Potholes! They’re bloody everywhere! You can’t even nip down the shops without being thrown about by the masses of potholes on the road. And, I’m sure, for you lot that travel a lot from site to site, potholes are now just a part of your commute.
But, what happens if these potholes damage your van or car? Well, we decided to take a look at what you lot can actually do when it comes to damage caused by potholes.
According to Money Saving Expert, claiming for pothole damage is possible, as long as you know what you’re doing.
1. Know your potholes!
It’s important to know whether or not what you’ve hit is actually a pothole before you go making a claim. In the eyes of many councils, the height of the hole must be at least 40mm deep. If you hit one less than that, then you can still claim. However, you might be in for more of a battle so you’ll have to weigh up whether it’s really worth it.
2. You’ve got to be able to prove that it was the pothole that caused the damage.
Now, this one might be a bit tricky. Typically, hitting a pothole tends to cause issues to a vehicle’s axis, tyres or wheels. And, chances are, you’ll know if there’s any damage straight away. If you want to claim though, you’ll have to prove it was caused by the pothole.
When taking your vehicle to the damage though, your mechanic should be able to put this in writing for you. Then, you’ll be able to try and claim back the money you spent getting it fixed. Plus, if your vehicle already had some issues, which were then made worse by the pothole, then you’ll be able to claim for these too. Although, you won’t get the full repair costs back.
3. Check who’s responsible…
When you hit a bad pothole, then you need to make other users on the road aware of it. Whether you want to make a claim or can’t be bothered with the hassle it’s always best to report the pothole. And, if you do decide to make a claim, the fact that you reported the issue will go a long way with helping your claim.
You’ll have to check who’s responsible though before reporting the issue as there are different types of authorities who deal with certain sections of the road. You can find this out via Highway England’s Network Map. Once you’ve done this, make sure you ask them whether a claim form can be sent out to you, or whether you can access it online.
4. Know the law!
Legally, highway authorities and agencies here in the UK are required to ensure that the roads are maintained to a safe standard. And, of course, this includes fixing potholes. But, there’s a lot to get through with claims being made that it would take a whopping 14 years to get through the backlog of potholes out there. But, if your vehicle is damaged by what can be seen as the authorities not properly maintaining the roads, then chances are you can make a claim.
How much you can get though is entirely based on the damage caused. Typically, claims range from between three and five hundred pounds.
In terms of the law though, there is no specific legislation in place covering potholes. But, there are certain laws that state that authorities must keep roads safe. These include:
– Parts 42-58 of the Highways Act 1980 (England and Wales)
– Part 1 of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984
– Article 8 of the Roads (Northern Ireland) Order 1993
5. Should you let your insurer know?
If you don’t fancy trying to claim from the authorities then you need to consider whether or not to notify your insurer. An easier process, claiming on your insurance is a lot less hassle but can have further consequences such as no claims bonuses and any excesses you may have.
But, regardless of whether you’re claiming, insurers recommend that you let them know. This then gives you around 5 and 6 months to file a claim if you wish to do so in future. However, there is the risk that this could possibly increase your future premium costs. Regardless of whether or not you claim!
For more top tips and further info, check out Money Saving Expert’s full guide here.
So what do you think? Have any of you tried to claim for pothole damage before? Let us know in the comments below.