No matter how careful you are, it is almost impossible to avoid potholes. These hard-edged wheel benders seem to come out of nowhere and if you avoid them with your front tires, chances your rear tires ones will bear the brunt of the force from the contact. You might find yourself wondering, “Are potholes covered by Auto Insurance?”
Luckily, today’s autos are designed to absorb a hit and most damage sustained from a pothole is relatively minor. Unless a wheel is ripped off the vehicle, most damage will not exceed the $500.00 deductible that most drivers carry on their collision insurance. In fact, the most common damage from potholes are:
- Lost wheel weights used for balancing tires. This is an easy fix for any garage and according to most tire companies; your tires should be rotated and balanced every 4-6,000 miles as part of normal maintenance. Of course, anytime you notice vibrations in the steering, tire balance should be checked.
- Bent wheel rim. Most steel and aluminum rims can be repaired or straightened at a very nominal cost. Wheels that can’t be repaired can be replaced with a used part pretty easily.
- A broken belt in the tire. Although there is no visual clue, you will notice substantial vibration and noise coming from the tire. An auto service station can check your tires for damage. If a belt is broken you will have to replace the tire according to the tires road hazard warranty.
All of these repairs should easily be under the $500 threshold for the normal insurance deductible.
In fact, if you have a lower deductible than $500, you are already suffering from an insurance loss and are losing money annually. Raising your deductible from $100 or $250 to a minimum of $500 or more will save you enough money to regularly have the suspension and your tires professionally inspected and adjusted. This alone will give you piece of mind and save you by increasing your tires lifetime.
Further, you should consider that some insurance companies regard a collision with a pothole to be an “at-fault” accident, which could raise your rates. Losses under $1,000 should probably be paid out-of-pocket.
Calling your local insurance agent is a quick call to have him check your deductibles for suitability. He can also recommend coverage enhancements that you may need. Remember good insurance is for life’s emergencies not for normal vehicle maintenance.
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