Will your auto insurance protect you from the damage of molten tar on the roadway?

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Auto InsuranceJust before Thanksgiving, there was an incident involving a tanker truck that leaked molten tar all over a busy roadway, leaving over 150 cars stuck in the sticky substance, unable to move.

Even those that were towed from the area were often disabled by the hardening substance on the tires, wheels, wheel wells, and fenders. In this case, the Turnpike Commission was contacted by over 130 drivers in order to make a report of damage to their vehicles. The truck operator’s insurance company, Travelers Insurance, handled the claims that were made by the motorists who drove into the mess.

This did cause people in the area to wonder how they should handle a situation such as that one if their cars become damaged by tar or another substance on the highway. According to Penny Gusner, a consumer analyst at CarInsurance.com, there are a few things that motorists should do if this should ever happen again.

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If the cause of the mess hasn’t been identified, then the driver’s own auto insurance will cover the damage. This means that the driver would have to make a claim under his or her comprehensive coverage – assuming he or she has it – which pays for damage that was caused to the vehicle but that was not the result of an accident with another vehicle. The emergency road service would be paid for by the towing coverage.

Gusner did warn that the main repair in this type of situation is simply cleanup, and this will often not be more than the deductible.

If comprehensive coverage is not present, Gusner recommended lodging a complaint with the state highway department, which may have already received other complaints on the matter and may be able to help the driver to identify the party responsible for the mess.

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