Oh, and one more question. Is 10-15 blocks at slow speed really too far to drive on a flat tire? To ruin it and make it unpatchable? Are tires more sensitive than in the old days? I've driven with a flat to the nearest highway exit, off the ramp, to a gas station, in the past. (It was snowing hard and I REALLY didn't want to change it on the side of the highway).
Thanks for posting. We all learn from questions. Other folks will probably have definitive answers.
in response to your questions:
- If the tire was very flat, driving that far probably de-laminated the sidewalls, and that's what the first shop saw. Secondly, if you attribute the flat to potholes, that type of tire damage itself is often irreparable.
- I'd say using the spare the way you did caused no harm.
- As to insurance for tire damage, the wording sounds like you could have purchased it, and did not.
Just guesses though.