When you consider buying financial protection like tyre insurance, of course policy features are of paramount importance. This is never more true than with a Tyre Insurance policy, as subtle differences between policy terms can mean major differences in cover.
The basis behind tyre protection, is that is you suffer accidental damage on one of your tyres you have a simple insurance in place to take care of this for you. In the days of run flat tyres, which cannot be repaired, this can mean a bill of several hundred pounds just for one replacement, especially for prestigious brands. The chance to insure against this cost is therefore attractive to many.
Choosing Tyre Insurance
However, you really do need to check the policy terms within your cover, as these can differ quite considerably. For example some policies will have an excess that you must pay on every claim. Much the same as motor insurance excess, this can help drive down the cost of the protection premium. However the option to have an excess should be considered against the cost of a puncture repair for example, as the cost of this may actually be less than the excess you have to pay. Of course if the tyre needs replacing then this will be significantly higher than the excess so all aspects need to be thought out.
The condition of a tyre is also often highlighted in the policy terms and conditions. For example if the tread depth on a tyre is lower than a specified amount then you may not be able to claim on the cover. Quite often the tread depth limit can be higher than the legal limit for tyres in the UK, for example the policy limit may be 2.0mm whereas the legal limit is only 1.6mm. This means that you could have a legal tyre for the UK roads, but not be able to claim on your tyre insurance if damage occurs.
One other feature or policy term we have come across is whereby you can only claim for a tyre once. Now many protection terms may be for a maximum of say 5 claims over the policy period. This means you can claim for all four roads tyres and your spare also. However what we have found is that you can only claim for say your front left tyre (front near side) on one occasion. So if you have claimed for it once and never for any of the other tyres, then if you damage the replacement tyre you cannot claim again, even though you have only claimed for one of your permissible five claims.
Clearly it is very important to check the terms of your policy!
Compare tyre insurance premiums too!
One final aspect to compare is the premium price. Do not accept that your motor dealer is the only place you can get tyre cover from, as they simply are not. As with other types of cover like gap insurance and SMART cover, the motor dealer may not be the most cost effective place to buy cover and in fact they very rarely are.
Many independent insurance brokers and brands now offer tyre insurance policies, and often at much lower premium prices too.
However as we have already seen the premium price really is only one aspect to consider when comparing tyre insurance today!