Potholes are an inconvenience to every driver. Figuring out whether your auto insurance policy cover pothole damage may seem confusing. This guide will help explain whether pothole damage is covered in your auto insurance policy in Hudson, NY.
What Is Auto Insurance?
Auto insurance covers your vehicle while you are out on the road. The foundation of your policy is comprehensive, collision, and liability coverages. Collision coverage protects your vehicle if it suffers damage from hitting another vehicle or object. Liability coverage protects your vehicle if you are ruled to be at fault for the damages. Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle if it is stolen, vandalized, or damaged due to a fire or another type of natural disaster.
Can Hitting a Pothole Cause Damage to My Car?
If you hit a pothole, the tires and wheels of your car may be damaged due to the impact. The damage mainly depends on the speed of your vehicle and the size of the pothole. The car parts that may be damaged and need repair are:
- Wheel rims and hubcap
- Steering components
- Shock absorbers
- Suspension parts
- Exhaust system
Does My Auto Insurance Cover Damage Caused By Potholes?
Any damage caused by potholes is normally covered if you have collision coverage. If you hit a pothole and it causes a chain reaction, liability coverage will protect you from paying for the damages. You can also consider filing a grievance with the state. If you opt for this process, you’ll have to explain how the roads’ condition led to your vehicle suffering pothole damage.
How to Know Whether I Have Pothole Damage Coverage?
You must read your policy thoroughly to know whether you are protected against pothole damage. If you have collision coverage in your auto insurance policy, you can file a claim with your insurance provider to cover the repair and replacement expenses of the damaged car parts.
In several cities, the city council or the department of transportation may provide limited compensation for car damage due to potholes in specific jurisdictions.
Is Pothole Damage to Rims Covered by My Car Insurance?
Typically, your collision coverage will cover the rim damage caused by hitting a pothole. However, if your car has customized rims, you may have to buy extra coverage as collision coverage does not always cover customized components of your car that have been damaged.
You must ask your insurer whether your collision coverage will cover customized rim damage costs or if you need to purchase extra coverage.
Does Pothole Damage Coverage Include Potholes of All Sizes?
Big and deep potholes are more likely to cause damage to your car but if you come across a pothole abruptly and do not have sufficient time to reduce the car’s speed, even a small pothole can lead to damage.
If hitting a pothole causes considerable damage to your car, you can file a claim with your insurance provider regardless of the pothole size. If your auto insurance includes collision coverage and the compensation amount is higher than the fixed deductible, your insurer will pay for the damage expenses.
What Causes Potholes to Form?
Potholes often form during the winter and spring months due to extreme weather conditions. They are formed when groundwater enters the layer under the concrete. When the water freezes, it expands and contracts. Eventually, the water weakens the area under the pavement. By the time the ice melts, the pavement has already started to bend or crack. As vehicles drive over the weak spot, the material becomes displaced, which creates a pothole.
Pothole damage impacts your vehicle by compromising your steering, suspension, and alignment systems. Driving over potholes can also damage your vehicle’s tires. Pothole damage can also cause subtle changes to your vehicle. You may start to notice that your vehicle is harder to control or pulls in one direction. You may notice dents in your rims or bulges in the sidewalls. Pothole damage can also cause low tire pressure.
How Does Collision Coverage Work for Pothole Damage?
If your vehicle hits a massive pothole, you can use collision coverage to help with the repairs. Be aware though that you’ll have to meet your deductible first before coverage kicks in. Try to find a few auto insurance pothole damage quotes before making a decision. In some cases, it may be more beneficial to simply pay for the repairs out of pocket. The limit for your collision coverage is normally equal to the value of the car.
Should You Always File a Claim for Pothole Damage?
In most cases, hitting a pothole is a single-vehicle accident and your insurer considers you to be at fault. If you have collision coverage, you can file a claim but it may lead to an increase in your auto insurance costs.
Damage to the vehicle in such incidents is mostly minimal. If the repair cost is lower than the deductible you need to pay before your insurer covers the remaining cost, it is always better to pay the expenses on your own rather than filing a claim. In the event of extensive damage to your vehicle, you must get it checked by an auto mechanic and get an estimate of the repair costs and then decide whether you need to file a claim for damages caused by potholes.
How Can You Prevent Pothole Damage?
In most cases, you can avoid potholes by slowly changing lanes when you see one approaching. When you’re driving at night or during inclement weather, make sure that your tires are properly inflated with good tread depth. Tires are built to withstand possible pothole damage. If avoiding the pothole is not possible, make sure that you keep your wheels straight when you make contact with the pothole.
Driving over a pothole can be a mild annoyance. However, they have the potential to cause real damage to your car over time. Do you have any questions when it comes to your auto insurance policy? Call the professionals at Kneller Agency today to get started on quality coverage you can count on. As an independent agency, we work for you, getting you the best price and coverage from among our many providers. We work with motorists in Chatham, Copake, Valatie, and neighboring communities in New York. We look forward to hearing from you.
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