INSURANCE claims from motorists for pothole-related damage have risen by 21%, says a rural insurer.

NFU Mutual is urging motorists to take extra care on rural roads after it revealed the number of claims rose by 21% between 2012 and 2013.

It fears there could be further damage to road surfaces if rain continues and temperatures plummet and says some rural roads could be closed altogether.

Nicki Whittaker, rural affairs specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “People who live and work in rural areas already face huge problems with poorly maintained roads, a higher risk of accidents and a lack of gritting during winter months.

“But the situation is particularly worrying at the moment.

“Heavy rain and flooding means many deep potholes may be filled with water and therefore pose a real hazard for the unsuspecting motorist.

“The problem on rural roads could also be exacerbated if the water currently lying on road surfaces starts to freeze and causes further damage.

“Rural roads are the arteries of the countryside and if they are closed-off it will have serious implications for the rural economy.”

HAVE you had to claim insurance because of damage from potholes or been caught out by flooded potholes in Sedgemoor’s country lanes?

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