How to file a claim if potholes damage your car in Metro Detroit

Craters in pavement are causing significant damage

It's pothole season in Metro Detto, and the craters in the pavement are causing some significant damage. Hank Winchester asked you to tell him the problem areas, and Tuesday (Feb. 22), Local 4 went out to Kelly Road near 15 Mile in Macomb County to look at the mess.

DETROIT – It’s pothole season in Metro Detroit, and the craters in the pavement are causing some significant damage.

Hank Winchester asked viewers to tell him the problem areas, and on Tuesday (Feb. 22), Local 4 went out to Kelly Road near 15 Mile Road in Macomb County to look at the mess.

Ferndale also chimed in with concerns about the massive potholes in their area. The good news is that Ferndale had road crews out Tuesday, trying to fill some of the potholes.

Police have been responding to several problems, and the tow trucks have been spotted all over the Metro Detroit area, helping those with flat tires.

Now, what happens when the damage is done? Who pays? Well, it depends. For instance, the Michigan Department of Transportation has a reimbursement program, but it’s complicated.

“You can certainly go on their website and look into what you’ll have to go through to look at what to do to get reimbursed,” said Adrienne Woodland, of AAA Michigan. “We definitely advise drivers to be aware of the roadways. One thing that may look like a puddle of water may actually be a deep pothole.”

Regarding the MDOT reimbursement program, 90% of claims get denied. The state has 30 days to respond to a report of a problem pothole. If they don’t fix the pothole that caused the damage, you get the money, but the damage has to occur on a state roadway for MDOT to cover the costs. Your insurance company may be able to help, but it depends.

“That type of damage typically falls under a collision portion,” Woodland said. “Whether there is a deductible, that depends on your policy and your insurance company.”

If you hit a pothole, make sure you log all of the information. Also, you should take a photo of that pothole and make sure the state has all of the information to make sure you can try to recoup some of that money.


About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.