Hurricane Auto Insurance
If you own a car and live in Florida, North Carolina, or another area that’s vulnerable to hurricanes, you may be wondering if your auto insurance covers hurricane damage. Insurance policies can be confusing, and it’s not always clear what types of damage are covered under a given plan.
We’ve compiled some answers to frequently asked questions about hurricane auto insurance, and how you can fight back if an insurance company isn’t holding up their end of the deal.
How Can Hurricanes Damage a Car, Motorcycle, or Truck?
Hurricanes are incredibly powerful forces of nature, and they can wreak havoc on automobiles in a number of ways:
- Water damage/flooding
- Mechanical problems from flooding
- Corrosion from saltwater
- Trees or branches falling onto vehicle
- Airborne objects causing dents, broken windows, etc.
- Vehicle flipped or tossed by strong winds
What Is Hurricane Auto Insurance?
Similar to homeowners insurance policies, there is no “hurricane insurance” for cars and trucks that protects against damage caused by hurricanes. Instead, this damage falls under comprehensive auto insurance plans. Comprehensive plans safeguard against theft, vandalism, and extreme weather events.
As long as the damage was caused by a hurricane, and you purchased the insurance prior to a storm warning being issued, the damage should be covered. As with most insurance policies, though, getting reimbursed can be trickier than you’d hoped.
How Much Does Comprehensive Auto Insurance Cost?
The cost of comprehensive insurance will vary depending on where you live and the value of your car or truck. Please note that it is tied to the current value of the vehicle, not the original value or the cost when you first purchased it.
According to The Zebra, you can expect a comprehensive insurance plan to cost several hundred more dollars per year in premiums. That is a significant increase, but well worth the price if your car or truck suffers several thousand dollars’ worth of hurricane damage.
Importantly, the cost of your insurance plan will likely go up after a hurricane. That’s because insurance companies adjust the cost of their premiums based on how much money they paid out in the previous year. If they fulfilled a lot of claims because of a hurricane, they will try to recoup some of that money via premiums.
When Should I Buy Comprehensive Auto Insurance?
This is a key element of these policies that many people don’t realize:
- You must purchase hurricane auto insurance prior to a storm warning or naming of a hurricane.
You can’t wait until a hurricane is announced before buying the policy. You have to purchase it well in advance — at least 24 hours, perhaps more.
If you think there is a sizable risk of your vehicle being totaled by a tropical storm, it’s probably worth buying comprehensive insurance.
What Should I Do if My Insurance Company Refuses to Pay?
If your insurance company is denying, delaying, or undervaluing your auto insurance claim for hurricane damage, you should contact an attorney right away. Personal injury lawyers are well-equipped to negotiate with these companies and advocate on your behalf. Just because the insurance company said “No” doesn’t mean all hope is lost. You can still recover the money you need to bounce back.
Morgan & Morgan’s hurricane claim attorneys have the experience and resources necessary to recover full compensation for your losses. Over the past 30 years, we’ve won more than $9 billion for clients across practice areas. As America’s largest personal injury law firm, we are one of the few with the strength to successfully take on Big Insurance. Best of all, it costs nothing up front to hire us, and we get paid only if you recover a settlement or jury award.
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