With the Beast from the East behind us, the snow and ice has melted, but it left behind another problem for motorists, potholes. Road issues are a common problem after any extreme cold weather, resulting in cracks and potholes on the surface.
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who hadn’t been driving along and without warning they heard the dreaded clunk as they’ve driven over a pothole, and in some cases, it can damage their vehicle and bills can soon mount up when having it repaired.
Claiming the Repair Cost Back
We’ve done the research, and in some cases, you could be able to claim the cost of the damage to your vehicle back from the authority responsible for keeping the road in a safe standard. We’ve put together some key points below on when to claim.
- Have the roads been maintained properly?
If you believe the road has not been maintained properly, then you have your initial basis for a claim. At a maximum you’ll only be able to try and claim for the full cost of the repair, and in some cases, you will only get a portion of it. The laws which state that authorities must keep roads in a safe condition will be the ones that your claim will be made against.
- Reporting the Pothole
Finding out who is responsible for road is your next step, and at this point you must report the pothole to them, not just as a preparation for your claim, but you’ll also be helping other road users stay safe.
- Ensure you have evidence
You’ll likely know that any claim for anything will need some evidence to back it up, and we recommend you get the following:
- Photos of the pothole (be careful, and don’t put yourself in danger when obtaining them!).
- Photos of the surrounding area, try and take one in each direction of the road, clearly showing the pothole and road signs. This way it’s very clear where the pothole was.
- Photos of the damage to the external parts of your car (tyres, alloys etc).
- Take note of the time and date that you hit the pothole, and if you can get the contact details of a witness that saw it happen.
- When getting your repairs done initially, ensure that you tell your mechanic what happened, and ask for confirmation in writing that the damage caused was due to the car hitting a pothole.
This should be enough for you to submit a claim, and if the local authority finds they are in the wrong, you should get at least some of the repair costs back. If not, you can appeal, and even go further, requesting FIO data to find out whether the authority was checking the road, and repairing as often as it should have been. If not, you could be able to make a claim based on negligence with that as evidence.
Another thing to consider is whether the local authority knew about the pothole, if the pothole is new, the authority has done the right checks, and no one has reported it as a hazard, it’s unlikely that your claim will be successful.
Can I Claim on my Insurance?
If your insurance policy is fully comprehensive, then it’s very likely your covered, but consider that claiming could affect your renewal premiums and no claims bonus, and you’ll be required to pay any excess.
The key thing to remember is that you don’t have to claim on your insurance right away, so it’s worth going through the process of trying to claim the costs back from the local authority first.
Regardless over whether you claim on your insurance, always let your insurer know about the incident as soon as possible as it’s important that they are aware of any damage to the vehicle.
At Call Wiser we believe it’s better to talk, that’s why we have highly trained, friendly staff based in the UK that specialise in finding you the best possible deal on your insurance. Give our team a call today on 0800 298 2190 and together we could save you hundreds of pounds on your insurance each year.