Is your car covered by insurance if you hit a pothole, damaging your rims?

Typically, damage to your vehicle from hitting a pothole would be covered by your physical damage insurance coverage, particularly your collision insurance.

Key Highlights
  • Your physical damage insurance, or collision coverage, would pay for damage to your car caused by hitting a pothole. 
  • If the rims are custom, you should check with your insurance provider to determine if your specific policy covers them. 
  • You won’t be able to file an auto insurance claim for your damaged rims if your vehicle has liability coverage. 

Collision coverage covers your vehicle when you collide with another vehicle or object. The object you hit may be construction debris, a guardrail or even a pothole. Comprehensive coverage is the other physical damage coverage; it covers theft, fire, glass breakage, striking an animal and damages related to natural occurrences — such as hail or wind.

While damages to your car should be covered by collision coverage, aftermarket parts added to a vehicle aren’t always covered. You need to check with your auto insurance company to see if your specific policy will cover the rims, especially if they are custom.

If you have custom rims, you should tell the insurance company about them at the inception of your policy or when you place them on the vehicle so that your insurer will know the worth of the rims. Your auto insurance provider could tell you if the rims are adequately covered under your current car insurance policy or if you’d need custom parts and equipment coverage for your rims to be covered.

If you have only liability insurance on your car, you’re out of luck with making an auto insurance claim for your bent rims. Liability does not cover your vehicle.

If you cannot make a claim, you may want to look into what other avenues are available to you for compensation.

If the pothole had been there for a long time, it might be possible to claim the state or local agency responsible for the roadway where your accident occurred. Contact your state’s department of motor vehicles for more information.