You're driving your car on a beautiful fall weekend. You're with your children, you're about to head over to your in-laws, and then it happens. You're sidetracked while looking at the scenery around you. All of a sudden you hear and feel your car hiccup - it was a pothole.
This road hazard is defined as anything present in or on the surface of the road that may be a potential danger to the driver or may otherwise cause an auto accident. A pothole is a common road hazard, especially in spring, as they usually form by the melting snow and ice that seep into cracks in the road surface.
However, a pothole can occur in any climate or weather conditions. After the water enters the cracks, dropping temperatures refreezes the water causing it to expand. This forces the road or the pavement to buckle and create potholes.
A pothole may have many sudden impacts on a car. Driving over one unexpectedly may result in one or more of the following damages:
An auto insurance policy would only cover damages to the vehicle served by potholes if it has the optional collision insurance coverage as part of the standard car insurance policy. Also, the total damage has to be over the collision deductible amount. This coverage takes care of damage from collision with another car or object on the road, such as a pothole or a deer.
However, this does not cover general wear and tear to the car or its tires owing to the bad road conditions. That damage to the vehicle would separately be managed under the liability coverage. A driver hitting another vehicle or a pedestrian, because of a pothole will also be covered by liability insurance. Liability coverage is applicable to injuries that the driver, the policyholder or a designated driver may cause to others while driving the insured car.
The best way to prevent the damages and avoid the expenses caused by a pothole-related accident is to steer clear of the hazard whenever possible. Strategically sticking to well-known roads and driving a little slower so that the potholes become visible before getting impacted by them are some useful tactics.
However, if and when a car hits a pothole, the policy owner should carefully inspect the tires and wheels for signs of possible damage. Also, he should note how the car behaves afterward. If it starts to pull in one or the other way, or the steering seems little wobbly – it is always recommended to have a mechanic take a look at the damaged car to accurately determine the extent of damage.
Every situation is different, that's why a trusted agent is here to help. If you have any questions, reach out to your local representative.
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