Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationInsurance & Registration · 1 month ago

UK insurance question re vandalism to your vehicle's tyres?

This statement is making the rounds on social media. Is there any truth to it?

"Tip, ladies: don’t slash all four tires. Insurance pays for that. Just slash three, and he’ll have to pay for them himself"

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  • 1 month ago

    There’s some truth to it.

    It’s probably based upon how insurance excess charges (US = insurance deductibles) works. 

    As an example, assume a car has tyres (UK spelling) which cost £150 each to replace. Also assume the driver has a £500 policy excess. 

    If you slash all four tyres then that’s going to cost £600. But because the sum exceeds the policy excess the driver can put in a claim for the £600 but the excess means the driver has to pay the first £500. The insurer would only pay £100 towards the damage. 

    But if just three tyres were slashed then the cost of the damage would be £450. As that’s below the £500 excess (which is effectively a minimum claim limit) the car owner would have to pay for all three tyres and get nothing from the insurer.

    In reality it could work the other way: a £450 claim is one the insurer would never find out about as it would not be worth making a claim for a payment which would never be made. 

    But if all four tyres were damaged and claimed for, then although the insurer would pay out £100 they would record the incident and would count it as proof that the insurance holder is at a higher risk of making future claims. As a result their basic insurance premium before any discounts are applied would rise the following year, and probably for a few years after that. The insurer may have paid £100 but they’ll make certain that they get it back and a lot more on top in increased premiums until the claim no longer needs to be declared to any insurer (typically about five years). 

    For those reasons alone, unless drivers have no choice they will often avoid making claims for losses far in excess of their policy excess. They’re also concerned that any claims will reduce their no claims discount. On a car with expensive insurance even a 15% reduction in the no claims discount could a few hundred £ to the renewal premium. That’s in addition to any increase due to higher risk.

    Makes little difference if you have a “protected” no claims discount, because the extra charged for being a proven higher risk to insurers is added to the pre-discount premium.

    So in stark reality whether three or four tyres are vandalised the cost will almost always come out of the driver’s wallet. 

    Where I live there’s another factor: limited resources mean police won’t investigate £450 worth of vandalism. But they will get interested once the cost exceeds £500. So if they catch and prosecute the perpetrator then conviction would include paying the driver and the insurer for any losses they incurred, and the claim would change from the driver being officially “at fault” to the known vandal being “at fault”, which means insurers have someone to recover their losses from.

  • May
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Can you spell "Old wives tale" ?

  • 1 month ago

    Folk in the UK use 'tyres', not 'tires', so I'd say they would spot that as the nonsense that it is.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    You're an idiot if you believe that it might even be remotely true. EPIC FAIL.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Of course it's not true.  There is also no explanation of why this MIGHT be true.

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