Insurance–it’s everywhere. One can insure just about anything. Are tires an investment one needs to insure? Tire insurance, also called a road hazard policy, road hazard warranty, or tire reimbursement plan, is a rapidly growing industry in the automotive world.
Tire warranty plans pay in full or in part for the replacement or repair of damaged tires and/or rims from “road hazards.” Road hazards are defined as pot holes, debris, nails, wood, and other hazards found in the road. Curbs, sidewalks, and stone walls are not road hazards. This is an important distinction to consider when deciding if tire insurance is right for you (discussed further ahead).
Tire plans last for a specific period of time and tire wear tread-depth. Some plans last 2-3 years. Others can last 5 years or 60,000 miles. Several plans come with fixed amounts of coverage: $500 per year up to 4 years. Many contracts require three years of law school to comprehend. In terms of tread depth, a tire is usually considered worn out (and thus the plan null and void) at 2/32 to 3/32 of an inch.
Another important distinction is in the type of plan.
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Tire reimbursement plans are just what they say. You, the plan holder, will be reimbursed after the claims process is finalized–usually 2-8 weeks. There is an out-of-pocket expense. These plans are often sold by new car dealerships. The prices can range from $300 to $600 dollars.
Road hazard policies operate similarly to reimbursement plans. However, some tire insurance providers, in partnership with the repair facility, may have a direct-pay relationship. Thus, there would be no out-of-pocket expense, except for applicable deductibles, and items not covered in part or in full. These plans are primarily sold by tire dealers and repair shops. The prices range from $10 to $30 per tire. They also can be based on a percentage of the cost of the tire: usually 12% to 15%.
Both types of plans have a number of variables, requiring a magnifying glass to read the fine print. Also, many are pro-rated warranties, covering only a percentage of the cost of the tire based on its wear.
Claims and Coverage
Depending on the plan, claims are initiated by the repair shop. The process is fairly smooth, although there can be a significant delay from the provider for authorization. This delay may be an hour or an entire weekend. This means that you’ll have to “ok” the tire replacement, and then hope it’s authorized for the full amount, or drive on your spare.
Another interesting note is that a lot of tire damage is caused by curbs. Curb damage is not covered under most road hazard policies. High granite curbs with sharp edges slice through tens of thousands of tires per year.
You Won’t Notice
Many people don’t even notice tire damage. Other than to see if the tires are holding air, who “really” looks at tires? Tires are subject to a whole host of external influences which cause bubbles, slices and gouges. Despite the potential dangers of damaged tires, the damage very often does not translate into any noticeable drivability issue. The point is that if you don’t notice any tire damage you can’t benefit from the coverage.
Those raving about the benefits of a road hazard policy are the actual folks in the industry who stand to benefit from the sale. They’ll argue that it’s so cheap–only $10 to $20 per tire. Even so, for four tires, that’s $80 based on the “possibility,” the “chance,” of damaging a tire that meets the repair/replacement requirement protocols.
If a rim and tire has incurred significant damage, it’s quite likely that other problems have resulted as well. The first is that the vehicle may have been jarred out of alignment. Secondly, hub bearings, front end components: tie rods, spindles, ball joints, and a variety of other components may have sustained damage. In this case, auto insurance, which you are already paying for, will pay for everything–brand new.
Free Road Hazard Warranties
Many tires come with road hazard warranties FREE. In other words, in an effort to secure retailers, many tire distributors provide service centers FREE road hazard insurance. Some shops pass this on to their tire customers, others sell them. Ask if the tire “comes” with a road hazard protection policy. If not, request that one be provided at no additional charge. It’s worth a shot.
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Also, some car manufacturers provide road hazard warranties FREE of charge for 12 months or 12,000 miles. If you’re buying a new car or even used, ask that the dealer provide a complimentary road hazard policy (after all the wheeling and dealing is done, of course), and just before you commit.
What’s the best road hazard policy?
Money in your bank account.
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Whenever you begin looking at new tires for your particular vehicle, you will quickly notice ones that are classified as touring tires and those that are all season tires. So, what is the difference between the two? Is one better than the other? Here's a look at the answers to these and a few other questions you might have.
It was only a few years ago that tire manufacturers came out with this style. They are not the same as their all season counterparts. Instead, they have been developed to provide a level of comfort and performance that is a step up from a regular radial model.
Although not built for performance style handling and cornering, these tires are a solid all around favorite of most drivers.
Which Tire Is Best?
Honestly, each one has its own unique characteristics and market. I can not say that one is truly better than the other in certain conditions. It really comes down to where you live, what type of vehicle you have, and how you drive it.
If you live in an ever changing climate, the all season model is for you. If you are looking for increased comfort and highway performance, the touring model is a great choice.
Tire Insurance: Myths and Facts About Road Hazard Policies
If you own a tire store, you're going to need to find the right software for your business.
It can be a difficult decision when it comes to selecting the right tire shop software. What makes it so difficult is that there are many different software providers. If you type "tire shop software" into Google, you'll get more than 23 million results.
Sorting through all of these options is not the right plan. What you need to do is look at your business and determine its needs. By doing this, you'll be able to narrow down your list of tire shop software providers.
To do this, you will need to ask the following questions to tire shop software providers. These five questions will get you the right software for your business.
Question 1: How Long Does It Take To Produce Quotes?
You'll want to find software that will evolve with your company. Over time, you may purchase more or upgrade computers. You want your software to grow with your company. To do this, you'll want to find a provider who designs custom software that fits your needs.
Asking these questions will help you find the right tire shop software for your business.
When it comes to buying tire shop management software you'll also want to check customer references. This will help to ensure that the software is reliable. You can ask some of the above questions to references. You may also want to ask them about technical support and installation.