Hit A Pothole? Your Auto Insurance May Cover It

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Avoiding Renter's Regret: Understanding Renter's Insurance Coverage

Moving into my first apartment brought along a whole series of new experiences. I didn't realize that the property insurance my landlord carried wouldn't cover my belongings. I was lucky to find out before anything happened, and I spent a lot of time researching the difference between renter's insurance and the property coverage for landlords. I built this site to share all of the information that I learned, including the insurance coverage best practices I picked up along the way. If you're new to renting and don't have any renter's insurance, I hope the information here helps you to see how it could benefit you and what you need to do to get it.


Hit A Pothole? Your Auto Insurance May Cover It

26 January 2017
 Categories: Insurance, Blog

Seeing a nasty pothole in the middle of the road can bring dread to almost any driver. Running over one could definitely put a damper on your day, especially if it results in wheel and/or tire damage. But before you shell out hundreds of dollars for a new wheel or tire, you might want to take a second look at your auto insurance policy.

How Does Your Insurance Cover Pothole Damage?

You can have your auto insurance provider foot the bill for your vehicle's pothole damage, but only if you have collision coverage added to your auto insurance policy. Whereas your liability coverage covers damage sustained by another vehicle in an accident, collision coverage takes care of the cost to repair or replace your vehicle.

So what does this have to do with potholes? You can use your collision coverage to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your wheel after its disastrous encounter with a pothole. You can also use your coverage to fix or replace any suspension components that were damaged after striking a pothole. For instance, your insurance may cover the cost of replacing a damaged control arm or strut.

What Do You Need to Do?

The overall process for making a claim for pothole damage is nearly identical to any other claim involving your vehicle. Simply follow your insurance provider's instructions for filing a claim and don't hesitate to ask questions if you're unsure about the process.

Depending on your collision coverage, you may have to pay a deductible before the insurance company steps in. If you carry a high deductible, however, the cost of your deductible could outweigh the cost of repairing or replacing your wheels, tires, and other damaged components. Having "zero deductible" collision coverage can be advantageous since you won't have to pay anything upfront before having your wheels and tires repaired or replaced.

Are There Any Exceptions?

Keep in mind that your collision coverage may only cover catastrophic damage done to your wheels and tires after striking a pothole. A good example is if one of your alloy wheels shatters immediately after hitting a pothole. In this case, your auto insurance will gladly foot the bill. If you hit a pothole and experience only abnormal wear and tear, your insurance might not cover the damage.

What Are Your Alternatives?

If your auto insurance provider declines to cover your vehicle's pothole damage, it may be possible to recover your damages from the municipality responsible for maintaining the responsible section of roadway. However, filing a claim against a municipal or state entity could take significantly longer than having your own auto insurance take care of the damage.