Does MA Auto Insurance Cover Pothole Damage?

IMG404With the freezing temperatures over the last couple of months, you’re likely encountering quite a few potholes on Massachusetts roads. Potholes form when water beneath the road surface freezes and expands, causing the asphalt to shift and break apart. Although potholes can develop at all times of year, they predominantly appear in the spring after an exceptionally cold winter. Therefore, spring if often known as pothole season. If you encounter a pothole and damage your car, you are probably wondering, “does MA auto insurance cover pothole damage?”

MA Auto Insurance Collision Coverage

If your MA auto insurance policy has collision coverage, that could technically cover pothole damage. However, here’s the complicating part. Potholes typically cause minor damages. It’s likely that the amount of damage is less than your collision deductible. For example, a damaged tire may cost $300 but your auto insurance deductible is $500. In this case, you would not be able to use MA auto insurance to cover pothole damage. However, if a pothole caused you to veer off the road and hit something, then you may have more significant damage. You may elect to file an insurance case to cover the damages exceeding your deductible.

Coverage for Pothole Damage

If you do file an insurance claim for pothole damage, here are a few things you should know. First, you may or may not get penalized by your insurance company for filing the claim. This type of claim is similar to one where your car gets damaged by an unknown vehicle (i.e. it was hit while parked). Most MA auto insurance companies will not penalize you unless you have a history of filing claims. That history would be used against you at the next renewal period and would result in a higher premium. It’s not the the insurance company is directly penalizing you, but filing a lot of claims makes you a higher risk, and therefore you will be charged a higher premium.