Potholes cost Britain millions of pounds each year in compensation claims and repairs, and the cost is rising all the time.
New data from Admiral shows the average value of a pothole-related compensation claim increased by 55% between 2016 and 2020, going from £1,700 to £2,700 respectively.
Following the Beast from the East in 2018, Admiral saw a spike in pothole-related claims due to the cold weather. The recent freezing temperatures and icy conditions are likely to result in more potholes on UK roads this year too.
March is a particularly heavy time for pothole problems. According to Admiral, 13% of compensation claims take place during the month, which is more than any other.
With pothole damage proving increasingly costly, it’s not surprising that many motorists are starting to become more concerned about this issue.
In fact, 75% of motorists now see potholes as a bigger concern than they did three years ago, according to new research by road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart (Feb, 2021).
The data shows 89% of motorists have been affected by potholes over the last year, with 31% changing their route to avoid a hole in the road. Meanwhile, more than half (54%) have taken action to avoid hitting a pothole, such as breaking hard or steering away.
In England, the government has developed a Pothole Action Fund, with £50 million being allocated for 2020/21 to either fix or prevent potholes from forming.
Driving over a deep pothole, even at low speed, can cause damage to a vehicle.
Tyres, alloy wheels, steering alignment, wheel tracking and balancing and suspension can all be affected. And as newer cars contain more advanced technology, repairs can be more costly to fix.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to claim any money back if your car is damaged on a British road, but we think it’s worth a try.
Here’s our step-by-step guide on claiming compensation for pothole damage:
If you do decide to claim through your car insurance, you won't be alone. Admiral deals with hundreds of pothole-related claims every month. And just like the rise in the cost of compensation claims, our claims team has also seen a rise.
Despite lockdown restrictions in place throughout the UK for much of 2020, the number of pothole-related claims increased by 20% last year compared to 2019, showing the ongoing and increasing problems that potholes cause across British roads.
Lorna Connelly, head of claims at Admiral, says: “Our data shows that potholes continue to cause problems for many motorists, and the cost of repairs is increasing significantly as vehicles become more advanced. Not only can pothole-related damage be dangerous and costly, it can also be difficult to claim compensation from the authority responsible for the road.”
When it comes to claiming for pothole damage on your car insurance, a comprehensive policy offers the more substantial cover.
“Unfortunately, if your car gets damaged on a British road from a pothole, unless you have comprehensive cover, you might not be able to claim on your insurance,” Connelly adds.