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Does Car Insurance Cover Pothole Damage?

Updated: May 2018

If you have collision coverage, you may be able to make a claim on your car insurance policy to help cover sudden, accidental damage to your car from hitting a pothole. However, insurance does not cover wear and tear on your tires or car that occurs over time when you drive on pothole-covered roads.

Vehicle's wheel near a pothole.

How Can Hitting a Pothole Damage Your Car?

Potholes are a fact of life on the road, especially during the winter and early spring months. Harsh weather conditions (particularly freeze and thaw cycles) increase the likelihood of potholes, according to AccuWeather.com.

The Car Care Council says that potholes can damage your steering, suspension and alignment systems. The organization recommends getting your car checked yearly for damage to these systems as well as after driving on poor roads with potholes. Signs of pothole-related damage include loss of control of the car, pulling in one direction, uneven tire wear, low tire pressure, bulges in the sidewalls and dents in the tire rims.

A suburban home.

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How do I know if I am insured for pothole damage?

Some cities, like Chicago and New York, may offer limited compensation for pothole damage if you follow their claim processes. However, you may also be able to make an insurance claim for pothole damage with your own insurance company if you have collision coverage. Read your policy or ask your agent to see whether pothole damage is covered.

How Does Collision Coverage Work?

Collision coverage helps pay to repair damage to your car if you collide with another vehicle or object. It's important to remember that your collision coverage only helps pay for sudden, accidental damage from hitting a single pothole. It does not pay for damage that occurs over time from driving on pothole-covered roads.

If you hit a pothole big enough to cause front-end damage, your collision coverage may help pay for repairs, up to your coverage limit and minus your deductible.

The coverage limit is the maximum amount your insurance will pay for a covered claim. The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket toward a covered claim (for example, $500). You choose your deductible when you buy collision coverage.

If you lease or finance your car, your lender may require you to have collision coverage as part of your car insurance policy. If you own your vehicle outright, collision coverage is an optional coverage.

Have questions? Get in touch with a local agent, who can help you understand your coverage options.

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This content is for informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations.

Coverage subject to terms, conditions, and availability. Policy issuance is subject to qualifications. Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL. © 2018 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.
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