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Potholes: Who's At Fault?

As residents in a state that experiences all four seasons, we know that roadways can deteriorate quickly. It’s a running joke in Michigan that we actually only have two seasons – winter and construction. Because of this a frequent question we get from our auto insurance clients is: “why is it my fault when I have damage from a pothole?” This can be one of the most frustrating claims for our insureds to deal with.

Potholes are often very difficult to avoid, so why would an insurance company charge for an at-fault accident because of one? Many people believe that because the condition of the road lead to a repair this mitigates their responsibility or “at-fault” status. It’s important to know that this is NOT the case. All insurance companies use standard language in their policies, which state that if you hit anything that is avoidable you will be charged for an accident. This includes potholes as they are stationary and could be driven around. We understand that depending on the size of the hole and traffic conditions it isn’t always safe to do so, but this is the practice of the insurance industry. This isn’t the answer most people want to hear but it is the way insurance policies are currently written in the United States.

At Ieuter Insurance Group we know the citizens of Michigan are hoping things will change. We are here to do whatever we can to advocate for you!