Watch the Road: Pothole Season

Pothole dodging making its annual debut…

According to a study by AAA, pothole damage costs Americans about $3 billion annually. And the state and counties are not usually liable for any of that damage.

Wisconsin roads were rated number 44 in the US in 2016. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that all this construction the last year has helped us move up in the rankings, but until we completely eradicated potholes, here are a few tips to keep yourself safe and avoid paying into the $3 billion statistic:

  • Be aware.
  • Watch for slowing traffic.
  • Move over for work crews.
  • If necessary, report serious pavement issues to your local authorities.

Pothole damage should be covered by your collision policy, because you, well, “collided” with a pothole. It wouldn’t be covered if it only causes damage or wear and tear to your tire. Collision policies come with a deductible, however in many cases the damage done would not be enough to make a claim worthwhile. But, if your entire suspension needs to be replaced or you simply can’t afford repairs at this time, using your insurance may be a necessity.

Depending on the damage caused – from heavy wear on ball joints and struts to suspension knocked out of alignment to flat tires – it can cost anywhere from $25 for a tire patch to $5,000 for a full suspension replacement.

If you do get damage to your vehicle from a pothole, take photos of everything – the scene, the pothole, your vehicle. There are occasions the city, county or state (depending on who has jurisdiction) may reimburse you for damages done by a pothole – contact the local department to see if you can apply for reimbursement.

The average cost for pothole repairs is $300. Don’t pay into the statistic – stay aware while driving and contact your Rural Mutual Insurance agent today to see what your pothole coverage is.