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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.

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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).

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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%.

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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.

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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.

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Research Shows

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.

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Auto Insurance

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.

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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.

7 Common Causes of Car Tyre Wear

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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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If you own or run an auto repair shop or store, it is important to utilize reliable auto repair shop software or tire shop management software.

Repair shop software allows you to streamline your business operations, saving your shop time and money. If you are not the most computer savvy person, you may not know of the benefits of auto shop software.

And there are many benefits.

If you are unfamiliar with the benefits of auto management software, here is what you need to know. Here are the five most important benefits:

  • Inventory Tracking - If your shop or tire store is still tracking inventory by hand, your business is losing money. Software automates the process making it easier to keep track of parts and accessories.
  • Repair Orders - With repair shop software, you can input repair orders into a computer to better manage your repair work for the day. Some software even utilizes handheld computers so you can scan a car or truck's vehicle identification number. This helps to speed up the repair order process because you don't have to manually enter any car information into the computer.
  • Customer Relationships - This type of software allows you to build long-lasting relationships with your customers. You can email or mail service reminders to help customers remember when it is time for service. For example, if your shop does a lot of oil changes, you can send email reminders when it is time for another oil change.
  • Increased Efficiency - With this software, tasks do not take as long as they once did. Best of all, all the information is organized so you can easily pull customer information and other records. This savings in time will allow you to focus more on repair work.
  • Better Reporting - With this type of software you get reports faster. For instance, if you own a tire store, tire shop management software can produce accurate tire quotes in seconds, saving you lots of valuable time. This keeps the customers happy because they are not waiting as long.

Many companies that sell auto repair shop software also provide technical support to help get you familiar with the software. Many provide training sessions that walk you through the features of the software.

Some companies even install the software, so you do not have to worry about installation.

When shopping around for software, find a company that will provide you with the support that your business needs.

Also be sure to talk with companies about what features you need in the software. Some software companies will customize the software to your needs. It all depends on the company.

Stacked Tire Worm Farm

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A do-it-yourself tire repair can be possible. If you know what to do and if you have what you need, then repairing a tire need not be a very hard task for you.

Here are simple do it yourself steps for a flat tire repair.

1. Deflated tires, in order to be evaluated easily must be removed form the car. When doing this, make sure that you set the emergency brake or you have placed a wedge under the tires to keep it from moving.

You can repair a deflated tire caused by a puncture on the tread (or the part that comes in contact with the pavement). But if the tire has been thoroughly blown out, lacerated, or has pronounced damage then this is the time you have to pass. These instances require professional tire repair.

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