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If you live in a hurricane-prone area like Florida, Texas, or Louisiana, you’ve probably seen the effects storms can have on vehicles. It’s not unusual to see a car flipped over and totaled after a particularly bad storm. But does car insurance cover hurricane damage?
Fortunately, both collision and comprehensive auto insurance can come in handy during a hurricane, but you are more likely to use your comprehensive insurance to cover your damages. Collision insurance comes into play when your car hits or is hit by another vehicle. If a bad storm causes you to hydroplane and crash your car, your collision insurance may cover your damages.
Most often, however, drivers will rely on their comprehensive car insurance in the event of a hurricane. These policies cover damage resulting from non-crash events such as high wind, flooding, or hail. If a hurricane caused your car to flip over, your comprehensive insurance should cover the repairs.
What About the Other Damages to Your Property?
It’s likely that if a hurricane damaged your car, it damaged your home, too. Coverage for issues like blown-off shutters, roof leaks, and cracked windows will come through your homeowners’ insurance. You will need to contact your insurance company to find out what type of homeowner’s insurance coverage you carry and what’s considered a covered peril. This information should also be outlined in your policy.
How Do You File a Claim After a Hurricane?
It’s your insurance company’s responsibility to get you the coverage you deserve in a timely manner, but you still have certain obligations as a policyholder. It’s your job to file a claim as quickly as possible and to communicate all of the necessary information to your insurance agent. This information includes:
- Your name;
- Your address;
- Your policy number;
- The make and model of your car;
- Your car’s VIN; and
- The extent of the damage to your vehicle.
This last point is especially important. It’s essential that you give this information as accurately and quickly as possible. If a hurricane hit your area, you’re probably not the only person with vehicle damage. Your insurance company may try to reach the people with the most extensive damage first, so it’s important that you give an accurate report.
3 Steps to Take to Prepare for a Hurricane
Hurricane season typically lasts from June through the end of November. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you need to take precautionary steps to make sure your car is protected. You should:
1. Make an Evacuation Plan: No matter how good your car insurance is, there’s nothing better than preparation. Know when and how to get out of a dangerous storm before it hits your area.
2. Check Your Insurance Policy: Ask your insurance agent how well your policy protects you in the event of a hurricane. If you need additional coverage, purchase it before hurricane season begins.
3. Gather the Information Your Insurance Agent Will Need: Make sure you have access to important documentation about your vehicle and insurance information before it’s too late.
Feel free to share any other hurricane-prep tips in a Comment below.