Are pothole problems costing you money? You might be able to get that flat tire, bent rim and/or broken chassis paid for.
As crews span out across the region to attack thousands of potholes, drivers dealt with figuring out how to pay for the damage done by the potholes crews haven’t gotten to yet.
“By the time I saw it, it was too late to swerve out, there was a car beside me,” said Iyanna Clark after striking the large crater along Haddonfield Avenue near Hollis Avenue in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
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Help could be coming to Clark and other motorists victimized by a Garden State pothole. Motorists can file a pothole damage claim with the State Department of Treasury that includes an estimate of repairs costs, a police report, the specific location of the road hazard and other requirements.
Once a claim is filed, New Jersey promises to resolve the claim within three to six months. A similar program is in place in Pennsylvania. No payment program exists in Delaware.
Despite the pothole payment programs, and motorists carrying car insurance, most repairs done for pothole damage are paid for out of pocket — 65 percent told the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) that they paid for the repairs themselves.
“Before you file an insurance claim for damages, consider the repair costs, and the deductible you have,” advises Mary Ann Gorges, AAA Insurance Sales. “Filing a claim for pothole damage may impact your future insurance rates.”
Even if you plan on paying for the damage done, make sure you alert road crews to the problem that caused it. Departments of transportation ask for motorists to report a pothole as quickly as possible.
Crews have already been hard at work fixing potholes that sprung up after icy roads thawed.
“This has been a brutal winter that has taken a heavy toll on our roads, but I want to assure New Jersey residents that we will spend whatever is necessary to make repairs as quickly as possible,” said NJ DOT Commissioner Jamie Fox.
Fox said NJDOT typically fixes 180,000 potholes a year. But it has already repaired more than 125,000 potholes and expects that number to reach approximately 300,000 this year as they spend $4 million to fix potholes.
Just in Philadelphia alone, road crews expect a near record year for pothole repairs — more than 9,000 already being filled, said Streets Commissioner David Perri.