Profitt Report: Will auto insurance cover your pothole-related vehicle repairs?
Potholes and Michigan roads go together all too well. They’re usually just a spring-time nuisance but if you’re unlucky enough to drive into a bigger pothole, it can do some damage to your wallet.
Pothole damage cost drivers $15 billion in vehicle repairs in a five-year span according to AAA. In a lot of cases, it just doesn’t make sense to involve your insurance.
“If it is just tires, that is not covered by insurance or by the road commission or anybody else, you are on the hook for your own,” said Karen Foco of AAA in Flint Township.
If the under carriage is damaged, that’s where you might start considering insurance.
First, pothole damage falls under collision coverage and most people have it, but make sure you do.
Next, the Insurance Alliance of Michigan said figure out your deductible.
“You want to have an estimate done to see what the repairs would cost and compare that to what your deductible is if you have collision coverage,” said Lori Conarton of the Insurance Alliance of Michigan.
Here’s what often happens: your collission coverage will reimburse you for repair costs, minus the deductible. Most deductibles are $500- 1,000.
In a 2016 study, AAA found more drivers pay about $300 for pothole-related damage, not typically meeting the deductible.
Foco said you can still file, it’s your option. However, you won’t be reimbursed and your rates might go up.
In certain cases, the state will reimburse you if the pothole is on a state trunk line. However, MDOT’s website says majority of claims are denied under governmental immunity laws.
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