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Does car insurance cover hurricane damage?

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2020 | Firm News |

Hurricanes often cause a great deal of damage no matter where they occur because of their powerful winds. In the aftermath of destruction, vehicle owners in Lake Charles, Louisiana, may wonder if their insurance covers tornado damage. Most all states require minimum liability to cover the other driver, but two types of insurance commonly cover hurricane damage.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

Comprehensive insurance covers damages not related to driving. For example, a hurricane can cause trees to fall on the vehicle or damage to auto glass from flying debris. Comprehensive damage also covers theft, vandalism and hail damage.

Collision covers body damage to the owner’s vehicle after an accident. For example, if the owner hit a telephone pole because of wet roads caused by hurricanes, the damage could get covered. Many owners buy it along with comprehensive insurance.

Vehicle owners need to be aware that before a hurricane comes, some companies issue a moratorium period. This means the driver won’t be able to add coverage or make changes to an existing policy. Moratorium prevents drivers from buying coverage just for weather purposes and then canceling it later.

Filing a Claim

The vehicle owner may file a hurricane claim for any damages covered under collision or comprehensive insurance by phone or online. They should inspect the vehicle to check if everything is working such as lights and engine, take pictures, and report the damage. If the vehicle still runs, the owner may also take it to a mechanic to get it inspected.

However, the company could cover the cost based on depreciation. For example, if the vehicle has a depreciation value of $15,000 at the time of damage, the owner gets $15,000 minus the deducible.

Insurance companies often try to deny a legitimate hurricane claim or offer an unfair settlement. A lawyer may be able to help the vehicle owner work with the insurer. They do this to keep customers from buying insurance and canceling it just for weather.