What Insurance Covers Hurricane Damage to Your Vehicle?
Hurricanes do more than damage residential and commercial properties. They can also damage or outright destroy vehicles. There are any number of hazards, including flying debris, falling trees, and hail damage.
If your car was damaged during a hurricane or other natural disaster, you probably want to know if you can get it replaced. You can, but you need to have the right insurance in place before the storm strikes.
Comprehensive or Collision Coverage
To register a vehicle in Florida, you only need to buy personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) insurance. PIP covers bodily injuries that you suffer and will pay for medical care and compensate for lost wages, whereas PDL covers damage you cause to someone else’s property.
As you can see, neither PIP nor PDL will cover damage to your own vehicle caused in a hurricane. Instead, you will need comprehensive coverage, which kicks in whenever a car is damaged or destroyed by something other than a collision. For example, comprehensive should cover damage caused by flooding.
In some limited situations, you might use collision coverage. For example, heavy rains associated with the storm could cause you to hydroplane and slam into a building. Collision coverage insurance kicks in when you collide with something.
In Florida, both collision and comprehensive are optional insurance policies. Many motorists do not have them because they do not want to pay additional premiums. According to carinsurance.com, the average collision policy costs $526 a year, and the average comprehensive policy costs around $192. However, if you have a car loan, then your insurer might require that you carry these policies.
Should You Sell Your Damaged Car Instead?
If your car was damaged in a hurricane, you might be focused on getting it repaired. But CarBrain suggests that you sell your hurricane damaged car instead of repairing it, since getting a car fixed is usually a lot harder than most people expect:
- Many repair shops will have sustained damage themselves in the storm and might not be open for weeks to begin working on your car.
- You might have to pay hundreds of dollars to have your vehicle towed to the shop to have it looked at just to receive an estimate.
- It might cost much more to repair a vehicle than it is actually worth.
By selling your vehicle, you at least recoup some of the money that you have lost. You might also avoid any hassles with your insurer.
If you want to sell, contact different salvage yards and ask them for a quote. Online companies like Car Brain also purchase damaged vehicles for salvage. Remember to ask about how you will get the vehicle to the salvage yard. Ideally, the company will pay to have the vehicle towed for you.
Hurricane Insurance Claim Attorneys in Daytona Beach
Making an insurance claim after a hurricane is often more stressful than many people realize. If an insurer has denied your claim, or if you have questions, please give us a call, 386-252-5170. A Daytona Beach hurricane insurance claims lawyer at Bundza & Rodriguez can help answer any questions you have in a free consultation.