Tire Insurance: Myths And Facts About Road Hazard Policies

Insuranceóitís 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 ìroad hazards.î 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.

Tire reimbursement plans are just what they say. You, the plan holder, will be reimbursed after the claims process is finalizedóusually 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 repairshops. 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 youíll have to ìokî the tire replacement, and then hope itís authorized for the full amount, or drive on your spare.

Some plans offer national coverage either among their service facilities or from other repair centers. Claims procedures will vary. Others only provide local coverage, or coverage at the selling facility.

Limitations:
Tire insurance does not mean that everything is covered. Pro-rated warranties are based on the wear and tear of the tire. You may get 75%, 50%, or only 10% coverage depending on the tread-depth. Youíll pay the remainder. While there are plans that offer full coverage, even these have limitations, or they may conflict with a repair shopís policies.

For example, many plans allow for a maximum of $30 to mount and balance one tire, and a maximum of $15 to repair a tire. However, sport tires often have significantly higher mounting and balancing feesóupwards of $50 per tireóand tire repair prices can exceed $90. There are also discrepancies on the tire and rim prices themselves, which in the end, may have to be supplemented by the service customer.

Although there usually is not an issue with the latter given the competitive market, the service centerís price mark up may be unacceptable to the plan provider. In this case, the service center needs to lower the price or you, the service customer, need to pay the differenceóor go somewhere else. This does happen!

Rim Prices and Repairs:
Rim replacement is becoming less frequent. With the high cost of aluminum wheels and sport wheel packages, tire insurers have opted to have them repaired. Repair will only be done if the rim does not hold air. What this means is that even if the rim is warpedóenough to cause a vibration and even premature tire wearóthey wonít replace it. Rather, they will send it out to be straightened and repaired.

Rims are replaced only if the damage is so extensive that the new tire, when mounted on the rim, wonít hold air. However, even in this case, especially if itís an expensive sport wheel, they may still attempt to repair it.

Repairing rims is a bad option. While some rim repair is acceptable, badly warped or damaged rims will in no way ever be the same.

Alignments:
If a car hits a road hazard hard enough, such as a pot hole, itís wise to have the alignment checked. Road hazard policies and tire reimbursement plans do not cover alignments. The service customer will have to pay for this procedure.

Road Hazard Protection Positives:
Some plans include tire rotations, wheel balancing, and nationwide coverage.

Myths:

1) “Can I pop all 4 tires and get a new set of tires?”

You can try. But this type of claim will trigger a number of red flags with the insurer. The policy holder will likely send out adjusters and/or require photographs. You will also have a difficult time explaining how a ìroad hazardî caused all 4 tire pop.

2) “New tires come with a road hazard warranty.”

New tires do come with a warranty by the tire manufacturer. However, it only covers defects in workmanship. New tire warranties do not cover punctures or damages from external sources. This is why “road hazard” protection is being pushed.

New tires are rarely defective. If there is a problem, itís usually noticed when balancing the tire. Or, there is a drivability concern such as vibration or noise. If thereís a defect itís generally caught right away, and the tire swapped out.

3) “Itís so cheap; itís a no-brainer, right?”

Actually, the experts don’t agree with this statement.

The Economics of Tire Warranties:
An article from the Washington Post by Terence OíHara explains the economics of extended warranties and purchase protection plans in general. It is quite fitting for road hazard warranties. He writes:

“The decision to buy an extended warrantyÖdefies the recommendations of economists, consumer advocates and product quality experts, who all warn that the plans rarely benefit consumers and are nearly always a waste of money.

ë[Extended warranties or purchase protection plans] make no rational sense,í Harvard economist David Cutler said. ëThe implied probability [of having an issue with the product] has to be substantially greater than the risk that you canít afford to fix it or replace it. If youíre buying a $400 item, for the overwhelming number of consumers that level of spending is not a risk you need to insure under any circumstances.í”

In short, road hazard warranties are a waste of money. Donít insure that which you can afford to replace.

Numbers Game and Slim Chances:
Like all insurance, tire insurance plans are a numbers game. However, this is a game you have a 98% chance of losing. Insider statistics show that the percentage of claims paid out by providers is as low a 2%.

Curbs:
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 Wonít Notice:
Many people donít even notice tire damage. Other than to see if the tires are holding air, who ìreallyî 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 donít notice any tire damage you canít benefit from the coverage.

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. Theyíll argue that itís so cheapóonly $10 to $20 per tire. Even so, for four tires, thatís $80 based on the ìpossibility,î the ìchance,î of damaging a tire that meets the repair/replacement requirement protocols.

Auto Insurance:
If a rim and tire has incurred significant damage, itís 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 everythingóbrand 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 ìcomesî with a road hazard protection policy. If not, request that one be provided at no additional charge. Itís worth a shot.

Also, some car manufacturers provide road hazard warranties FREE of charge for 12 months or 12,000 miles. If youíre 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.

“Whatís the best road hazard policy?”
Money in “your” bank account.

Insurance 101 – Undermining America for the Good of Americans

Insurance is like a myth. From one small seed of truth, a fairytale the size of 1000 giant sequoias has sprung up. Reality is blocked from view. Surely, youíve noticed all the giant, sequoia-like buildings are owned by banks and insurance companies. Where do they get all that money? How much money do the executives make? Who pays for it all? Grab a mirror. ìMagic mirror on the wall, whoís the biggest sucker of them all? Whatís that you said? The Masses!î

Insurance is yet another unquestioned social reflex. You just buy it. You must. The banker insists you have to purchase insurance or you donít get the loan. Your government orders you to buy auto insurance at any cost. Hence, it must be really good for you. Hell, why not stock up on some of the non-mandated insurances as well? You canít have too much of a good thing. Can you?

Somewhere in the dark, murky corners of our minds we hide our thoughts. Like The Emperorís New Clothes, no one screams out, ìBut he has nothing on!î or ìHey, this is just bullshit!î You are not alone in the darkness. We all think it. So you are no longer scared to speak, here are some of those secret thoughts voiced out loud for the first time:

1) If I speak out against insurance, I will be jinxed. My home will surely burn to the ground and I will look like a moron.

2) If I speak out against insurance, some pecker-head who heard me will have an accident and sue me because folks are not responsible for their own choices.

3) Insurance is betting against myself. Why would I bet against me?

4) If insurance companies must charge such high premiums because theyíre losing so much in payouts, how do they afford all those big buildings?

5) What do insurance companies sell? Air? Promises they intend to deny via small print? Contracts? Wouldnít I rather buy an IHOP franchise with that money?

6) If government represents the people, why do they make me, a people, a criminal when I cannot afford auto insurance to get to work and feed my family?

7) How much in dollars and perks do insurance lobbyists put into the pockets of politicians?

8) Do I really need trip-cancellation insurance? Why would I buy a dream trip, and then bet on my canceling it at the last moment?

9) If I put all the money I spend on insurance into the bank or toward building success, how much money would I have for coping with my problems on my own terms?

10) If I buy the extended warranty, will I remember I have it or be able to find it when my widget explodes?

11) Shouldnít companies make quality widgets that last three years in the first place?

12) And finally, did Jennifer Lopez really insure herself for hundreds of millions of dollars? What? She is already rich. The agent who sold this policy is phenomenal.

Yes, we all know the system is way out of hand! The blame lies with insurance companies, greedy bankers, spineless politicians and with the Masses unquestioningly supporting these absurdities. Every frivolous lawsuit provides government an excuse for mandating people be protected from themselves via costly insurances and removal of individual freedoms.

Before long, we will be required to carry Coffee-Burn riders on auto insurance and Cell- PhoneñEarring-Tear addendums on HMOs. These days Sleeping Beauty would have sued the castle owner (a.k.a. Dad) for that prick on the finger, lost wages from the coma and for trauma from the scar. Uninsured sewing needles would be outlawed throughout the kingdom.

With a system this out of control, how do you protect yourself? You cut the fat. Quit betting against yourself. Think about all those different types of insurance. Stop buying out of reflex and decide for yourself what you can kick to the curb. Consider the variety out there and what you truly must have.

Life Insurance is for betting you will die such a loser that you canít pay for your own funeral or leave your kids any inheritance. Extra Car InsuranceñHow much you betting that you will crash? Not to mention, homeownerís, mortgage, trip cancellation, emergency evacuation, unemployment, boat, credit card, business interruption, earthquake, disability, dental, smoker, expatriate, backpack traveler, winter sports, flood, warranty and health insurance. The list goes on.

Here is a new monument to the ludicrous: Terrorist Insurance. Itís even pushed at Art Gallery Ownerís in isolated communities of the Northern Great Plains. And, why not? No doubt Osama is crouching in an Afghan cave right now, plotting to rid the world of those pesky Remmington Cowboy bronzes.

Insurance agents prey upon these new fears like snakes on wounded mice. Apparently, companies want to terrorize you into buying coverage. Another possibility is a rebel SCUD aimed for Mount Rushmore may slam into a Canada Goose and go askew. It sucks when this happens! No doubt your goat ranch in Chug Water, Wyoming is in eminent danger from this likely chain of events. Perhaps, you should add a specific ëUnpasteurized-Cheese Addendumí to your Terrorist Policy. Call your agent today and ask them. See if they will sell you one.

The odds of you dying of a mosquito bite are better than the odds you will die at the hands of a terrorist. Well, crap! The government better permit companies to require we all carry Mosquito Insurance. Maybe you can get a DEET discount! Better still; why not turn over all our bothersome responsibility, like freedom and privacy, to the Feds. Then good olí Uncle Sam can protect citizens from the winged menaces that haunt our very souls.

Congress could raise taxes to fund Bug Inspectors. Their job would be to comb through your private life, home and property looking for freestanding water. They would not look for anything else (roll eyes here). Still cancer and glaucoma patients might want to keep the baggies away from the birdbath.

Speaking of cancer, the Air Force could spray us all from above with a perfectly ìsafeî mixture of insecticides called Agent Tan. Coincidently, that day your governor vacations far away. Is there anybody in his or her right mind who would elect an insurance salesman to public office? Of course, both politicians and insurers are selling you hot air, so perhaps it is a match made in HÖ

A very few insurances are worth buying, such as liability insurance for cars and real estate. Once you have something to lose, itís a sure bet some lazy troll with an entitlement-mentality will try to sue you. In this case, you want the giants on your side. Insurance companies provide lawyers to run evil little trolls back under their bridges.

Insurance prices in America are out of control. The wide range of insurance the bureaucracy would have us believe we cannot live without is genuinely insulting. Buying all the coverage companies would have you believe you need wastes thousands of your dollars each year. Look over policies and eliminate what you can. Insurance is just legalized gambling. If you are betting against yourself, how can you take a gamble on yourself? Pursue your dreams instead!

peace-of-mind-car-insurance

Car Insurance Quote – Things To Know To Get Very Cheap Car Insurance And Quotes

Auto insurance premiums vary widely from state to state and even within states. The same person may find swings of as much as $700 on the cost of an annual policy. Insurance agents are not legally bound to tell a perspective customer about discounts which may apply to his/her insurance. There are, however, things the consumer can do which may lower the price paid for auto insurance.

Higher deductibles

The single quickest and easiest way to lower your insurance premium is to raise your premium. Having a $1000 or even a $1500 deductible can lower premiums 15 to 20 percent. If you decide to go this route, consider putting the money saved the first year into an account earmarked to pay the deductible should you have any accident.

Investigate auto records

Your driving record may be unblemished but the record of the car model you own can also have an affect on your premiums. Insurance copies compile extensive reports on the way cars respond in accidents and how popular certain cars are with thieves. Cars with poor crash test ratings and cars that are frequently stolen cost more to insure. When buying a new car use an auto buyer’s guide to compare crash test and theft rankings.

Use the same insurance company

If you have more than one vehicle insure all of them with the same company. Almost all insurance companies offer multi-car discounts. Many companies offer further discounts if you use any other products they offer such as homeowners insurance and life insurance.

Getting many quotes and comparing them is the best way to check pricing, coverage and save money.

And, don’t forget, the best way to lower your car insurance premium is to drive safely.

Please see our recommended sources for insurance quotes from multiple providers. We have done the research so you don’t have to.

best-car-insurance

How To Buy Mexican Auto Insurance Using This Little Known Technique

Learn Why Your Current Auto And Medical Plans Are Not Enough

Mexico consistently ranks amongst the top ten destinations for travelers. Its tropical resorts and mountain retreats offer a range of activities from shopping to adventure sports. It also creates the right circumstances for accidents and injuries.

According to the Department of State, the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency, many American visitors assume the standards of security and safety are the same as they are in the U.S. These presumptions have lead not only to serous injuries, but even deaths. Compounded by differences in Mexican law, accidents and medical emergencies can become a costly and bureaucratic nightmare. As a result, the Department of State urges citizens to take responsibility for their safety, and to also ensure that they have the auto and medical insurance needed.

Driving and Mexican Law

Mexico’s law is based on Napoleonic Code where guilt is assumed over innocence. As a result, all drivers must have a Mexican insurance policy from a company authorized to do business in Mexico to cover damages or injuries.

“U.S liability insurance is simply not valid in Mexico,” says Linden Gray, Director of the http://MexicanInsuranceStore.com. “That even includes most of the major U.S. collision and comprehensive coverage plans.”

In addition to the required Mexican auto insurance, you should also consider a plan that covers legal aid and bond fees.

“In Mexico, it is considered a felony to have a traffic accident, says Gray. “While the police are investigating who is at fault, your vehicle may be impounded and you will be detained by Mexican authorities.”

The Department of State further warns U.S. travelers that they can be prevented from leaving the country even if “life-saving medical care” is required.

Emergency Medical Services

Mexico has a free national health care system; however, visitors are not entitled to this service. Tourists can only receive medical treatment and medications from private clinics and hospitals. Gray’s company strongly urges customers to check their medical insurance company to confirm whether their policy applies in Mexico and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Surprisingly, most Mexican auto insurance plans will only help you find a facility, and may only cover up to four passengers. Many medical assistance plans only cover portions of the cost depending on location, activity or cause of injury. For those with the Social Security Medicare Program, costs for hospital or medical care outside the United States are not covered at all.

“It’s important to fill the gaps and exclusions that your auto and medical insurances have,” says Gray. “In addition to Mexican auto insurance, travelers should add an emergency medical assistance option because most health plans exclude medical evacuation in foreign countries.”

Gray recommends a plan like Assist America which is used by the American Medical Association and the American Red Cross. This type of plan provides services such as emergency medical evacuations, critical care monitoring, and guaranteed hospital admission.

Selecting A Plan

The easiest and quickest way to find Mexican auto insurance is online. When selecting a plan, look for one that offers the following:

• Third Party (Civil) Liability
• Medical Expenses for Driver and Occupants
• Assist America Medical and Travel Assistance
• Physical Damage and Total Theft of Vehicle
• Legal Assistance and Bail Bond
• Roadside Assistance
• Partial Theft and Vandalism
• Guaranteed Hospital Admission

Make sure the plan covers you during your entire stay. Most plans have daily, six month, and annual policies.

In addition, take into consideration the type of activities you plan to enjoy and their locations. Look for medical emergency assistance plans with very few limitations or exclusions such as:

• Maximum Of Number of Passengers (Other Plans Only Cover Up To 4 Passengers)
• Limits less than$100,000 per passenger for Any Medical Assistance Service Including Expensive Air Or Land Evacuation.
• Rural Mexico Territory Exclusion. (Almost all emergency assistance wording says “We will do the best we can in rural Mexico”)
• Exclusions For Pre-Conditions (Except Late Pregnancy)
• Sport Or Adventure Activity Exclusions (Surfing, Cycling, Mountain Biking, Mountain Climbing, Snorkeling, Kayaking Or Diving In Mexico Are All OK with Assist America )
• Civil War Or Terrorism Exclusions

car insurance

When Shopping For A New Car Make Sure To Shop For The Best Insurance Rates As Well

Most people spend more time shopping for their car than they do shopping for the best auto insurance rates. This is a mistake. As a smart consumer, you need to allot time for getting the best rate for your insurance. Your three goals are getting the best insurance rates, getting the best financing and getting the best price.

If you don’t shop around for the best rate your insurance premium can be more than your car payment. I’ve seen it happen and it’s not pretty. You are all happy and excited about your new car up until you find out how much the insurance is going to cost you. Then you struggle just to make the insurance payments. Or worse, you cut coverages to keep within your budget. For example, having the highest deductible, $1,000-$2,000.

It’s not hard to shop around for the best rate either. There are several comparison sites that will give you several quotes from multiple insurance companies to make sure you get the best rate. Use them. It only takes 10-15 minutes and it can save you from plenty of financial headaches. Just like the Geico commerical says, “15 minutes could save you 15% or more,” 15 minutes on a insurance comparison site will guarantee you get the best car insurance rates available.

When you do shop around, always be sure to have a copy of your current policy available for comparison. This will make getting the quote as painless as possible. That way you compare all the coverages and make sure you are getting the same discounts with the new company as the old one.

One thing that can surprise you is monthly payment fees so be on the lookout for these. Some companies charge you a monthly fee when you make monthly payments, maybe $3-$4 a month. That’s an extra $36-$48 a year you need to factor into your comparisons.

There’s nothing like thinking you’re getting a great deal only to find out it’s a good deal once all the dust is settled and you get your new policy. If you’re only going to save a few dollars a month after you switch to the new company maybe it’s best to stay put. Sometimes you will lose loyalty discounts with your current company that you won’t get with the new company. Or the customer service or claims service is great at the current company. These days that is worth more than a few dollars a month to me so keep these small things factored into the equation.

Shopping for car insurance is quick and easy and you may even save hundreds of dollars per year. All it takes is about 15 minutes. Make sure you put ‘shop for car insurance’ on your car wishlist when you go car shopping.