Insurance issue with tyres

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Welly
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Insurance issue with tyres

Post by Welly » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:07 pm

I've contacted my insurer (Sainsbury/UK Insurance Ltd) to ask if I can change my tyre size from 205/50R17 to 225/45R17 (pretty much the exact rolling radius). They said "go and ask Volvo if they'll approve".........eh? the car's nearly 8 years old :|

I duly e-mailed Volvo UK who replied within 10 minutes to say no. Only the OE factory tyre size is approved.

225's offer a much wider choice and much lower costs (like £20.00 per corner lower) as they're a very common OE fitment to European cars.

How crap is that though? I was going to get Goodyear Eagle F1's (top rated performance tyre) and may be forced to get lesser tyres now due to cost. It doesn't make much sense (insurance wise) if I end up fitting Kung-Po slidemasters as apposed to a premium brand which would make the car 'safer' :roll:

Grrrr.
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Re: Insurance issue with tyres

Post by DaiRees » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:21 pm

That's just silly. I know we mentioned this before but what other sizes (if any) does the handbook state for your car? Is there anything wider, even in other diameters?
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Re: Insurance issue with tyres

Post by Welly » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:34 pm

It lists 205/55 R16 and 215/45 R18.

I think this is just the way insurance is going now, I may as well change the wheels to 18's with mahoosive tyres - they'd still slap me with the same additional premium.

I think the insurer was going to say "if it's ok with Volvo then it's ok with us" rather than charge me for a 'modification'.
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Re: Insurance issue with tyres

Post by waue1978 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:53 pm

Just stick the 225s on & enjoy the cost saving combined with the extra grip. I know the robbing ba**ards will use any excuse to diddle you these days, but I don't think I've ever known an insurance assessor go into as much detail as checking for the correct tyre size unless they looked ridiculously abnormal.

As soon as you move into 18ins territory the tyre prices get silly & the first pebble you hit on the road will put a dent in the wheel. I remember when only adventurous people fitted 17ins wheels to their cars. These days no self respecting chav will be seen with anything less than 19ins wheels.

I'm thinking of souping up the Partner to appeal to a younger audience. If I can get hold of a set of super-single wheels & tyres next time the Tructyre man comes to work, I might be in with a shout! :twisted:
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Re: Insurance issue with tyres

Post by DaiRees » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:04 pm

waue1978 wrote:Just stick the 225s on & enjoy the cost saving combined with the extra grip. I know the robbing ba**ards will use any excuse to diddle you these days, but I don't think I've ever known an insurance assessor go into as much detail as checking for the correct tyre size unless they looked ridiculously abnormal.
He's kinda pissed on his chips by asking the question though. I don't know what I'd do in this situation. Why would Volvo say no? Is there potential for fouling with the wider tyre? Also what's the width of the rims Welly? Are they 7" or 7.5"? It might be worth asking a tyre manufacturer if that size tyre is recommended for that size rim, that should satisfy the insurance company.

I did find loads of information on the net about this kind of thing when I was fussing about those extra rims I bought for my car, including that the car is fitted with steering limiters because it came with 245 18s when the "normal" size seems to be 225 17, so perhaps that's why they're saying no? If they say yes then you damage a tyre by fouling, have a blow out and end up in a ditch, it'll be their fault for saying it's OK, once again H&S takes precedence over sense and logic!!
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Re: Insurance issue with tyres

Post by Doggy » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:03 pm

Keep asking different Volvo dealers until one gets fed up and agrees with you?

(They've probably been trained to provide owners with something to whinge about on their 'Excellence in Customer Service course'). :roll:
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Welly
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Re: Insurance issue with tyres

Post by Welly » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:44 am

I bypassed the Dealers and went straight to the UK HQ. They're just covering there arses I suppose.

I suppose if I insisted I wanted wider tyres then the insurers would agree but charge me for a 'modification' so I wouldn't save any money then.

The rims are 7" wide and I've already gained an e-mail from Goodyear to state that 225's are good for 7".

I might try the insurer again to see how much they want to see if it's worth doing, I guess not though.

@waue1978 - I agree to an extent with what you're saying and years ago wouldn't have given it a moments thought but we have to be careful these days getting caught up in legal stuff. If an insurer can wriggle out of a claim they will and imagine worst case where someone was fatally injured they'd be all over my car like a rash :|
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Re: Insurance issue with tyres

Post by gumby6371 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:28 pm

Going off on a slight tangent, when buying a car how many people check the tyres match the manufacturers recomended size?

How would you fair insurance wise if you bought something and had a smash on non standard undeclared rubber? the same applies to any non obvious modifications.
Engine remaps are impossible for the average motorist or even most garages to detect but make a massive difference to the car.

Makes me think the 'it was like it when I bought it' excuse could hold water??
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Re: Insurance issue with tyres

Post by waue1978 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:38 pm

gumby6371 wrote:Going off on a slight tangent, when buying a car how many people check the tyres match the manufacturers recomended size?

How would you fair insurance wise if you bought something and had a smash on non standard undeclared rubber? the same applies to any non obvious modifications.
Engine remaps are impossible for the average motorist or even most garages to detect but make a massive difference to the car.

Makes me think the 'it was like it when I bought it' excuse could hold water??
Very good point & we should be grateful that the insurance Nazis don't go that one step further by declaring that all Ford Mondeos should be fitted with say, Dunlops because that is what they come from the dealer wearing.

Although I've often changed wheels & tyres to larger diameters & widths, I was a little lax when I bought my first Zafira. After 6mths of owning it I decided to get the rear tyres changed as the tread was getting low, but was horrified to find that I actually needed to change all 4 tyres as somewhere along the line it had been fitted with 185/65x15s instead of the standard fit 195s.

Understeering & squealing on roundabouts rapidly reduced once the correct rubber was fitted, but I now make a point of making sure that the tyres fitted are either the correct size or larger.
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