Car damage claims set for big rise

Insurers are bracing themselves for a rise in claims for damage to cars caused by potholes following the severe winter weather.

Motor insurers paid out an estimated 10.5m to customers who damaged their cars by driving over potholes during the first three months of 2010; claims for this year are expected to be significantly higher, said AA Insurance.

The average claim handled by the group in 2010 was 1,300. The most expensive was 14,000 after a car driver crashed after losing control of it when he hit a pothole.

AA Insurance director Simon Douglas said: "Our claims staff are bracing themselves for a steep rise."