What to do if your vehicle has pothole damage

Once the weather starts to warm up and the snow begins to melt, it's a sign that spring is around the corner and potholes will be, too. But how can you protect your car in time for pothole season? Let's talk about what coverage you may want to consider having, what preventative measures you can take and what you can do if your car is damaged from a pothole.

Does insurance cover damage from potholes?

If you were to have damage to your vehicle caused by a pothole, your insurer will likely consider it a collision, even if no other vehicles were involved. Your insurance policy can cover the pothole damage; however, you'd need to have either Collision or All Perils coverage added to your car insurance policy. If you do have the coverage mentioned above, consider the extent of damage and cost of repairs against the cost of your deductible prior to submitting a claim. It may make most sense to pay for the damage out of pocket if the cost of repairs are less than your deductible.

What should you do if your vehicle is damaged by a pothole?

If you’ve driven into a pothole and can tell something's wrong with your car, the safe thing to do may be to pull over to the side of the road and assess the damage done to your car. Whether you've had damage to the rim, a hubcap, the tire, or any other damage to the vehicle itself, try to take photos of it, if it can be done safely. Make sure to take note of where the pothole is, too. If the pothole is located on a city road, you can report the pothole by calling 311 (city dependent). If calling 311 isn't an option for you, check your city's website to see if there may be an online form available for you to fill out to report the pothole instead. Next, if you think the amount of damage to your vehicle warrants it, you'll want to contact your insurance company to submit a claim. If you're a TD Insurance customer, you can start a claim directly through the TD Insurance app. From the app, you can also find your nearest TD Insurance Auto Centre or a preferred auto shop where repairs completed on your vehicle benefit from our Auto Repair Warranty (conditions apply).

Is the city responsible for damage caused by potholes?

In certain instances, the city may take responsibility for your vehicle's pothole-related damage; however, similar to submitting a claim, there's likely a process that you'd need to go through to determine if they're liable. Let's consider the city of Toronto, for example. If your vehicle was damaged from driving over a pothole on a city road, you are able to make a claim against the city within 10 days of the incident.1 It's important to note that depending on the season, processing times may be longer. If your vehicle's damage is severe, it may make most sense to file a claim through your insurer instead.

Can you prevent damage from a pothole?

Although avoiding certain potholes may be near impossible, there are a few things you can do to minimize the potential impact to your car. Here are some things to consider:

  • Slow down — Taking your time driving over a pothole can help reduce the impact to your tires, rims, and other critical components of your car's supporting structure
  • Keep your tires properly inflated — The impact from potholes is more likely to damage your tires, rims, etc. if they are under or over inflated.
  • Pay close attention—Keeping your eyes ahead on the road can help you spot nearing potholes, giving you enough time to safely avoid them if possible.

Driving past potholes is inevitable, so it's important to ensure you have the proper coverage to protect you and your vehicle in the case your car gets damaged because of one. If you're an existing TD Insurance customer looking to add or check if you already have Collision or All Perils coverage, you can review and manage your policy by logging into MyInsurance. Or, if you're new to TD Insurance, you can get a quote to get started with a policy that fits your needs and budget.

The content on this page is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Coverages described herein may be subject to additional eligibility criteria, limitations and exclusions. In the event you make a claim, potential indemnification is also subject to the receivability of the claim and the type of coverage you bought.

In the case of conflict between the content on this page and your policy wordings, your policy wordings shall take precedence. Please speak to an Advisor or consult your policy wordings for further details.