Hitting a pothole is almost unavoidable, especially after storm season. Roads eventually wear down, creating large holes with sharp edges. As much as you try to avoid the pothole, there a times when you just can’t.
If you’re lucky, the tire can ride over the pothole without causing any damage. If you’re not lucky, a pothole can damage your tire, the wheel, and your suspension. It may even affect your steering and the exhaust system.
Repair costs can be quite expensive. According to The Quote Inspector, the first question any car owner will have is, “Will my auto insurance pay to cover the damage?” Liability insurance will not cover any pothole damage because that insurance applies only if a car owner damages another car. In order to seek payment for pothole damage due to a car accident, the car owner must have collision insurance.
Typically, a collision policy will cover direct and accidental loss to any covered vehicle, minus the deductible. So, the next question to ask if whether the deductible is more than the estimate. If your deductible is $1,000 and the cost to fix the pothole damage to your car is $750, there’s no point in filing a collision damage. If the damage estimate is more than the deductible, then another question to ask is, whether any exclusions apply?
Auto collision polices generally exclude the following car damage:
- Wear and tear
- Mechanical or electrical failures
- Road damage to tires
- Other types of damage or events that cause damage
If only your tire was damaged (and tire damage is excluded), then your insurance company may deny your claim. If you have a road hazard warranty for your tires, often from the company that put new tires on your car, you could always go through that. As a practical matter, if just your tire is damaged, the cost to fix or replace the tire is probably less than your deductible.
In most cases, if your tire is damaged, then your wheel damage (which normally isn’t excluded) should be covered.
Why filing a claim may be a bad idea regardless of the cost
According to Quote Insider, collision claims are considered “chargeable” claims. This means that if you have any discounts based on a safe driving record or based on not having filed any claims, then you may lose that discount. Collision claims are treated differently (for charging purposes) from liability claims provided someone else was liable – not you.
Car owners, then, need to consider whether the cost of losing the discount and the amount of the deductible is more than (or close to) the damage estimate. If so, it may be in your best interest to repair the pothole damage by paying for the repairs yourself.
If you were in any type of accident, call the Alabama car accident lawyers at Mezrano Law Firm today. You can call us at 205.206.6300 or use our contact form. to schedule an appointment. Our attorneys fight aggressively for all car owners and car accident victims. We have offices in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Mobile, Montgomery, Florence, and Gadsden.