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How Pothole Damages Can Impact Insurance Recovery Costs

According to AAA, potholes cause over $5 billion in automobile damages every year. These high car insurance costs lead to an increase in reimbursements paid to car owners by insurance companies, which in turn negatively affect the car insurance rates drivers pay. Many people aren't aware of the seriousness of pothole damage or choose not to report it to their insurers. This can be a costly mistake as long-term damages to axles and wheel wells of vehicles may lead to corrosion, poor alignment or even accidents.

Oftentimes, drivers find it difficult to receive recovery costs from insurers when they file a claim for pothole damage. This is because pothole damages are notoriously difficult to prove, and can seem instead like a case of driver error. If a pothole causes extreme damage to the underside of a vehicle, insurers are often led to believe that the driver ran over debris or even a curb rather than a hole in the road. Facing the option of fixing their vehicle with no reimbursement from an insurer or not fixing the vehicle at all, some drivers choose to live with the issues the pothole has caused. This can prove to be an expensive and dangerous mistake to make, as some damage that may seem to be merely cosmetic can actually hide transmission, suspension, or even steering issues. These faults can lead a driver to have trouble controlling their vehicle, which can be unsafe.

Those who live in pothole prone areas such as large urban cities or areas that usually freeze in the winter, are encouraged to take extra precautions when driving near potholes. If possible, it is advised that a driver steer to avoid a pothole in order not to run over it. If this cannot be achieved, the driver should slow down as much as possibly to lessen the impact of the pothole on their car. When filing a car insurance claim regarding potholes, it is helpful to be able to prove that a vehicle was attempting to drive as carefully as possible. Insurance recovery rates can easily be affected by not only the damage done to the vehicle, but by the amount of information available to the insurer.

Potholes are a nuisance in more ways than one: simultaneously causing damage to vehicles while driving up car insurance costs. Issues spawned by collision with a pothole typically cost between $50 and $500 to repair, though some drivers pay upwards of $2,000. This costs the insurance company money, which ultimately leads to higher rates for consumers. Drivers are often frustrated at having to pay a large deductible or even for their entire repair when they deem the obstacle in the road, in this case a pothole, unavoidable.

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