Pothole damage: Covered by insurance or are you on your own?

Potholes are showing up everywhere around western Massachusetts

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts is experiencing one of the earliest, and worst pothole seasons in years.

“It’s looking like 2015 all over again,” City Tire Manager Travis Koske said. “Starting pretty early, a month and a half to go, and start doing more damage.”

No reimbursement from state if road defect damages your car

Koske repairs and replaces tires for a living. Many of the tires and rims he’s seen lately have been damaged by deep, jagged potholes that are difficult to avoid.

Koske urges drivers to be informed about which roads are the roughest. “Watch the news and see what roads to stay off of,” Koske said “If you see a hole filled with water be careful of it.”

Your auto insurance will cover damage, but only after you satisfy your deductible.

William Trudeau is president of the insurance center in New England. Trudeau told 22News, only when your car is severely damaged should you seek reimbursement under your collision coverage. Even then, it’s not guaranteed.

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“Unfortunately this would be an at fault claim,” Trudeau said. “It’s considered a collision. Is that fair or not? I’ll leave that for others to judge, but essentially it’s treated the same as if you hit an object.”

Trudeau said making a claim can add points to your driving record. So, your best course of action is to avoid hitting potholes.

Mass DOT will be repairing potholes on I-90 eastbound on Saturday between Exits 3 and 4, Westfield to West Springfield. To keep drivers and work crews safe, Mass DOT will have short-term lane closures between 7:00 a.m. and noon Saturday.