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We’ve all been there. You’re driving along and then it happens: Bam. Scrape. Your car hits a pothole. Now what? Did it cause an accident? Throw off your alignment? Are your tires okay? Are you okay?
If you have the right coverage, you might be able to file a claim to repair any pothole damage.
But before you file, know your options.
Assessing the Damage
Once the shock wears off, it’s time to see what you’re up against. Hopefully, you’ll drive off with little more than a dent or scratch. If you’re not so lucky, you might sustain damage to your:
Hubcaps and tires
Struts and steering
Suspension and alignment
Think the damage is relatively minor? If the repairs are less than $1,000, the cost of a typical deductible, you may be better off paying out of pocket and avoiding a claim altogether.
Filing a Pothole Claim
Let’s say the pothole was big enough that it caused you to temporarily lose control of your car and sideswipe another vehicle. Collision coverage kicks in if it’s a single-car accident, but if anyone else is involved, you’ll be filing a claim under your liability insurance.
Be aware that filing a claim under either can impact your future insurance rates.
Can’t avoid hitting a pothole? Try these tips:
Slow down as you near it, but don’t brake.
Approach puddles with caution.
Make sure your tires have the right amount of air.
Grip your steering wheel tightly to avoid swerving.
Finally, you may also want to research your city, county or state road commission policy on pothole damage reimbursement.
You can’t always protect your car from potholes. But you can always reach out if you need help deciding how to manage pothole damage.