Home Car Insurance Advice Can I claim for pothole damage?

Can I claim for pothole damage?

by admin


Many visitors to the Arrive Alive website and the Car Insurance Blog have searched for more information on how to claim for damage to tyres and vehicles as a result of potholes on our roads. These searches are for both the terms pothole and pothole! Irrespective of whether the spelling should be pothole or pothole – this is a source of great agitation for many a road user!

Can I claim for damage caused by potholes?

The easy answer is – Yes – You can. There is a responsibility on the side of the authority to maintain roads and repair potholes. It will however also be a matter for the Law of Evidence as well as a matter to establish blame. The question would be whether there was negligence on the part of the roads or municipal authority in not repairing that pothole – thereby removing a clear and present danger to the road user. There are reported cases in our law of significant damages awarded to people injured in accidents caused by these potholes.

Where do I claim for damages from potholes?

This is where this becomes a bit more technical and difficult. We need to ask the question – where did the damage occur?

The best safety net for road users is the one provided by the National Roads Agency – and this applies to the so-called N-Roads such as the N1, N2, N3 …N12 etc.

SANRAL contracts with road works companies to maintain these roads, and they have to provide proof that they have an insurance policy in place to cover claims for liability from road users.

Claims for damages from potholes on National Roads are therefore directed to SANRAL and from there to the specific contractor on that stretch of road.

On the Municipal roads- where most of the damage will, unfortunately, be caused – the road users would have to approach that specific municipal authority or Department of Public Works and enquire from them which documentation to complete, and to whom to submit such a claim. This might, unfortunately, take more time and is also dependant on the efficiency of that municipal office!

What is needed when submitting a claim for pothole damage?

How-do-I-claim-for-Pot-Hole-damageIt is important to remember that there needs to be information available to evaluate the claim. I these times of insurance fraud it is important to prove that the damage was caused by a specific pothole, at a specific place and to a specific vehicle. It is also important to show that there are not 2 claims for the same damage – so you may not claim from both your insurer and the insurer from the road works company.

We have a copy of such a claims document received via fax from a road user who suffered damage as a result of a pothole. Even though this is from damage on the National Road – this will also provide insight into what would be required for other claims.

Information required would include:

  • Your ID Document
  • Your Drivers License
  • The Registration Details of your Vehicle
  • 3 Written quotes for repair
  • A Declaration signed by the claimant

We would like to suggest that the vehicle owner also provide proof through photos of the pothole and the damage to the tyre and vehicle.

We have made the effort to provide the contents of the claims document for damage from potholes on our National Roads:

Page 1 Cover Letter

Without Prejudice


Please complete and Return To:

The South African National Roads Agency (LTD)
For Attention
The Regional Manager
Northern Region
Private Bag X17


Dimitri Alben
Tel No: 012-426 6200
Email: albend@nra.co.za

Page 2 Information Required

Details Registered Owner of the Vehicle

Name & Surname
ID No:
Tel Home:
Tel Work:
Cell No:
Fax No:
Postal Address:
Physical Address:

Details of Driver at Time of the Incident / If different from the owner

Name & Surname:
ID No:
Tel Home:
Tel Work:
Cell No:
Fax No:
Postal Address:
Physical Address:

Vehicle Details

Registration Number:

Details of Incident

Speed Travelled:
Weather Condition:
Exact Location: National Road eg N1, N2, N3... km...
The direction you were travelling in:

SAPS Information [Only of reported to the SAPS]

SAPS Docket No:
Police Station &Tel:
Date Reported:

Insurance Details

Contact details /Contact person:
Policy Number:

Please attach copies of (1) ID Document (2) Drivers License (3) Registration Certificate of Vehicle together with 3 written quotes for repairs.


I, [Your Full Name Here] hereby declare that this claim for alleged damage to my vehicle on the date and time described above has not been submitted to my insurers indicated or to any other insurers. If evidence to the contrary is revealed, I will accept that my claim will be declared null and void and that no further claim can be instituted against the South African National Roads Agency. I also declare that all the information supplied herein is true.


Page 3 Comprehensive Description of Incident

(This is a requisite to evaluate your claim.)

[Supply a comprehensive description of the incident here.]
[Please supply all requested information to expedite the process.]

Also view:

Potholes and road damage drive demand for tyre insurance in South Africa

Related Articles


Cliff Livingstone Apr 29, 2010 - 9:04 am

Simple pothole incident – drove over pothole, tyre punctured. Changed wheel and took the damaged tyre to tyre retailer – too damaged to repair. Paid r1200,00 and had a new tyre fitted there and then.
This is NOT an insurance matter, NOT a police matter, NOT a reportable matter. How do I claim my R1200,00 back from Johannesburg Municipality.

Leon Naidoo May 3, 2010 - 9:07 am

I hit a pothole last night in Midrand Lever Road. ( 2 May 2010 ) both my front left and back back tyres burst. How do I claim for this damage from the municipality. I have photos of the pothole and the damaged tyres.

WILLIAM May 4, 2010 - 4:14 pm

This is just to keep us happy,submit a claim and they come back ..sorry no way of verifying damages to your vehicle was cause by any negligence on the part of the contractors or road agency.
The poor planning from the contractors and road agency cause everyday road users dearly.
i kept my insurance out of this and just paid cash for the damages.
Why not investigate the claim before you reject it?

Samantha May 18, 2010 - 2:41 pm

I hit a huge pot hole just outside the diepsloot informal settlement and blew my tyre, buckled my left rim and now my suspension is stuffed and looks like a whole lot more damage. This is a huge hi way that connects Krugersdorp to Pretoria!

At the end of the day I’m going to have to fork out a minimum of R5000. I was only driving 100 kms in a 120 zone. I’d love to know who to send this bill to….

Dumisani Davids May 27, 2010 - 4:37 pm

I hit a huge pothole on my way to Mpumalanga on the N17 to Standerton, just outside Leandra. A colleague of mine was in the car at the time and the damages caused to my tyre amounted to R2 900. I replaced the tyre in Leandra as it was totally destroyed.

Kris van Straaten Jun 21, 2010 - 9:33 am

I also hit a huge pothole between Leandra and Standerton wich blew three tyres on my BMW 3 series. Coul fortunately limp to Newcastle on the runflats. Cost me R.8880.00. Where should I go from here?

Frikkie van Tonder Jun 24, 2010 - 8:27 am

I also hit a whole lot of potholes on the Leandra – Standerton road about a month ago with my BMW 3series. When you get off from the N17 and turn right at the T-junction towards Standerton, about 1.4 km, you will find a section of the road, completely distroid. The word pothole does not descripe the state of the road. It happenned 2h00 in the morning. Couldn’t drive further and had to wait for a Rollback from BMW. 2 tyres and 4 mags totalled. Suspention damage. Cost of repairs – R38000.00.

Flo' de Freitas Jul 13, 2010 - 4:41 pm

Travelling down Coleraine Drive in Bryanston last night, I hit one helleva pot hole that instantly affected my steering wheel. By the odd feel of it, I knew I must have damaged my tyre pretty badly. Thankfully I got to the Shell Garage along Rivonia Road (just past MacDonalds) safely where a Pump Attendant very kindly changed my flat tyre for me. He pointed out that my rim was badly bent. I will only be able to get to Tyre Dealership over the weekend. What is the time frame for submitting claims ?

Judith Botha Aug 5, 2010 - 8:57 pm

I had to go for a medical to Matla Colliery from Bronkhorstspruit early one morning. When I got to Witbank and turned towards Oogies the mist was so thick at 05.30am that I couldn’t even see the end of my bonnett so I could hardly see. The road between Witbank and Matla Colliery has ‘sink holes’ not pot holes not to even mention the road condition! There are no lines, there is hardly no tar in places and the tar that is there is in such poor condition…….in fact ‘WHAT F**KING ROAD!’ My vehicle has R40,000.00 plus suspension damage and my insurance company is disputing the claim which I registered the next day. I travel in that area everyday and my BMW does have high millage but I can prove that my car is serviced at the dealership when necessary and the car is in very good condition. I have never claimed except for 2 windscreens over a period of 8yrs. What rights do I have as I have never missed an insurance pmt, never abused my insurance and now this? My insurance is with ABSA, BROLINK BY THE WAY! Please assist as I don’t have extra cash for a new car or for the repairs?
Many thanks.

edward Aug 18, 2010 - 3:52 pm

Who is responsible for negligence when a road is being extended? I skidded over 100M of loose gravel that had been washed into the road after a mild downpour. My car was written off and I was liable for physiotherapy for two months plus. Two attorneys said i never had a case as it wasn’t a third party claim but I maintain I am still entitled to compensation for my loss etc. This accident was within the last six months. 

Jennifer Bezdek Aug 23, 2010 - 12:58 pm

I hit a pothole in Kempton Park and resulted in me having to replace two front tyres at a cost of R 7,000.00. The rims too are bent which will have to be repaired/replaced. My husband too hit a pothole on the R21 highway which resulted in R 35,000.00 damage to his vehicle. This has cost us in excess of R 40,000.00 just this year. I want to claim for my tyres but need to know who to contact. Thanks

Ronel Aug 30, 2010 - 11:33 am

I hit a pothole on Pretoria road (JHB) and must replace my bended rim and damage tyre. I want to claim it back but where must i go to do that? Thanks

Gerhard Sep 17, 2010 - 11:50 am

could someone in cape town please comment on pothole damage they experienced? were writing an in depth article on this and would like to interview you and take a pic with you and your damaged car.

Lucy Nov 3, 2010 - 4:52 pm

I have read and understand that we can hold the municipality and road agencies responsible for damages to our vehicles due to potholes. What are we using to rely on for them to compensate us? Is there a section in an Act that we can use to claim?

Joseph Jan 18, 2011 - 9:48 am

These roadworks cause more damage to our cars than actual improvements!
they lay new tar and leave a ramp so high it knocks my rims everytime! alberton turn off going towards camaro, also the fact that the cut lines in the road and leave a blob of dried tar on the road, i hit that blob and buckled my front wheel! Van Buuren onramp going towards M2
i have tried claiming but i get no reply from the idiots, and to think the very same road we have to pay toll fees to use!

Steven de Villiers May 3, 2011 - 3:20 pm

Good day, I would like to know where do I get the required forms to fill in for Pothole claims. Thank you

Ruth May 16, 2011 - 11:37 am

I hit a huge pothole on my way to Rayton (Cullinan) at 06:30,16/05/2011 it blew my tyre and buckled my left rim,it looks like my wheel bearing suffered as well, because it now sound like a train.How to claim for this?

Jacques Odendal Jul 7, 2011 - 2:22 pm

I hit a huge pothole on the N1 in the 80km/h zone leaving town towards Paarden Eiland turn off in the right hand lane.The road was damped from early day rain and as it was past 18h00 it was dark in congested traffic at around 60km/h.This pothole was not there the previous evenings traveling in the same lane just to find out the next evening the pothole was covered up half heartily.Three other road users were find stranded a few hundred meters further down the road before I hit the pothole with my R/H side front wheel

The sound was like thunder,and thought it ripped the whole suspension out of its mount.

I had to repair the wheel as soon as possible as it was losing pressure and the car belong to my employer.I have proof of the repair bill as well as photo’s and witnesses who saw the wheel before it was repaired.Please advise my grounds of submitting a claim.



Natilie Tippelt Nov 9, 2011 - 2:45 pm

I hit a pothole on Bolton Road in Parktown on 4 November 2011 when my R/F tyre burst on a speed of 65 km/h. As everyone knows, insurance companies does not cover you for pothole damage. I have my wheel as well as photo’s of the pothole and the repair bill of R1200.00. Please advise how to claim and who the correct person is to speak to.

Ingrid Ludik Jan 7, 2012 - 3:26 pm

Hi, I want to know can I get the forms online to claim from the municipality near Witbank?

Roelf van Heerden Mar 22, 2012 - 1:18 pm

On Friday night (16/03/2012) at about 10h00 I travelled on the R516 road between Settlers,Tuinplaas and Crecy. It was raining and foggy and we travelled at approximately 80kph. We went through a number of potholes but eventually struck a huge one.
The rear right hand tyre was immediately flat and the spare had to be fitted. On Tuesday (20/03/2012) back in Linden I replaced the damaged rear tyre and found that the front tyre also had been damaged and had to be replaced. The total cost came to R2 220.00 . As no damaged was caused to the mag rims, it damage is not covered by my insurance policy.
Do I have a valid claim and who must it be submitted to?

george kevyn weber Apr 2, 2012 - 7:44 am

What about deaths directly due to pothole damage. can Ppeople claim for this as well. Surely if one can claim for car damage due to potholes then they can also claim for deaths due to a car rolling over and killing the ocupants. Two people wre killed and two survived. Who do you calim from. The same as above.

Tamara Jun 8, 2012 - 10:28 am

Has anyone had success when claiming for pothole damage? i am about to try and claim and am wondering if i am just wasting my time. I hit a bad spot on the N12 highway which has cracked all of my mags, it’s the last straw as i have had them repaired more times than i care to remember due to last years N3 construction works.

Sipho Kgaka Sep 24, 2012 - 1:39 pm

Riding my bike from Tulisa Park in Alberton to Germiston using the Rand Airport Road yesterday at 13h45 I suddenly, without warning, came up to a terrible part of the road with potholes, uneven pieces of tar and what generally looked like rain damage. I tried to swerve to the other lane but the whole road was equally bad! The front wheel was rocking so badly I thought I was going to die, and was saved when the bike unexpectedly hit a piece of good road and stabilised. My rear rim was buckled. Who do I claim for the damage?

Heunis vd Merwe Nov 9, 2012 - 4:00 pm


Try Johannesburg Road agency. I claimed for 2 tyres and got the money back a year later.

Mariska Storm Jul 11, 2013 - 2:59 pm

Where do I submit a claim for damage done to my car caused by a pothole? It’s in Vanderbijlpark, on a turn in one of the busiest boulevards! Please can you help?

Warren Butler Nov 21, 2013 - 7:46 pm

I hit a huge pothole just down the road from OR Thambo Memorial Hospital on the eve of Good Friday. It had just rained and my vehicle skidded off the road and hit a tree stump (huge) causing my vehicle to set fire and leaving me partially disabled as my hip was crushed in the accident. I was pulled out of the car by the police who were travelling behind me at the time. Who can I sue for these damages.

Tanja Dec 11, 2013 - 1:44 pm


I went through a massive pothole in Eccleston Cres in Bryanston yesterday, leaving me stranded with a torn tyre in the middle of the road. Apparently I was the 5th Car with a flat tyre from the same pothole yesterday. It is a massive pothole and a few cars continued to go through the same pothole as it was covered with water during the rain. How can I claim damages?

Mzwandile Niselo Dec 28, 2013 - 2:26 am

I hit a pothole on the R61 coming from Tsomo. Damaged 2 18 inch tyres and mags on left hand side. I had my 2 dayghters and their cousin in the car. If itwas not for the advanced driving course we would have hit a bridge n perished. I need compensatin for my car damages atleast. Unacceptable, I pay fuel levy n PAYE.!!

Lana Wentink Dec 30, 2013 - 3:39 pm

Hi, I hit a pothole Christmas day on the road to Hartebeespoort dam, my front left tyre has a puncture and cannot be repaired so has to be replaced. I have called all over getting quotes from dealers for my 215 45, 17 inch tyre and have been quoted, from R1100- R1500 and even bridgestone tyres at a cost of R2100.

We are expected to pay taxes on fuel, on our tax, road tax and now E tolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to know who I can claim these funds back from as I now am in a situation where I have to take money I don’t have to pay for a tyre that has been damaged on our roads.

Thank you

Ashley Jan 15, 2014 - 2:21 pm

Hi there

This is the second time a pothole messed my rims and tyres up i would like to know fast i can process my claim.

Asheen Ramsaroop Feb 10, 2014 - 11:27 am

Hi there, I was traveling on a residential road last night when I had to drive on the edge off the road to avoid an oncoming vehicle & the front off my car went into a half meter deep “unmarked” road work site. How do I go about claiming for the damages caused?

Lizelle bester May 6, 2014 - 2:50 pm

After the severe flooding in Bela Bela area, the rim of my tyre actually snapped and I have since been driving with my spare wheel as I do not have the funds to repair the rim.

How do I go about claiming and this is even worth the effort?

Nora , 21 Mei 2014 May 22, 2014 - 12:39 am

Voertuigskade R180 000 plus (en afgeskryf) op 12 April 2014 in Rivierweg, Mantevrede omdat ‘n hoewe-eienaar dit goed gedink het om rotse langs die teerpad voor sy ingang te plaas.
Die toestand van Rivierweg met sy magdom slaggate noop eienaars van voertuie om aan die verkeerde kant van die pad, die middel en gedeeltes van die sypaadjie te gebruik om die slaggate te vermy. Met die son van voor en die rotse in die skaduwee, was die rotse onsigbaar. Die uitbetaling van die versekering se kant is na verwagting R56 000. Die deposito wat ons op die Trafic twee jaar gelede betaal het was R90 000 plus. Watter bekostigbare prosedure kan gevolg word om te eis van die hoewe-eienaar vir verlies aan inkomste/vervoer? Het skriftelike brief van munisipaliteit dat hy nie die reg gehad het om rotse langs die teerpad te plaas nie.

Lionel Gafney Jun 12, 2014 - 8:49 pm

For claims in Johannesburg. Contact JRA they have a legal department dealing with liabilty claims. Slow process but ja….

Mr Luvuyo Bhala Jul 16, 2014 - 7:46 pm

To whom it may concern

On 02-07-2014 at around 7pm, between Kokstad and Underburg I got into a huge pothole and it damaged my tires, suspension of the car and my rims. We had to sleep at hotel since our journey was still long.

I just want to know where can I claim and how?

Mr Bhala

Mr V Naidoo Aug 26, 2014 - 1:12 pm

To whom this may concern:

I have emailed with no response.

I have sent him all the documents as mentioned above with details of the incident.

Can anyone help me?

Kind regards
Mr V Naidoo

Miss A. Modise Sep 8, 2014 - 9:49 pm

Hi, I need to know what is the process entailed in laying a claim for damages on my vehicle due to potholes in the Emfuleni municipality?

Comments are closed.