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Trenton, New York Auto Insurance

Trenton Pothole Damage Better Left Unclaimed on Car Insurance

The potholes in Trenton are legendary for causing flat tires and bent rims. Depending on what kind of car you own, damage repairs can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you hit one of the deeper potholes just right. You need to think about how you want to handle repairs before you contact your insurance company, though. You might be surprised to discover that filing a claim might be more expensive than fixing the damage out of your own pocket.

Filing a Claim Could Raise Rates

Any time you file a damage claim through your insurance company there is a chance your rates could increase. While it makes perfect sense to file a claim after an accident that has caused expensive damage, the cost of repairing your wheels after you hit a pothole might be worth handling on your own. Filing a claim with your insurance company can mean paying more for your insurance for years to come. The claim could also disqualify you from certain safe driver discounts that would have saved you money, too. If the repairs will cost under a thousand dollars, you will probably come out ahead financially by finding the most affordable way to fix your car and leaving the insurance company out of it.

Dealerships Extremely Expensive

Another reason to consider taking a pass on filing an insurance claim is that many insurance companies require you to have your car repaired through a dealership with original equipment. While original parts make sense in the engine, they are less vital when it comes to your tires and rims. You can spend two to three times more on replacement wheels through a dealer than through an aftermarket shop. You can find high quality rims through a salvage yard for far less than you would pay the dealer. Leaving the insurance company out of the loop gives you the freedom to find the best deal out there.

Grievances Handled Through the State

New Jersey has established a formal process for residents to file claims with the state after their cars suffer pothole damage on state roads. You can contact the Department of Treasury's Risk Management office during business hours any day of the week to report your damage. The state also requests that you enter information about the location and severity of the pothole using their online submission form. The online submissions are reviewed regularly so that crews can go out to repair potholes as soon as possible.

Sometimes Better to Skip the Insurance Company

Although it is usually your first instinct to contact the insurance company when your car is damaged, it makes sense to weigh the potential cost of higher insurance rates with the cost of repairing the damage yourself. Insurance is great for covering big-ticket damages, but it might be too expensive for smaller issues like wheels and rims. The freedom to choose your own replacements can also make it worth taking on the repair costs yourself.

Enter your zip code in the form on this page to find out how much you could be paying for car insurance in New Jersey.