Is My Car Insured During Heavy Storms?
If you have comprehensive coverage, you are protected against flooding, hail, water damage, heavy rain and debris caused by a heavy storm and other covered events. You are not legally required to carry comprehensive coverage but you may be required to buy it if you are leasing or financing your car. If flooding or hail causes you to get into an accident while you are driving your car, collision coverage will be able to protect you. Drivers should consider full coverage, which includes liability, collision and comprehensive coverage (as well as other coverages required by your state).
What Type of Auto Coverage Should You Get for Storms?
Comprehensive coverage is auto insurance that can help pay for storm-related damage along with other non-crash-related events. In fact, your comprehensive coverage can pay for the following:
- Hurricanes, floods and tornadoes: High winds, falling branches, lightning, and flooding can all wreak havoc on your car.
- Falling objects: Wind storms can cause heavy tree limbs and other debris to fall on your car, creating minor to severe damage.
- Hail: Hail occurs when rain freezes in the upper atmosphere before it falls to the ground and can quickly damage your car.
If you are involved in an accident that’s directly related to a storm, hail or flooding, you may not be covered by comprehensive insurance. If the other driver is at-fault, their property damage liability insurance will pay to repair your car. If you’re responsible for the accident, then your liability coverage would repair any damage you cause, and your collision coverage would help repair your car.
Having both comprehensive and collision coverage would protect you if you are involved in a weather-related accident, or if non-accident damage occurs.
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Is Hail Damage in a Storm Covered by Insurance?
If you have comprehensive coverage on a car that’s been damaged by hail, it should be covered as long as it’s not an excluded event on your policy.
If you’re unsure about what your policy covers, check with your insurer. This is especially recommended if you live somewhere that experiences frequent hail storms, like Colorado, Nebraska or Wyoming.
Additionally, if your car is damaged more than once by hail in the same year, you will likely be able to file multiple claims. There is no limit to how many claims you can file but doing so will raise your rate.
What About Damage by Debris From a Storms?
If your car is damaged by debris, it will be covered under comprehensive insurance.
What Should You Do if You’ve Discovered Storm Damage to Your Car?
Here are a few tips If your car has been damaged by a storm:
- Be mindful of downed power lines, especially right after a storm. Branches and debris may fall as they shift, and there may be broken glass surrounding your car.
- Carefully approach your vehicle and assess any damage.
- Document the damage with pictures of your car’s interior and exterior as well as surrounding debris. If you have the right coverage, your policy should cover any structural damage, engine problems and body damage.
- Don’t drive an unsafe car. If there has been flooding, you may have electrical or engine damage. A seriously damaged car shouldn't be driven, but if the damage is small or cosmetic, you may be able to drive it safely.
- Contact your insurer and send them pictures of the damage.
- Don’t authorize repairs until after you have spoken with your insurance company. If the damage is small enough, you may want to pay for it yourself so your rates are not raised.
- Call your homeowners or renters insurance company: They will cover destroyed items like speaker systems, electronic devices, tablets and cell phones and other personal possessions.
- Find a reliable mechanic: A reputable repair company will ensure that all damaged parts are repaired or replaced.
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How Long Do You Have To File a Weather-related Car Insurance Claim?
If your car has been damaged by a weather-related event, you need to file a claim as soon as possible. Storm and water damage can continue to damage your car over time so you’ll need it repaired ASAP. Also some insurers and states have limitations on how long you have to file a claim.
Does car insurance cover wind damage?
Your comprehensive coverage will likely cover any repairs to your car that come from wind damage. This includes storms and debris falling onto your car. If strong winds cause you to veer off road and have an accident, your collision coverage will protect you.
Is my car covered for flood damage?
If you have comprehensive insurance, you will be covered if your car is damaged in a flood. However, all policies are different, and some may not include floods as a covered event.
Are hurricanes covered by car insurance?
Anyone who lives in an area prone to hurricanes is best protected with both collision and comprehensive insurance. Together, they can cover damage caused by hurricanes.
Add Comprehensive Coverage to Your Car Insurance
If your vehicle is damaged or destroyed due to storm damage, your car policy's comprehensive coverage should be able to repair or replace your car after you’ve paid your deductible. If your policy does not cover hail, storm debris, floods, heavy winds, hurricanes and other severe weather events, it may be time for you to shop around for reliable and affordable coverage before the next storm rolls in. SmartFinancial can find you the right car policy at the lowest price. Just enter your zip code below to begin comparing prices.