Potholes got you down? We understand. After this past winter’s severe weather, many motorists are experiencing costly vehicle damage from potholes. A survey conducted by Trusted Choice® and IIABA found that from 2009 to 2014 half of car owners experienced damage to their vehicles as a result of potholes. The survey also found that 31% of car owners who reported pothole damage to their vehicles filed a claim with their insurance company, but a surprising 65% of respondents who needed repairs said they (or a third party) paid out of pocket for the vehicle to be fixed.
As millions of Americans encounter potholes as the rough winter wraps, Trusted Choice® agents urge drivers to be cautious now. Use the following tips to avoid the damage and cost of potholes:
Keep an eye on traffic patterns. A number of cars that slows down or move quickly to other lanes may be a sign of major potholes or road damage ahead.
Avoid the urge to swerve out of the way of a pothole at the last minute. You may swerve into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Risking damage to your car is wiser than risking the loss of your life or that of another person.
Report potholes to your state or local transportation department. Some states and localities have pothole hotlines. Motorists who think their state or local government will pay for damage to their cars may be out of luck. Laws in this area vary by jurisdiction and, even where such remedies are available, conditions may apply such as a requirement that the jurisdiction had notice of the pothole.
If you hit a pothole and suspect damage, pull over as soon as it is safe. If you notice damage, record details and specific damage—just as you would in the event of a collision with another motorist—in case you need to file an insurance claim.
Check in at least annually with your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent to ensure that you have the right coverage.