Did you know that hitting a pothole counts as a one car accident to your insurance company? It’s true, and it could cost you if you report that pothole “crash” to your insurance company.
Winter in Michigan means potholes a-plenty. Nationwide, potholes cost drivers nearly $6.4 billion each year. Costs can range from a $50 alignment to $500 or more if you have to replace a wheel.
Last year’s rough winter was rough on drivers. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, one resident was so unhappy with road conditions that he began filling them himself. But the city was not impressed:
“Ann Arbor residents love their city so much that when they see a problem, they want to get out and do something about it. It is admirable that someone took the time and effort to fill a pothole, but we strongly recommend against doing it.”
Does Your Insurance Cover Potholes?
“It is considered and at-fault accident because it is a single car accident,” said Dave Arce of State Farm Insurance. “It is similar to running over a parking curb, backing into a pole, hitting black ice and sliding into a guard rail.”
But filing a claim for pothole damage could be more trouble than it’s worth. Most people have at least a $1,000 deductible on property damage claims. Unless there is significant damage to your car, you will likely still be paying for the repairs out of pocket.
Reporting Pothole Accidents Can Raise Your Insurance Rates
The other problem with reporting a one-car accident like hitting a pothole is that it can raise your insurance rates. That is because any single-car accident is considered an “at-fault accident” because according to the insurance company, you could have avoided it.
Being at fault can raise your insurance rate up to ten percent for up to 3 years. And if you have more than one at-fault accident within that time you could risk losing your coverage all together.
What You Can Do
Instead, insurance companies encourage drivers to report potholes to their local government and file a claim to have your costs reimbursed. In Ann Arbor, residents can call 734-99-HOLES or “Report a Problem” online to have potholes filled.
If damages are significant, more than $1,500, it is worth filing a claim with your insurance company as well. If your insurance company refuses to pay, or if someone is injured as a result of the auto accident, you may need a lawyer to help you get the benefits you deserve. David Christensen and the team at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan, can help you review your options and defend you against the insurance company’s tactics. If you or someone you know has had a serious pothole accident, contact Christensen Law for a free consultation.