Potholes: tips to keep you sane
Published on April 15, 2015
Quebec roads don't have it easy! Freezing temperatures, thawing period, a lot of traffic... Just look at the condition of the roads when spring arrives and it's plain to see: potholes multiply! L'Unique General Insurance would like to give you a few tips for a smoother ride this spring and, hopefully, to avoid auto insurance claims!
Limit the damage
Here are a few tips to reduce the damage caused by potholes.
- When spring rolls around, check the air pressure in your tires. If there's too much air, the tire can burst. Not enough air can cause the tire to get stuck between the hole and the wheel.
- When driving, look all around you. Keep a safe distance from the vehicles in front of you. If they hit a pothole or avoid one, you'll have time to react.
See a pothole straight ahead? No way to avoid it? Here's what you should do:
- Hold the steering wheel firmly to maintain control of your vehicle.
- Slow down without slamming on the brakes. If you slam on the brakes, a blocked wheel will get more damaged.
- Pay attention after the impact. Notice any strange sounds or how it handles the road? You should have your vehicle inspected.
Are you insured?
If you added "Damage to insured vehicles – Collision or upset protection" to your basic coverage, the damage cost may be reimbursed. You must pay the deductible, however. If you don't hold the Option 43A "Partial Loss – New Parts" endorsement, you may have to pay a part of the cost for replacement parts based on your car's normal wear and tear and age.
Can you take legal action?
Cities, municipalities and the Ministère des Transports are no longer liable for damage caused to tires and suspensions by the state of roads. Good to know: To get compensated for damage to the body, paint, wheel or bumper of your vehicle, you must be able to demonstrate fault or negligence, like inadequate maintenance.
Want to take legal action?
If you want to take legal action against a city or municipality, you must report the pothole within 15 days following the incident and file your suit within 6 months of the impact. If you want to take legal action against the Ministère, you should report the pothole within a reasonable time frame and file your suit within 3 years of the incident.
Once the pothole has been reported, they must act within a reasonable time frame to eliminate the danger. If the pothole is unreported, you cannot file a claim because there is no proof that they are at fault.
Your insurance broker is there to help you prevent losses. Feel free to contact him or her!