Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Mar 5, 2022

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The lowdown...

  • Comprehensive insurance may pay for damage and losses associated with slashed tires
  • Roadside assistance should assist with an immediate replacement of a single slashed tire
  • The deductible associated with comprehensive coverage plays a role in how much money the insured saved

While traveling down the road, you may notice something amiss with the handling of your vehicle. The car does not move smoothly and seems to drag a bit. The unmistakable smell of burnt rubber permeates the interior of the car — usually indicating a flat tire.

Upon pulling the vehicle off the road, you discover that the tire did not go flat due to a puncture. Instead, your tires were slashed!

Sad to say, tires do get slashed. Hopefully, a driver might notice the slashed and deflated tire long before getting behind the wheel of the car. That said, there is really no good time to discover slashed tires.

Though you may be enraged by what’s happened, the issue of the slashed tire must be dealt with calmly. To deal with the slashed tire means replacing it. Replacements come with costs. Will your auto insurance pay for new tires?

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Paying for Vandalism

News reports might reveal a particular neighborhood has been targeted for tire slashing escapades. Until the vandals are caught, vehicles run the risk of random attacks by those with an intent to cause mischief.

Sometimes, the tire slashing is anything but random. A malicious person with a grudge may choose to harm someone by taking a sharp object to the rubber of a tire.

Regardless of the motivation behind the inflicted damage, the act of slashing a tire is vandalism. Vandalism is covered under comprehensive insurance.

Drivers who purchased comprehensive insurance would be able to file a claim since vandalism, like theft, reflects a covered peril under this category of insurance.

Comprehensive insurance pays for losses not involving an accident or collision. Since comprehensive insurance is not mandatory, not all drivers choose to purchase either comprehensive coverage or collision coverage.

Drivers also have a tendency to drop comprehensive coverage after a certain amount of time due to the depreciation in the value of their cars. Once this coverage lapses, the cost of replacing slashed tires or other acts of vandalism falls on the shoulders of the driver.

Basic auto liability insurance won’t cover the costs associated with replacing slashed tires.

Anyone who reads reports of tire slashing incidents in the neighborhood may wish to perform some basic comparison shopping of comprehensive or collision insurance to locate reasonable rates for adding this coverage option.

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Prior to Filing the Claim

Before filing a claim for tire damage on a comprehensive policy, a few additional steps should be taken to ensure the actual processing of the claim goes smoothly.

  • Take pictures – Taking photographs of the slashed tire is critical. This way, if the slashed tire is disposed of after, photographic proof exists. The proof can be provided to the auto insurance company’s adjuster.
  • Keep the tires – Rather than disposing of the slashed tires, maybe it would be best to keep them until the adjuster has finished the investigation. So they will document the incident as more than just normal wear and tear on your tires.
  • File a police report – Filing a police report might be wise as well since the act of slashing the tire is a crime. The addition of a police report to the insurance claim file could be beneficial.
  • Contact your insurance company – Anyone with questions about maintaining proper evidence in the aftermath of a tire slashing incident should direct inquiries to the auto insurance company.

A representative from the company not only intakes the claim, he/she can also advise on steps necessary to facilitate smoother claims processing.

The representative might also suggest what particular garage to take the car to in order to change the tires. Often, auto insurance companies work with affiliated garages to handle repairs on claims.

Contacting Roadside Assistance

The presence of a slashed tire means the car cannot be driven. However, the driver might not be sidelined for too long. Most insurance policies come with a roadside emergency roadside assistance provision.

Upon calling the insurance company for assistance, a tow truck can be dispatched to the location of the vehicle. Upon arriving, the slashed tire may be switched with a spare tire creating a temporary fix until the new tire can be added.

Drivers do need to be aware that donut spares cannot be driven beyond a certain speed or they can suffer a blowout.

Also, if more than one tire has been slashed, roadside assistance may need to tow the vehicle to an appropriate garage for the necessary replacement.

Replacing the Tires

Depending on the policies and rules associated with the insurance company, a new tire or any replacement work on the vehicle might not be allowed until the adjuster has seen the vehicle.

As previously noted, the replacement work might be mandated to occur at an approved garage in order for the insurance company to pay out on the claim.

All of this can be a bit inconvenient. Anyone who has yet to suffer a slashed tire might wish to purchase a very cheap emergency tire not intended for long-term use but much more durable than a donut.

Switching out to this tire would allow the vehicle to get out on the road until a proper, better tire has been added.

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The Deductible Issue

Certain tires are very expensive. Standard tires not so much. With replacing a slashed tire under a comprehensive claim, policyholders do need to realize the insurance company only pays out beyond the threshold of the deductible.

With a $500 deductible, the insurance company would not cover anything with a $115 single tire replacement job. If all four tires were slashed on a standard car and the replacement cost was, say, $650, the insurance company would kick in $150 on an approved claim.

Pickup trucks, SUVs, and sports cars that require special, costly tires might find paying $500 towards a bill that is $900 or more a fair deal.

Those with much higher deductibles, however, could be totally out of luck on replacing all their tires. Some choose to save money on an insurance policy by utilizing a high deductible.

Honestly, this can be a wise cost-saving move but the door to added financial risks ends up being opened.

Before making any final decisions on your insurance company, it is important to learn as much as you can about your local insurance providers, and the coverages they offer. Call your local insurance agent to clear up any questions that you might have. Questions to consider asking include, “What is the best coverage plan for me/my family/my situation?” “What are the minimum coverage requirements in my state and what form of coverage do you recommend?” “Do you guys offer any bundle discounts if I take out both my auto insurance and home insurance with you?” and “What is the average rate of insurance quotes you guys offer?”

Before making any big insurance decisions, use our free tool to compare insurance quotes near you. It’s simple, just plug in your zip code and we’ll do the rest!

Smart comparison shopping might lead to deals that might very well make taking a higher deductible threshold unnecessary. Enter your zip code below to start comparing today.