Whether you should file a pothole damage claim depends on the severity of the damages and the subsequent repair costs. If the repairs cost less than your deductible, it makes sense to pay out of pocket rather than filing a claim. Note that the average collision deductible is $500, and the average repair cost for pothole damage is $306,2 so in that case, filing a claim doesn’t make sense.
Still, some pothole damage is more expensive and can exceed $1,000, especially if it involves damage to the suspension, steering, or alignment. We recommend getting repair estimates from two or three licensed mechanics before deciding if it’s worth filing a claim.
How Deep Does a Pothole Have to Be to File a Claim?
The good news? There’s no minimum pothole depth required for you to file a claim. The claim is based on your car’s damage, not the pothole’s depth. So it’s OK to put your measuring stick away when you’re at the proverbial scene of the crime.
Will You Have to Pay Your Deductible?
If you file a pothole damage claim, you’ll have to pay your collision deductible. Not sure how deductibles work? A deductible is the amount you’ll pay toward a covered claim before your insurance provider contributes.
For example, if your deductible is $500 and your pothole damage repairs cost $1,000, you’d pay the first $500, and then your insurance provider would pay the second $500. That’s why, if your repairs cost less than your deductible and you’ve yet to meet your deductible, paying out of pocket is much easier than filing a claim and then paying a portion of your deductible.
How to Make a Pothole Damage Claim
If your repairs cost more than your deductible and you’ve decided to file a claim, here’s what to do:
- Contact your insurance company. You can submit a claim virtually, by mail, or over the phone through your insurance agent or company.
- Submit your evidence. Include your notes, photos of the damage, and police report, if any, in the claim you submit. How long insurance claims take varies greatly by company.
- Meet with an adjuster. An adjuster will assess your car’s damage (either in person or through the photos you took), estimate the repair cost, and determine your coverage.