Great Question: Will City Pay to Fix Pothole Damaged Cars?

Related Story

COLUMBIA - Monday night, KOMU 8 News began a new segment called "Great Question".

"Great Question" is an audience driven segment, and at KOMU 8, we want to hear from our viewers. A "Great Question" could be about the weather, sports, legal or medical issues - we want to hear from you!

Our first "Great Question" is very timely with Mid-Missouri's current weather: when temperatures constantly dip and rise above and below 32 degrees, we get a freeze/thaw cycle.

It's horrible for streets and highways. Pot holes appear, and then grow larger and larger.

Tonight's "Great Question" is: if you're driving inside the Columbia city limits and your car is damaged by a pothole, should the city or MoDOT pay for your expenses?

The Columbia City Public Works Department and MoDOT gave us some answers:

Risk Management handles claims, including any related to pothole damage. The City does pay for vehicle damage caused by potholes when:
1. The street is a City of Columbia maintained roadway (as opposed to State, County, or privately maintained) AND

2. Public Works or the Street Division had prior knowledge of the condition and has not been able to make repairs or provide warnings.

We encourage citizens to report any road issues to Public Works when they notice a problem so our Street Division can address the issue before it causes a claim.


The payment or denial of a claim by a customer is based on "notice of the condition," as covered by state statute. If we are aware of the condition, or should have been aware (constructive notice), and fail to repair within a "reasonable" amount of time we would generally pay the claim. If we are notified of a pothole developing and respond within a "reasonable" amount of time the claim would most generally be denied. The definition of "reasonable amount of time" could vary depending on each situation.

Good luck dodging those potholes. If you see a big one, report it to the city,county, or MoDOT, and see if it gets filled in.