Pesky Potholes…How to claim for your damage!

The roads across Northern Ireland are getting increasingly worse with potholes and even craters appearing more frequently and growing bigger by the day!

I’m sure we have all experienced the loud bang as we’ve hit a pothole causing our face to scrunch as you hope there hasn’t been any damage caused.

In some cases you are lucky enough that your wheels remain unscathed. However, in other cases you may not be so lucky and you discover that your wheel, that used to be in the shape of circle, isn’t quite as circular anymore!

Potholes can cause punctures, cracks and dents to the alloys or wheels alone, never mind the additional damage that can be caused underneath the surface! The damage repairs can amount to hundreds if not thousands of pounds.

Did you know you can claim for these repairs through your comprehensive policy?

Here’s what you need to do:

  1.  Take images of the damage to your vehicle.
  2.  Take images of the pothole in the road and measure the depth and width of the pothole if possible. If you don’t have anything to use to measure, use an object of some sort in your photo to show the size comparison.
  3. Report the pothole via Report a pothole | nidirect
  4. Get an estimate for the repairs to your vehicle from an approved repairer recommended by your insurance company or from your own repairer.
  5. Contact your dedicated claims handlers for your insurance broker or insurance company and initiate the claim process.
  6. Send your estimate in for approval by your insurance company – this is to ensure the garage you are using (if not approved) aren’t overcharging for labour or repairs. Once approved, your garage will be notified and can begin the repairs.
  7. On completion of repairs, pay the excess on your policy, ensuring you retain the receipt. 
  8. Complete a ‘claiming compensation form’ to initiate a claim against the Department of Infrastructure via Claiming compensation due to a road or street problem

The claim process against the Department of Infrastructure can take up to 6 months and so this is why we suggest claiming through your insurance policy initially to ensure you can get your vehicle repaired and get back on the road as soon as possible.

So, in the unfortunate case that you do end up with a damaged vehicle following an unwelcome meeting with a pothole, don’t hesitate to call your claims handling agents to assist you in getting back on the road again!

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