One of the easiest ways to make any car different and stand out is to add after market wheels. It is not cheap to get new rims and tires but it can make any car or truck look very cool. Many people spend a few thousand dollars to get new wheels but don't know if it would be covered on an auto insurance policy. I will discuss what is normally covered and what you should add on to your policy for proper protection.
Basic Auto Insurance Coverage for Wheels
On most auto insurance your wheels are only covered if you have comprehensive or collision coverage. If you only have liability insurance the vehicle will not be covered. Having full coverage on car insurance means you have both comprehensive and collision coverage which will provide protection for the vehicle whether you are in an accident or something else happens like hail.
A standard auto insurance policy will usually only cover the original manufacturer parts that were included with the vehicle. Anything that did not come with the vehicle will need special coverage including wheels.
The reason why insurance companies don't provide this protection is because they are charging insurance for a vehicle with certain features that has a specific value. If you add new wheels that cost $2000 for example this would not be expected by the insurance company and therefore they would need to charge more for this higher value add-on.
Specific Coverage for Wheels
Even though most auto insurance companies will not provide coverage for after market items as part of the standard policy they do offer extra protection for specific items. Ask your agent or company if they can add coverage for wheels and what they are valued at. Most companies will have a specific coverage for wheels that you can determine the value they should be insured for.
Be sure to keep all receipts for purchase and installation of the wheels as this will be helpful if you need to file a claim. The most common claims for wheels include theft and collision damage. Remember you will owe the deductible before the insurance policy will pay out so the claim needs to be high enough to warrant.
Bottom line is if you add anything on to your vehicle including wheels that is not included at purchase most likely it will not be covered by your auto insurance unless you add specific coverage.