Will your auto insurance protect you from damage from molten tar on the pavement? »Insurance news live


Just before Thanksgiving, there was an incident involving a tanker that spilled molten tar onto a busy road, leaving more than 150 cars stuck in the sticky stuff, unable to move.

Even those that were towed from the area were often deactivated by the hardening substance on the tires, wheels, wheel arches and fenders. In this case, the Turnpike Commission was contacted by more than 130 drivers to report damage to their vehicles. The truck operator’s insurance company, Travelers Insurance, handled claims made by motorists who entered the mess.

It made people in the area wonder how they should handle a situation like this if their cars were damaged by tar or some other substance on the road. According to Penny Gusner, consumer analyst at CarInsurance.com, motorists should do certain things if this were to happen again.

If the cause of the disorder has not been identified, the driver’s auto insurance will cover the damage. This means the driver will have to make a claim under their all-risk coverage – assuming they have it – which pays for damage to the vehicle that is not the result of an accident with another vehicle. . Emergency road service would be paid for by towing coverage.

Gusner cautioned that the primary remedy in this type of situation is simply cleaning, and it often won’t be more than the deductible.

If full coverage is not present, Gusner recommended filing a complaint with the state highways department, which may have already received other complaints about it and may be able to assist the driver with identify the party responsible for the disorder.


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