Pothole season ramping up; insurance offers little help

Potholes continue to be a big problem this winter.
Potholes are everywhere in the coming weeks it will likely get worse.

What happens when you hit one and damage your car. Do you file for insurance help?

After hitting a pothole and filing a claim, insurance costs go up.

"It is considered and at-fault accident because it is a single car accident," said Dave Arce of State Farm Insurance. "It is similar to running over a parking curb, backing into a pole, hitting black ice and sliding into a guard rail. 

"When you have a single car accident, it's your fault."

Insurance companies say the driver is at fault because you could have avoided the pothole. 

And being at-fault is significant because it raises insurance 10 percent per year for three years.

If two at-fault accidents are reported in those three years, Arce says there could be a policy cancellation.

Unless your damage is at least $1,500 or more, customers are choosing not to make an insurance claim. 

"Most people have a $1,000 deductible, so a lot of times they self-pay the whole thing," said Marie Kozey. 

Attorney Ven Johnson says there should be state legislation protecting drivers.

"The conditions here, hot and cold, kill roads," Johnson said. "We need legislation that protects the average person from having their insurance rates jacked up through no fault of their own."

Johnson said that suing the city for the pothole is possible but not practical due to the law.

"It's about driving cautiously," Arce said. "In the winter you have to be aware of the road conditions."

"They are paying out of pocket in addition to high premiums," Kozey said. "It's not fair but what do you do."

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