so filing a claim doesn’t guarantee you will receive repair funds.
Does the insurance company pay for both repairs and replacement?
Notice that “replacement” is used rather than repairs, or both replacement and repairs here. Your insurance company is very unlikely to pay for rim repair. A cracked rim is dangerous because it compromises the overall integrity of the wheel. Even repaired, there exists a danger of tire blowout, mainly if you run over uneven sections of roads, potholes, or cracks in the street.
Most insurance companies prefer replacement because performing repairs can be risky and further damage the wheel, resulting in a deadly situation. If you choose to repair the rim yourself and it later breaks, your insurance company can and may refuse to pay for the resulting damages because you are not maintaining your vehicle properly.
How will the claim affect your rates?
Even if your insurance company refuses to pay any money, it may raise your rates because you filed a claim. On the immediate level, since a cracked rim is a minor claim, this may lead to a $20 increase in your payment, which may not seem substantial but adds up. Typically though, people see only a tiny increase.
However, if you have already filed multiple more minor claims or anticipate doing so in the future, this may cause an issue. The insurance company may note these many reported incidents and adjust your rates accordingly.
At what price is filing a claim for a cracked rim worth it?
A cracked rim, depending on the cause, may be covered under collision or comprehensive policies. Even if you have both, it’s not always worth it to file a claim. If the replacement cost is not significantly greater than your deductible, it may be wiser to simply pay out of pocket, given you can afford it, to avoid a hike in rates.
Similarly, if you have a history of making small claims, paying for the replacement yourself may cost less than the subsequent rise in your payments.
However, if the cost is high and you do not have a record of minor claims, filing a claim for your cracked rim may be worthwhile. Obtain a price estimate before filing a claim since even if your insurance company doesn’t pay, you may end up with higher rates.
Final Thoughts Regarding Cracked Rims and Coverage
Cracked rims are not usually covered by basic insurance policies. You need collision or comprehensive coverage for them to be covered.
While your insurance company may not pay for a repair, it will probably pay for a rim replacement if the price is higher than your deductible. Whether you should file a claim depends largely on your previous claim history and the replacement cost.