171% rise in pothole claims over first four months of 2018
More pothole insurance claims than the whole of last year
Claims this year top estimated £4.2million
Pothole epidemic ‘a national disgrace’
Potholes are costing drivers and insurers at least one million pounds per month due to massive car repair bills, according to AA estimates.
The AA has seen almost three times as many pothole-related car insurance claims so far this year than it did over the same period last year – an astonishing 171% increase.
The number of pothole claims made during the first four months of 2018 is more than for the whole of last year.
Based on the AA’s share of the car insurance market, the broker estimates that nationally, there will have been over 4,200 claims for pothole damage so far this year. With an estimated average repair bill of around £1,000 that comes to an eye-watering £4.2 million, or more than £1m per month, where drivers consider they have no option but to make an insurance claim.
On top of that, the number of call-outs for AA Patrols to provide assistance following damage after hitting a pothole, has doubled.
Janet Connor, the AA’s director of insurance says: “In most cases the damage caused by a pothole – a ruined tyre or even two tyres and perhaps a wheel rim – doesn’t justify making an insurance claim given that it is likely to lead to the loss of your excess and no-claim bonus. So the claims we are seeing are clearly much worse than that.
“Drivers are hitting potholes and ruining their suspension, steering, the underbody of the car, breaking axles and occasionally being knocked off course and hitting other vehicles, kerbs or a lamp-posts.
“This year we are seeing a growing number of pothole claims described as: ‘car severely damaged and un-driveable’ which didn’t happen at all last year.
“The pothole epidemic has become nothing short of a national disgrace.
“According to the AA’s research, nine out of 10 (88%) of drivers say roads are in a worse state now than 10 years ago.
“Even the Secretary of State for Transport, who in March announced £100 million funding to be sunk into road repairs, admitted we haven’t spent enough on the country’s roads since the 1980s.
“That fund is welcome but no-where near enough. Local council budgets have been squeezed to the extent that competing priorities mean they don’t have the resources to keep their roads up to scratch – hence the £9bn that is estimated to be needed as a one-off investment to restore Britain’s roads.
“Our nation’s highways have become a national embarrassment.”