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Problem Solvers: Options when paying for pothole damage

Posted at 6:46 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 09:09:31-05

TULSA, Okla. — Out on the road, they're waiting for you. Those monster potholes with a huge appetite ready to devour tires, rims, vehicles and wallets.

"This is what we came up with, it bent this up and we're looking at $619 here," Glen Paquette said.

Paquette said he got a panicked call from his daughter a few days ago. He said his daughter was driving near Admiral and Memorial when she hit a pothole, swerved out of control, jumped the curb and got stuck in the mud. It took a $500 tow to pull the car with a mangled wheel out of the mud and take it to the repair shop.

"I was mad at her to start with but that's the kind of thing you really can't blame on anybody."

Mechanics said $600 dollars is an average middle of the road repair for pothole damage. Many repairs cost more, hundreds more.

Paquette is out a total of $1,100. So, he's going to file a claim with the city even though he knows it's a long shot.

"We're on a fixed income. So, anything would help," he said.

But in some cases, there may be another option. If the damage to your vehicle is extensive enough, your auto insurance may help pick up the tab. But you have to have collision coverage, and you'd have to pay your deductible.

"People have insurance, they should use it," said Dan Karr, an insurance industry analyst. "Lot of people are scared to use it because they're afraid their rate will go up and things like that."

Karr said any rate increase would be small if any at all. For example, if your repair bill is upwards of $1,500 and you have a $500 deductible, he'd claim it. Karr said it just depends on your situation and your budget.

"There's not much reason to be worried about a claim like this because it's not some egregious accident where the driver was doing something wrong," he said.

Paquette said he'll take a look at both options.

"If I could get half of this back, I'd be tickled," he said.

We'll check back with Paquette as his claim is considered to see if he's able to smile even a little.

As Paquette files his claim, we'll see what information and proof the city requires. To report potholes or file a damage claim, call 311 or click here.

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