Does Your Auto Insurance Cover Pothole Damage?
When it comes to potholes and car insurance, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is, yes, pothole damage is usually covered—providing you have collision coverage.
The bad news: You only get coverage if your claim is higher than your deductible and every claim you file goes on your permanent record.
Pothole damage comes under collision coverage. That’s an optional in the standard auto insurance policy and covers damage to your car that happens when you collide with an object like a pothole (or another car or even a house). It also covers you if you flip your car over.
It doesn't cover wear and tear to a car or its tires due to bad road conditions.
Check the declarations page of your policy to see what your collision deductible is. That’s the amount the insurance company is going to subtract before paying your claim.
If a pothole causes damage that’s more costly than your deductible, you can file a claim for your repair costs minus your deductible. Your collision coverage will reimburse you for the costs of repairing your car, minus the deductible.
But consider carefully before you file for just a small amount over your deductible. It could end up costing you more in future premiums. Every claim you make goes into your insurance permanent record, called your CLUE report. Insurance companies use your CLUE report to decide how much to charge you for auto (and homeowners) insurance.
Wondering what’s already in your CLUE reports? You can order free copies online from Lexis/ Nexis®.
When hitting a pothole causes you to hit another car, or a pedestrian, then your liability insurance kicks in. You must have that unless you live in New Hampshire, where it’s not required. Liability covers damage and injuries you, or your designated driver, cause.
Photo source: MSVG via flickr