What to do when a pothole damages your car

Potholes are such a familiar and unwelcome sight on our roads, to the point where we’re all experts in what these annoyances are. By now, every South African knows that a pothole is more than a hole in the road. It’s a hole that comes in at around 40mm deep and 30mm wide, although these measurements are just a guide. Did you know that potholes are usually the result of when water seeps into the road surface, causing the road to expand and contract as the water freezes and melts due to temperature changes?

And then you’ve got a hole in the road, just waiting to cause damage. Sometimes, there’s not a lot you can do to avoid potholes, but some are worse than others which can lead to expensive repairs.

Here’s how to recoup your costs and make a claim for pothole damage.

Claim from the king

Your first option is to put in a claim with the king, assuming that you’ve got simple cheap car insurance with the king of insurance already. We’ve made it really easy for you to claim. Simply call us on 0860 50 50 50 and chat to our claims team, who will help you through the process.

But let’s say you’re not insured with us… We can still give you a few pointers to make this easy as pie. Just keep in mind that while this list will help, most insurers have their own process.

To put in a claim:

  • Contact your insurer to tell them what’s happened and follow their instructions.
  • Snap a few pics of the pothole and if you can, show measurements or scale.
  • Turn your camera to the damage done to your car, getting pics of the tyres, rims, and other related damage.
  • Make a note of the date, time, weather conditions, and location of the pothole.
  • Do what your insurer says, like getting your car to their assessor in the timeframe they specify.

Claim from the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL)

There’s also the option of claiming from SANRAL if the pesky pothole that damages your car happens to be located on national roads maintained by SANRAL. It’s just possible that SANRAL could be liable.

To claim from SANRAL for pothole damage, there’s a bit more to it than what we’ve mentioned above. You’ll need to prove that they were negligent in not repairing a pothole that has already been reported. If you find that the pothole has been reported and not repaired, don’t celebrate just yet. SANRAL could then hold the contractors they hired to fix the pothole, responsible for the damages caused to your car.

The claims process can be a bit lengthy, and the likelihood of whether your claim gets paid depends on how strong your case is.

To put in your claim, here’s what you need to do:

  • Contact SANRAL directly.
  • Have your ID, driver’s licence, and vehicle registration info on hand.
  • Make sure you’ve got proof of what happened, including pics and perhaps a video.
  • Have 3 quotes for the cost of the repairs at the ready.
  • If the repairs are already completed, have an invoice for these costs ready.
  • A damage report from a professional assessor.
  • An affidavit describing what happened.
  • An affidavit stating that you don’t have insurance to cover this cost.
  • A declaration that you’ve signed about the incident.

Claim from your local municipality

It’s just possible that you could claim from your local municipality for pothole damage to your car. Of course, it’s important to note that not all municipalities will pay up for these damages. In fact, you can really only claim from the City of Johannesburg, the City of Cape Town, and eThekwini Municipality (Durban).

Added to that, each municipality has its own processes. What’s important to know now, is that if you want to claim from your municipality for damages, you absolutely have to follow their process and provide all the required info and docs.

Remember, the king has your back

Essentially, there may be a few avenues open to you if you need to claim for pothole damage and don’t have car insurance. But it can be a bit of a lengthy process, and nothing is guaranteed.

It’s far better to have the certainty that the king will have your back. If you don’t already have our simple cheap car insurance, then WhatsApp or call us on 0860 50 50 50 for a commitment-free quote or you can click here to get the process started online.

Psst… This blog provides general info only, and doesn’t count as financial or product advice from King Price or our legal and compliance experts. Remember, all our premiums are risk-profile-dependent, and T’s and C’s apply. Our most up-to-date KPPD (policy wording) can always be found here.

Our website T’s and C’s can be found here.

What to do when a pothole damages your car
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What to do when a pothole damages your car
Can you claim for pothole damage if you don’t have car insurance? It’s possible. It’s not as easy as claiming with the king, but it’s possible.
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King Price Insurance
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