Many people aren’t sure if their auto insurance policy covers damage caused by hitting a pothole, and with the current conditions of the roads in Massachusetts it is a popular topic. The cost to fix or replace tires, wheels, axles, suspension parts etc. can quickly add up, and in some cases people have experienced a total loss from hitting a pothole.
If you carry Comprehensive and Collision coverage on your auto insurance policy and your vehicle is damaged by a pothole, you likely do have coverage. However, deciding whether or not you should file the claim is something you should strongly consider.
Damage resulting from hitting a pothole is a single vehicle accident, which is considered an at-fault accident by an insurance company. Although it may seem unfair, you could receive a surcharge for filing a claim for damage from a pothole. A pothole is considered a road hazard, and car insurance companies want you to be a safe, and be a defensive driver by avoiding dangers in the roadway whenever possible.
Depending on the amount of your deductible and the amount of the damage you may want to consider paying for the repairs yourself if you are financially able to. If the damages aren’t at least twice your deductible you should strongly consider not filing the claim. In Massachusetts, an at-fault accident applies points to your license for a period of 6 years. If the payout for the accident is from $500-$2,000, 3 points are assessed, and a payout over $2,000 is 4 points. On average, it’s about $100 per point, per year. However, there are many factors that can cause it to be more or less than the $100 per point estimate.
You do have the right to contest points assessed due to hitting a pothole, and to learn more about that click here: http://www.massrmv.com/MeritRatingBoard/AbouttheMeritRatingBoard.aspx
Many companies now offer Accident forgiveness which can either be purchased for a premium or is earned over time, and it is highly recommended. It could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in surcharge premium if an accident does occur. We all think “it won’t happen to me” but for the cost of the additional coverage, it is well worth it.
To learn more about pothole damage related to car insurance check out the link provided.
To learn more about Accident Forgiveness check out our Blog Post.
(Link to Accident forgiveness blog)