The Albany area is notorious for potholes big enough to swallow a car!
Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but, in all seriousness, potholes can really cause some surprising damage to your car and they can just pop up out of nowhere! I kind of equate it to stepping on that random Lego brick your 6 year old haphazardly drops on the floor. You didn’t see it coming but you sure know it when your paths collide.
This past spring, I had a customer text me to see if their rental reimbursement coverage on their auto insurance would pay the cost of renting a car while they searched for a new car. Now, if you’re just car shopping, your auto insurance isn’t going to rent you a car as a convenience, so the first question that popped into my mind was “what happened to your old car?” He told me that he hit a pothole and he was about to junk the car. The ball joint broke and the entire wheel came off the car plus the car was 10 years old with well over 100k miles on the odometer.
First of all, that must have been one monster pothole! Secondly, he didn’t realize that his auto insurance covers damage caused by hitting a pothole.
When I told him that his auto insurance would pay for the repair to his car plus the cost of renting a car during the repair, he didn’t believe me. He texted me back to inform me that I must have not understood – he hit a pothole; he didn’t collide with another car he told me. The good news for him is that he technically collided with the ground and that’s covered by collision coverage.
Before he texted me, he was prepared to call a junkyard and sell his car for scrap. After checking in with me, he was ecstatic because his auto insurance was not only going to pay for his rental car, it was also going to pay for the repair of his car.
John Lofrumento, CFP®, FSCP®, RICP®
President, The Lofrumento Agency
Clifton Park, NY / Ballston Lake, NY