Does Auto Insurance Cover Pothole Damage?

The good news is that, in most cases, pothole damage is covered—as long as you have collision coverage. Collision coverage, which is an optional part of a basic auto insurance policy, pays for damage to an automobile caused by a collision with an object (such as a pothole, lamp post, or guard rail), another car, or flipping over. It does not, however, cover damage to an automobile or its tires as a result of poor road conditions.

Collision insurance usually comes with a deductible; the bigger the deductible, the lower the rate. Your collision coverage will cover the costs of repairing your vehicle, minus the deductible.

Comprehensive insurance, which is also an optional coverage, is not the same as collision insurance. Theft, vandalism, flooding, and damage from falling items, such as trees, are all covered under comprehensive coverage.

A driver who damages another car or a pedestrian as a result of a pothole will be covered by liability insurance, which is required in every state except New Hampshire to drive legally. Liability insurance covers injuries to others caused by you, the policyholder or designated driver.

Aside from submitting a claim with your insurance company, some governments, such as Chicago and New York state, may pay for pothole damage in specific circumstances. A driver who has been injured by a pothole should discover whose jurisdiction is accountable for the road and inquire about pothole damage compensation. The driver must then submit a claim.

Potholes normally cause minor damage to automobiles, primarily to the wheels and tires. Potholes can cause damage to the steering, suspension, and alignment systems in some circumstances. It may not be viable to file a claim if the pothole damage to your vehicle is less than your deductible, which is normally $500 or $1,000.

Can I claim for pothole damage on my car insurance?

You can file a claim as long as you can show that the damage was caused by a pothole. If you have fully comprehensive automobile insurance, you can file a claim for pothole damage with the council or body responsible for maintaining the road where the pothole was.

Can you claim damage from a pothole?

To make a claim, you’ll need to show that the pothole was the cause of the damage – that the repairs you’ll have to pay for were expressly caused by your collision with the pothole. If your car already had a problem and the pothole aggravated it, you can still file a claim, but you will not be reimbursed for the entire repair cost.

What happens if you hit a pothole too hard?

It’s never fun to hit a pothole. However, those potholes in the road might cause more than just a spilled cappuccino. Potholes can puncture your tire or cause your wheel to bend or shatter. It may cause damage to the sidewall or belts of your tire. Even a slight collision might cause your vehicle to become out of alignment. Shocks and struts might be damaged, and your suspension can be harmed, if you hit a pothole.

Check for any of the following symptoms of pothole damage after hitting one.

  • The sidewall of the tire has a bulge. This indicates that the tire was pinched between the edge of the pothole and the wheel, weakening or severing the internal plies.
  • The vehicle is pulling to one side or the other, and your steering wheel is no longer centered. The collision could have thrown the car out of alignment or damaged a steering or suspension component.
  • When you’re on the move, you might hear a new sound. Something could be bent or displaced, rubbing on the tire/wheel assembly.

How Badly Can Potholes Damage My Vehicle?

Depending on the degree of the impact, hitting a pothole might result in bent wheel rims, internal tire damage, alignment concerns, and shock and strut problems. This doesn’t always mean you’ll blow your tires or harm your car, but if you’re worried, have it checked out.

When you take your vehicle to a tire specialist or mechanic after hitting a pothole, request an inspection that covers the following areas:

Tips to Minimize Pothole Damage

Potholes will occur as the summer and winter weather in the West has an affect on our roads. Here’s what you can do to lessen the impact and potentially avoid these dangers.

  • Always drive on well-maintained tires that are adequately inflated. This gives you the best opportunity of safely absorbing the impact.
  • Take a defensive stance. When driving on an unfamiliar or difficult route, take it slowly and don’t be distracted.
  • Keep an eye out for what’s coming up ahead and leave adequate space between you and the vehicle in front of you to avoid problems.
  • Recognize that even if you avoid the first pothole, another may be lurking nearby.
  • Take your foot off the pedal and grip the steering wheel tightly when you can’t escape a pothole. Don’t hit the brakes. You’ll be able to keep the most control during the hit if you do it this way.

Les Schwab Has Experience with Pothole Damage

Our experts have seen a lot of pothole damage and can provide advice on tire repair and replacement, alignment work, and other services. For a complimentary inspection, visit your local Les Schwab. If you need new tires, wheels, or alignment, we’ll get you and your family back on the road fast and safely.

Where do I claim for pothole damage?

Because the government and its contractors are responsible for keeping roads in excellent repair, you can actually file a claim with them if your vehicle is damaged by a pothole. There are a few hurdles to clear, but it can save you money. If you don’t have insurance or don’t want to file a claim, this is a fantastic choice. Potholes, after all, are something you can’t avoid. However, you can only make a claim if you were on a national or municipal road. This means you won’t be able to file a claim if you get hurt while driving on a private dirt road. In this situation, you’ll have to file a claim with your own insurance company.

According to the Automobile Association, claims for pothole damage on national roads are handled by SANRAL. Meanwhile, claims for damage caused by a pothole on a municipal road are handled by the local government. You will require documentation that the damage was caused by a pothole in both cases. You will need to fill out some documentation when filing a claim with your municipality. You will additionally need to furnish the following, according to the AA:

A police affidavit is required in specific situations, such as dealing with the Johannesburg Roads Agency. Because it’s difficult to verify pothole damage after it’s happened, the AA recommends taking photos of the damage and the responsible pothole.

Don’t put your trust on your memory. Return to the spot, take notes, sketch, and photograph the problematic pothole if it is safe to do so, according to the association’s global website. Make a note of the specific location of the pothole – the road name, town, and its location on the road – as well as the contact information of anyone who witnessed the incident.

It’s crucial to remember that you can’t claim from the government and your own insurers at the same time. Arrive Alive emphasizes this in their Car Insurance blog. You may be required to present a letter from your insurance carrier indicating that you have not filed a claim with them. Make certain to file a claim with the appropriate municipality. Claiming from the incorrect source will result in your claim being denied, and the process of getting the claim from the correct source will take longer.

The route number for national roads begins with an N, such as N1, N2, and so on. The M3 is an example of a municipal route that begins with the letter M. The R1 is an example of a regional road that begins with an R. The provincial government is in charge of these highways. As a result, you’ll need to file a claim with the provincial government’s department of transportation.

Can I claim insurance for TYRE damage from potholes?

Simply told, having theft or third-party insurance on your bike will not provide you with pothole coverage. Pothole damage is not covered by even some comprehensive bike insurance policies. Collision insurance is required to claim pothole coverage. This insurance allows you to file a claim for damages caused by collisions with other vehicles or objects, including pothole-related damage.

How do I claim municipality for pothole damage?

1. Come to a complete stop at the scene of the accident.

2. File an incident report with the local traffic police and police department.

3. Photograph the pothole or anything else caused your car to be damaged.

4. Take photographs of the damaged tyres or locations.

5. Ask the local dealer for a quote or an invoice.

6. Technical officers will be dispatched to the scene of the accident to determine the cause, and traffic officials will verify the speed at which you were driving at the time.

7. Contact the Municipal Public Works & Basic Service Department with an incident report, photos of the pothole and tyres, an invoice, or a quotation.

8. The department will provide a report to the Asset Management Unit, authorizing reimbursement from insurance.

Does Geico cover pothole damage?

Yes, most auto insurance policies will cover damage caused by a pothole if you have the appropriate coverage. Hitting a pothole is usually classified as a single vehicle collision, which means that any damage is covered by either the collision or all-perils sections of your auto insurance policy.

Why does my car shake after I hit a pothole?

Spring is on its way, and you know what that means: we’re all looking forward to driving about with our windows down, looking up at the countryside, and inhaling some fresh air for a change. There’s only one problem: all of this looking up may cause us to forget to look down, causing us to miss a typical spring road hazard: potholes. Potholes form as the earth freezes and thaws over the winter, and they can be quite damaging to your vehicle. Your tires, rims, suspension, and other steering components may be damaged as a result of the jolt. It can even alter your wheel alignment and reduce the life of your tires, as I discussed last week.

While you should try to avoid potholes as much as possible, they are occasionally unavoidable. If you do happen to hit one, bear the following in mind:

  • If your steering seems off-center after hitting a pothole, have your wheel alignment checked; otherwise, it could be a sign of damage to a steering or suspension component.
  • If the steering wheel starts to shake, it could be a sign of a wheel balance issue or damage to the tire or rim.
  • Is the vehicle pulling to one side? This is another sign of a difficulty with alignment, although it could also be a sign of component damage.
  • Does the automobile have a bumpy ride and doesn’t handle the road as well as it used to? This could indicate that the springs, shocks, or struts have been damaged.

If you hit a pothole or experience any of the following symptoms, a comprehensive bumper-to-bumper Pothole Recovery Service inspection by Osceola Garage’s qualified auto technicians will disclose any pothole-related difficulties.

In most cases, Putnam County requires prior written notice of a pothole, however there are exceptions for well-known or frequently used roads in bad condition.

  • Treat a pothole like an accident; pull over to the side of the road and, if feasible, take a photo of the area and the pothole.
  • To document the event and damages, call the non-emergency police hotline. (This will come in in later to back up your claim.)
  • Determine if the route is under county or local control based on its location.
  • If a written complaint has been filed about your pothole, contact the competent jurisdiction’s office and request the date.
  • Inquire about how to submit your claim and what forms are required. To speed up the processing of your claim, make sure to include your photos and incident narrative.

Special forms for filing requests are available from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Thruway Authority. Drivers who file claims with the DOT between November 15 and May 1 will face opposition. Section 58 of the state highway statute exempts this time period because it is when the majority of potholes form; however, exceptions are made.

Can hitting a pothole cause a flat tire?

Potholes can damage your car in a variety of ways, from causing a flat tire and damage to your rims or hubcaps–including their loss–to more costly damage like breaking your wheel’s axle and affecting your suspension.

Potholes are frequently encountered on city streets and highways, particularly in towns and states with long winters. The use of salt to melt and clean snow can exacerbate road conditions. However, the same salt can degrade roads.

Rainwater that sits on roadways can deteriorate them, especially if there are particularly extended wet seasons. Several potholes will appear, increasing in diameter and depth.

So, if our automobiles are damaged as a result of hitting a pothole, the first thing that comes to mind is who is responsible for the cost of repairs.

Most of the costs may be covered by car insurance, but if the pothole is on a public road, submitting a claim with the city, state, or federal entity in charge of road maintenance may also be an option for reimbursement.

Although AAA does not actively track this issue, Tamra Johnson, AAA National’s Spokesperson and PR Manager, stated there is some information on how particular states address potholes and potential liabilities.

“Some states (Ohio, Virginia) specifically mention potholes, while others (DC, Hawaii, Maryland) have a tort claims process that might theoretically cover public road conditions,” she says. “Pothole reimbursement appears to be illegal in other states (Pennsylvania).” We also discovered that Massachusetts has language that makes them accountable for personal injury in certain scenarios.”

Although pothole damage reimbursement varies from state to state and town to town, you should expect a difficult claims procedure. There will be a lot of pushback and resistance if you file a claim with your city and/or state. To achieve the greatest outcomes from a car accident claim, take a lot of photos of the damage and keep track of estimates and repair costs, just like you would with any other automobile accident.

You may have to take your city or state to court to get paid, and even then, a positive verdict isn’t assured. Even if you do obtain one, it’s unlikely that it will cover all of your losses. Furthermore, even if you get paid, it may take some time for you to receive it.

A pothole near a train, for example, can be a bureaucratic problem. A railroad can be owned and operated by the government or by a private company. In any case, government agencies must keep roads in good repair. So, if you have a slick crossing due to a pothole near a train, who is responsible? You should expect it to take some time to figure out who is to blame.

Can potholes mess up your suspension?

When you encounter a pothole, you feel helpless; you instantly begin to worry about the potential damage to your vehicle when your vehicle collides with the enormous hole in the pavement. Running over potholes frequently can harm many other pieces of your car, including suspension system components like shocks and struts, in addition to obvious tire damage like a blowout. When you hit a pothole, it shakes the entire suspension system, causing shocks and struts to prematurely wear out.

Damage to shocks and struts might be difficult to detect. After hitting into a pothole, you’ll see that you have a flat tire or a bent rim; you’ll have a hard time driving with either of these issues. Shocks and struts damage can be difficult to detect, so be on the lookout for warning signals.

  • When turning due to worn shocks, swaying and rolling occur due to a loss of control over the pace of weight transfer.

Fixing Pothole Damage

Take your vehicle to your service provider for a complete evaluation if you feel your vehicle has suffered suspension damage as a result of striking a pothole. Consider getting an alignment check and having a service provider perform a ride test and physical inspection to look for any broken or worn shocks or struts that may need to be replaced. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to sustain worse damage the next time you strike a pothole.

Avoiding Potholes

While potholes may appear to appear out of nowhere, there are several steps you can take to avoid them and the harm they do. Look ahead in the road to spot these aggravating risks as you drive. When you see a pothole, try to navigate around it as carefully as possible. Reduce your speed as you approach the pothole and strike it straight on if there is no other way to safely avoid a large road collision. Avoiding damage to your vehicle by hitting a pothole at a slower speed.

Maintaining correct tire inflation can help you prevent pricey pothole repairs. Because your tires are the first to absorb the force of a pothole, keeping them inflated to the manufacturer’s specified PSI and ensuring that they have enough tread will assist you fight potholes.

Finally, stay away from puddles and standing water when driving. Potholes might lurk beneath the water’s surface, waiting for the next unwary driver to hit them. Obstructions that you can’t perceive can’t be avoided.