UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Dealing with hurricanes every year is nothing new, especially for those that reside in the South-Eastern and gulf regions of the United States. In 2005, Mother Nature really made her presence known with the help of hurricane Katrina, Gustav, and a few others that battered the coasts that year. If you didn’t prepare yourself, your home, your car, and other valuables then, chances are you’re paying the price now. The best way to avoid future problems is to be prepared and have proper insurance coverage. Continue reading below to learn about hurricane evacuations, car safety during hurricanes, and car insurance with hurricane coverage.
Plan Your Hurricane Evacuation
The local weather authorities will issue evacuation warnings whenever a natural disaster is looming, but many times it’s too late, or the enormous surge of vehicles on the road will prevent you from leaving for hours. It is best to monitor the storm yourself, instead of waiting for the final decision. It can’t hurt to evacuate beforehand, just to play it safe. This will ensure you get off the coast to safe area, with your loved ones, your car, and other valuable possessions. Don’t forget to bring social security cards, government IDs, banking information, home and car titles, and of course, your auto insurance; which you should have in your car at all times anyway.
Hurricanes And Car Safety
When a hurricane is heading toward the coast, you better hope your car is in tip-top shape, and has a full tank of gas. You may have to gas up days before the evacuation date, as gas shortages are fairly common in these desperate situations. Take your car to the mechanic to get an oil change, necessary repairs, and new tires, if any of these are needed. Driving conditions during these brutal storms, can be equally dangerous.
You of course should reinforce the house where ever possible to reduce damage. Windows and doors are particularly important to board up. But don’t forget to reinforce your garage as well! Large objects like ladders and wood should be moved from the garage to avoid unnecessary damage. Cover your car with a tarp, or something with padding, if you have it. Secure the tarp as best you can.
If you live in a hurricane-prone region, then it may be in your best interest to get hurricane coverage on your vehicle. A basic liability car insurance plan will not cover hurricane damage. Your homeowner’s insurance will not coverage hurricane damage. If you want your insurance company to cover the costs of repairing damage caused by a hurricane, then you’ll need a comprehensive coverage policy on your vehicle. Comprehensive coverage is the highest level of insurance coverage. In addition to accident-related damages, a comprehensive policy covers things like graffiti, vandalism, theft, and storm damage.
If you’re a driver living in a hurricane-prone region, then you might think you’ve outwitted the insurance industry by only buying comprehensive coverage during hurricane season. Unfortunately, insurance companies are aware of this strategy. Many insurance companies place restrictions on comprehensive coverage during hurricane season. In addition, federal law states that insurance companies can wait 30 days before comprehensive coverage goes into effect. In other words, don’t expect to buy comprehensive coverage as the hurricane is closing in: even if your car insurance company lets you purchase comprehensive coverage, that coverage is unlikely to cover the impending hurricane – or any other claim within 30 days.
That’s why it’s in your best interest to be proactive about hurricane coverage. If you live in a hurricane-prone region, then getting hurricane coverage on your vehicle may be equally as important as getting hurricane coverage on your home. If a hurricane strikes, then your car might be irreparably damaged due to flooding, storm damage, or fallen trees. Can you afford to repair or replace your car out of pocket? Without hurricane coverage on your vehicle, you’ll need to pay for repairs or a replacement out of pocket.
Ideally, you’ll park your vehicle in your garage during the hurricane – assuming your garage is safe. But if your garage collapses and damages your vehicle, then who pays for it? Does this damage fall under your comprehensive car insurance plan? Or does it fall under your homeowner’s insurance? Typically, any damage to your vehicle is covered under your car insurance. If you have homeowner’s insurance but not comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, then you may still be required to pay for auto repairs out of pocket – even though your home technically damaged your vehicle.
Overall, this all boils down to a simple lesson: if you live in a hurricane-prone region and want to get hurricane coverage on your vehicle, then it’s in your best interest to get comprehensive coverage (if you don’t already have it). Comprehensive coverage will cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if it’s damaged during a hurricane – regardless of whether your vehicle was parked on the street, in your garage, or away from your home.
Talk to your insurance company or compare quotes online today to check the price of car insurance coverage. If you live in a particularly hurricane prone region of the United States, like coastal areas of the southeastern or northeastern United States, then your insurance company might offer special hurricane coverage options.
Important Things To Consider About Hurricanes And Auto Insurance
- Auto insurance companies will put restrictions on purchasing of hurricane coverage whenever a storm warning is put into place. This is to protect them from people who did not prepare properly and wish to purchase insurance only-for-the-storm.
- How long these restrictions last vary from company to company. These restrictions usually include not allowing new coverage applications, increasing of limits, and adding coverage. They usually last until 48-72 hours after the storm warning ends.
- If you have auto insurance that is set to expire during hurricane season, you should probably search around and get new coverage far in advance. This way you will not be caught without insurance in case one of those binding restrictions comes into play.
- If you are planning to buy a new car, avoid doing it near hurricane season. These restrictions could prevent you from insuring your brand new vehicle properly.
- Keep an eye on the weather. Monitor hurricanes approaching so that you know when you should add or update coverage to your existing auto insurance policy.
Getting Auto Insurance With Hurricane Coverage
The best way to avoid extra insurance costs is to follow the advice above. Being prepared helps you avoid ever having to file a claim. If you don’t have your car ready for hurricane season, chances are your premiums will increase.
To purchase auto insurance that has comprehensive (hurricane) coverage, start by entering your zip code above and see if you qualify for hurricane auto insurance protection. Don’t procrastinate on getting coverage, hurricane season is always just around the corner. You’ll be happy you did.
Additional Resources Regarding Hurricanes And Auto Insurance