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Does Car Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?

Mother nature can be responsible for many things. Warm, sunny days with a gentle breeze. Crisp fall nights under the stars. Perhaps you enjoy an occasional afternoon rain shower. Those are all wonderful things most can agree with. Mother nature can also be, unfortunately, not so nice. She can bring vicious storms that pack high winds, rain and flooding. If you happen to be in the path of such a destructive storm, the likelihood of damage is high. What damage and how much, is left up to the mercy of the storm. If you happen to live on the coast, from the months of June to November, it can be especially dangerous. This is the hurricane season. A hurricane can bring a variety of damage to any effected location. From high winds, to storm surges and flooding, the damage can be catastrophic. It is important to have your house and vehicles protected in the event of one of these events. A house is fairly straightforward, you have hurricane coverage and that’s basically it. With a vehicle, however, things are not as straightforward.

When It Rains, It Pours

There are two ways your vehicle could hypothetically be damaged from a hurricane. You can smash into something while driving in dangerous conditions. Or, your car could be a stationary victim to high winds, debris, and flooding. It is important to note for the purpose of this discussion, we will talk about collision and comprehensive coverage. 

It is called collision coverage because it covers a vehicle in the event of a collision accident. Fairly straightforward right? So, let’s say you were being a bit brave and tried to outrun the storm. Things were going OK until a flash flood starts to rise up above the road. Your car loses control and smashes into something. There is a chance, that your vehicle might be covered due to the hurricane. It is more likely to just be considered an accident, with the rain playing a factor. There is also a chance, however, that they do not cover any damage. This is because they would say you should not have been driving in that weather. Because insurance companies also know when a hurricane is approaching, they may enforce coverage restrictions. This can include no new policies or changes to policy within 48 hours of a hurricane warning. They may also state that if you were driving within those 48 hours, that you were reckless and therefore will not be covered. If you elect to only go with collision coverage and you live in a hurricane zone, you better ask questions about what severe storm or hurricane-related damage will cover.

The second is comprehensive coverage. The name is also pretty straightforward. This means that almost anything is covered, unrelated to driving. This sort of coverage would be the smarter choice if you live in an area that experiences frequent storms or hurricanes especially. Your vehicle would be covered from high winds, flooding, debris destruction, among most other ways. Each company has their own internal policies on their coverage, areas, and types. Something to consider is the value of the vehicle. If it is a newer car, with a loan balance higher than the value, then comprehensive is a safe bet. It is also likely required, along with collision. This protects the bank and allows them asset protection in the event of an unfortunate situation such as a hurricane. As always, it is best to check with your insurance company. There are always restrictions and special conditions considering where you live. These factors are what make up your rates, and what they cover. Because you are more likely to be in the path of danger in a hurricane zone, you need to make sure your coverage is watertight.