2017 Hurricane Harvey caused the destruction of over 1,000,000 vehicles in Texas and other neighboring states. Each year hurricane season causes more damage to property and vehicles. Storm surges and flooding are common with hurricanes. In 2020, it was estimated that more than 446,000 flood-damaged vehicles were on roads.
You may feel more at risk if your home is near the coast of the Gulf Coast or the southeast as it gets closer to hurricane season. It can be very helpful for drivers to know if their vehicle is insured against hurricane damage. If your vehicle is not covered for hurricane loss, you should consider taking the steps necessary to get it if you are in an area at high risk of flooding.
Can my car insurance pay for hurricane damage?
Hurricane damage can be very costly. Car insurance usually covers hurricane damage. Two types of car insurance that could be used to repair your vehicle in the event it is damaged by a hurricane are complete coverage and collision .
Here are some examples of common hurricane damage to vehicles.
- Comprehensive coverage will cover damage from falling debris – Comprehensive coverage is available for cars parked in driveways during hurricanes.
- Strong winds – Comprehensive coverage may be available if hurricane winds cause your car to flip over.
- Water damage – Comprehensive auto coverage will cover the majority of instances of vehicle flooding or damage during a hurricane.
- Accidents while driving – Collision insurance may cover you for damages to your vehicle if you drive in heavy rains or a major storm.
Nearly every state requires drivers have minimum car insurance. These requirements are only for liability insurance. They do not establish minimum coverage to cover your car.
What kind of insurance covers hurricane damage
The loss may be covered by comprehensive or collision auto insurance, depending on the circumstances and the cause. Collision coverage covers damage to your vehicle caused by an accident with another vehicle, or a stationary object. You may lose control of your driving during a hurricane and are more likely to cause an accident. Comprehensive insurance covers any damage to your vehicle that is not caused by an accident. This could include damage from flooding, falling trees, or debris.
When should you buy coverage?
If you are trying to obtain coverage before a hurricane hits, it is possible that you will be unsuccessful. If a storm warning is in place, insurance companies might have restrictions about when you can buy insurance. This timeframe is typically based on forecasts from National Hurricane Center.
A hurricane warning is issued if the storm is expected in less than 36 hours. If high winds are predicted within 48 hours, a storm watch is issued. Many insurance companies temporarily suspend issuing new policies and increasing coverage for people who live in the hurricane-prone area during a storm warning.
There are different purchase restrictions for each insurer. Some providers might not be able to issue new policies or modify existing policies in the event of a hurricane. Others may allow increases or decreases.
It is important to plan ahead and purchase collision and comprehensive coverage before there are any storms. It is better to have insurance before you actually need it.
Which states are most at risk from hurricanes?
The United States is home to hurricanes in the gulf and coastal states, which stretch from Massachusetts to Texas. North and South Carolina and Texas are at greatest risk from hurricanes. Understanding the coverage that is available to you for hurricanes may be useful if you are a resident of any of these states. The significant risk is highlighted by hurricane data from three states that had the highest number of hurricanes between 1851 and 2018.
- Florida (120 hurricanes – In 2017, Hurricane Irma caused 87 deaths and was the deadliest hurricane in Florida. Irma caused more than $50 billion of damage and was the most expensive hurricane in Florida’s past.
- Texas (64 hurricanes). – Hurricane Harvey in 2017 caused $125 billion of damage in Texas. This storm is tied with Hurricane Katrina, 2005 in New Orleans.
- North Carolina (55 hurricanes) – In 2018, Hurricane Florence caused Texas, Florida are the most affected states for car flooding. Comprehensive car insurance will cover your car in the event that it is damaged by a hurricane. Your deductible will not be charged if the vehicle is salvageable. Your insurance company may be able to help you replace the vehicle if it is totaled.Before you file a claim, make sure to inspect the damage to your vehicle if it is flooded. You might try to turn the car on when it is safe to check if the main lights are still functioning. Also, you could test the head and tail lights as well as radio, sound, and radio systems, as well turn signals, heaters, windshield wipers and other automatic functions. Consider taking a photo or video of the damage and completing your examination to prove it to your insurance company.You can take your car to a mechanic if it is still driveable. You will be given a list of any damages or parts that aren’t working. They will also provide an estimate of the cost of repairs.Next, make a claim to your insurance company. Describe the details of the situation, including the date and location of the storm and the extent of the damage to your vehicle. Please provide any photos or videos that you have taken of the damage, and the inspection documents from the mechanic.Questions frequently askedIs my insurance premium going to go up after a hurricane hits?After filing a claim, your insurance premium could increase. Comprehensive claims are generally not as detrimental to your rate as collision claims. The claim will typically be erased from your records after three to five years and will not affect your rate.Is my homeowners insurance able to cover flood damage to my home?Homeowners Insurance protects your home and any belongings that might be damaged by a hurricane. Standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage. You may need to buy a separate flood insurance plan if you live in an area that is at high risk of flooding or hurricanes.What are the benefits of collision and comprehensive insurance?Legally speaking, you don’t need to be covered beyond your state’s minimum limits of liability. Each state has its own requirements. Only comprehensive and collision coverage is required when your vehicle has been financed or leased. Some insurance professionals recommend that you have both collision and comprehensive coverage, even if your vehicle has been paid off. This is especially true if you live near a high-risk area for hurricanes. If your vehicle is damaged, you will need to pay out of pocket to replace it.How can I find the best hurricane coverage car insurance?There is no one car insurance company that provides the best coverage for hurricane insurance. This coverage will be provided by the top auto insurance companies.It may be a good idea to compare quotes from several companies and ensure that they provide adequate coverage against hurricane damage. These results can help you find the right insurance for your needs.
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