Does Car Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?

Fran
Lucy Lazarony
May 20, 2020

When a hurricane blows through, its high winds and rain can damage just about everything in its path, including cars. Can your car insurance protect your car from a hurricane?

Whether or not car insurance covers hurricane damage depends on the coverage that you have. Does full coverage car insurance cover hurricane damage? It will if it includes comprehensive auto insurance coverage.

With comprehensive auto insurance, your car insurance will cover any of the damage sustained in a hurricane. Keep in mind that comprehensive insurance coverage is not required by law so you must choose to buy it as an add-on coverage. People often buy comprehensive and collision insurance together.

Comprehensive Auto Insurance Coverage

What is comprehensive auto insurance coverage precisely? This optional coverage protects your car against damages that were sustained in circumstances other than a car accident.

In some states, comprehensive insurance is actually called “other than collision” coverage.

Comprehensive auto insurance coverage will cover damages that are caused in circumstances beyond your control.

A comprehensive auto insurance coverage would protect your car against vandalism, theft, windshield damage, fires, accidents with animals and weather and acts of nature such as hurricanes, lightning, earthquakes, floods, and hail storms.

If you live in the southeastern United States or even the eastern seaboard, any place that feels the effects of hurricanes, you will want to sign up for the optional coverage of comprehensive coverage to protect your car from a hurricane.

Filing a Car Insurance Claim

If your car gets damaged in a hurricane it is easy to make a claim. If you have comprehensive insurance, you are covered for hurricane damage.

Let’s say a hurricane causes $5,000 worth of damage to your car and you have a $500 deductible. First, you would file your claim over the phone or online or by using the insurance company’s mobile app. Next, you would pay the $500 deductible to your insurance company. And finally your insurance company would pay you the $4,500 for repairs.

Your hurricane-damaged car will be repaired thanks to your auto insurance, and in particular your comprehensive coverage.

Can a Hurricane Move a Car?

Yes, a hurricane can move a car. Hurricanes are powerful storms and those in its eye are hit the hardest. Hurricane winds can flip over a car and with a strong enough storm a hurricane can move a car.

A hurricane can blow out a car’s windows and soak it through with water too. A hurricane can do a lot of damage to a car, which is why it is important to protect your vehicle if you live in a part of the country where hurricanes are common.

How to Prepare Your Car for a Hurricane

Take these steps to prepare your car for a hurricane:

First, take pictures of your car’s interior and exterior before the storm. You may need these photos later to prove any damage done to your car in a hurricane is new damage

.

Park on high ground against a building in a way that it may block any debris that could fall on your car. Steer clear of power lines, light poles, road signs and trees since all of these items could fall on your car during a hurricane and cause damage.

Make sure your car’s windows and sunroof are sealed tightly.

Protect your car from saltwater damage and flying debris with a tarp. Make sure the tarp is thick and padded and covers your whole car.

Hurricanes Are Getting Stronger Due to Climate Change

Here is more bad news about climate change, hurricanes are getting stronger.

Research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Wisconsin looked at satellite data from 1979 to 2017 and found a disturbing trend.

The chance of a hurricane being a powerful Category 3 or greater increased 8 percent each decade. The researchers said this was due to an increase in sea surface temperature.

This increase in temperature brings a greater intensity of hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons all over the world.

How Many Cars Were Flooded During Hurricane Harvey?

The risk of flooding is a huge danger factor for cars in the paths of hurricanes. The greater the storm the greater the rising flood waters that the storm brings.

In 2017, about 500,000 cars were flooded and destroyed in rising water brought on by Hurricane Harvey. And Hurricane Katrina damaged 570,000 cars in 2005.

Having comprehensive auto coverage will pay for the flood damage to a car caused by a hurricane. So, if you are moving to a place that falls in the path of hurricanes, it is wise to add comprehensive coverage to your auto policy.

Should I Put My Car in a Garage During a Hurricane?

Yes, parking your car in a garage is the best option during a hurricane. Protect garage windows with plywood and place sandbags against the garage door to prevent flooding.

Even inside a garage you would still want to make sure your car’s windows and sunroof are sealed tightly. Inside the garage take items off of high shelves and attic spaces and place them on the ground. You don’t want objects positioned to fall and hit your car when the storm comes through.

Where to Park a Car in a Hurricane

Your garage is the best place to park your car throughout hurricane season. It will keep your car safe from wind and debris of any storms that blow through. As long as the garage remains sturdy and secure during a hurricane your car will be fine.

If you aren’t able to park your car in a garage during a hurricane, park on high ground against a building and away from power lines, light poles, road signs and trees. You want to be clear of anything that could fall on your car and cause damage to your car during the storm.

Does My Car Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?

If your car insurance includes the optional coverage of comprehensive coverage, then yes your car insurance will cover hurricane damage. Are you covered? Reach out to your car insurance company and review your coverage and make sure comprehensive coverage is included or better yet see if you can get a better rate auto insurance rate with comprehensive coverage now.

It’s especially important that you have comprehensive coverage if you move to an area where hurricanes are possible or likely.

With hurricane season running from June 1st to November 30, you will want to reach out to your auto insurer before hurricane season begins in the summer so that your car will have all the protection it needs once the storm season starts.

How to Protect a Car During a Hurricane

Parking a car inside a garage is one way to protect your car during a hurricane. As long as the structure of the garage stays sound your car will be alright.

If you are parking a car outside on the street, a thick padded cover will help to protect your car from salt water damage and flying debris. If you don’t have a tarp for your car you may want to consider reinforcing the windows with masking tape in a crisscross pattern.

Are you concerned about protecting your home during a hurricane? We offer tips and another one is for you to bundle your home and auto for maximum savings. Start by entering your zip code below.

Get a Free Auto Insurance Quote Online Now.

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