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How Do I…File a claim for Pothole Damage with the City

There is a process where you can claim vehicle damage with the City of Toronto.
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Potholes are unavoidable in spring. The freeze-thaw temperatures and melting snow and rain cause cracks to form that can turn a once smooth road surface into a minefield of depressions and holes. And, since potholes form in the areas of the roadway where people drive, there is a chance your vehicle might experience a bump, lose a hubcap or even receive serious damage to your steering, alignment or suspension. If this happens while you are driving in Toronto, there is a process where you can submit a claim for damages within 10 days of the date of the incident.

If you go to the city’s website, there is a claim webform where you can enter information about the location of the pothole, the date the incident happened, what damage you experienced and whether you notified 311. That last part, the City of Toronto’s Media Relations Desk noted to the Toronto Star in an email, is “so that we may request any related service logs as part of the investigation.” That investigation will start with the information in the webform being submitted to the city’s insurance adjuster, ClaimsPro. Once an adjuster has been assigned, added documentation, like photos and receipts, can be submitted.

Sounds easy, but keep in mind a few things: the 400-series highways are under provincial jurisdiction, so this claims process does not cover them; there are minimum standards for road maintenance, including potholes, that regulate how fast the city needs to fix them depending on where they are located and their size; and, drivers should speak to their insurance company before submitting a claim because, as the City of Toronto notes on its website, “Your insurance coverage may be more extensive than what you can recover from the City.”

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