How to file a claim for pothole damage

Reporter: Kellie Miller Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

WINK News Investigations looked into how to file claims if your car is damaged by a pothole.

According to AAA, the average cost of pothole-related repairs is about $400. In cases like the notorious pothole on Michigan Avenue in Fort Myers, it falls upon the city to maintain the roads. That means victims can seek reimbursement from the city.

A massive pothole located between Michigan and Delaware Avenue in Fort Myers. Credit: WINK

First, you’ll need to download and complete an incident report form. It asks for specific details about the incident, like where and when it happened, and the cost of the pothole damage.

Victims must get three damage estimates as part of the process and ensure to submit them along with the form. Keep in mind, you have two to three years to file a claim with the city, but acting sooner is generally better.

Another important consideration is your insurance, which might actually be your best option when filing a claim.

Mark Friedlander from the Insurance Information Institute told WINK News filing a claim against the municipality where the damage occurred can be a challenging process and may not provide you with the level of reimbursement that your insurance provides.

WINK News pressed the city for an interview multiple times, only to be told no. WINK News also sent an email directly to the city’s risk management department but received no response.

If you’ve experienced hitting a pothole, filed a claim, and haven’t been reimbursed for damages, please send WINK News Investigative Reporter Kellie Miller an email at

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