Does My Auto Policy Cover Hurricane Damage?

The aftermath of the recent hurricanes has left many people lost and without insurance coverage for their homes and belongings. Many have looked to their homeowner policies to recover for their losses, however, most standard homeowner policies exclude flood damage and the like. Although many are facing an uphill battle regarding recovery for their homes, if your vehicle has been damaged or totaled in the wake of these disasters, you may be able to obtain some relief under your automobile policy.

The one type of automobile coverage that will protect an insured from natural disasters is comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage only protects an insured when he or she hits another vehicle or object. This is liability coverage, which only covers others’ injuries and property damage from accidents that an insured causes. On the other hand, comprehensive coverage protects an insured from other damage to their vehicle including damage from flood, hail, wind, and fire. This means that if your vehicle was submerged in water or flipped over from the hurricane winds, coverage is most likely available to you depending on your policy.

It is important to note that insurance companies put temporary binding restrictions in effect in areas that are under hurricane or tropical storm watch. This blocks the ability to obtain new policies after a storm forms. Each insurance company differs as to the type of restrictions, when these restrictions go into effect, and for how long. As an automobile owner, it is important to ensure you have the correct coverage and that your policy is not set to expire during hurricane season (June to November).

Lastly, if you file a claim with your insurer, it is important to take steps to prevent your vehicle from sustaining a further loss. Not doing so could result in more damage than your insurer may try to deny coverage for.