Running through a pothole that causes damage to your car is considered as a single car collision. As such, the damages would be covered under the collision insurance portion of your policy. This type of coverage is designed to pay for repairs to your own vehicle if you are at fault or if there no other vehicles involved in the accident.
Collision insurance is not part of a standard auto insurance policy. If you have "full" coverage, collision is typically added into the package along with comprehensive coverage. Together, collision and comprehensive will protect your car and its contents from a wide range of named perils and potential vehicle loss situations. Collision pays for your car to be repaired if there is not an at fault driver, and comprehensive pays for repairs and losses in the event of things such as vandalism, theft, or broken window glass.
If you are still making payments on your car to a dealership or car lot, you may have collision as part of the finance agreement. Most dealerships require customers to carry full coverage, including comprehensive and collision coverage, as well as a special type of insurance known as GAP coverage that will pay off the balance owed on the car if it becomes totaled. Similarly, many people who own older cars save money on insurance by dropping collision coverage, opting to pay for damages to the vehicle out of pocket.
Before you file a collision insurance claim caused by pothole damage, consider the cost of the repair, the value of the car, and how many car liability insurance claims you have filed in the past 7 years. If the cost of repair is only a little more than the deductible you have to pay, it may be better to pay for the repairs yourself rather than filing a claim. Similarly, if you have already filed 1 or more liability claims-- regardless of what type of policy the claim was against-- in the past few years, filing a claim for the pothole damage could cause your rates to increase. Even if you have never filed a car insurance claim, other insurance loss claims can count against your car insurance, and too many claims will lead to your premiums going up or even a cancellation of your policy.