Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • Car insurance may help you recover from hurricane-related losses, but the appropriate coverage often needs to be in place before the hurricane begins
  • The types of damages that you may experience due to a hurricane fall under collision or comprehensive coverage
  • Collision coverage takes effect when your vehicle is damaged in a collision
  • Comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, provides protection when weather-related losses occur, such as flooding or extreme wind
  • Remember that insurance providers may require coverage to be in place days before the hurricane occurs

Damages caused by a hurricane can vary wildly. Hurricane-related damages may fall under different coverage options, and it’s essential that these coverage options are in place before the hurricane occurs.

Some insurance providers place restrictions on adding coverage when a hurricane is imminent. This restriction prevents you from adding and removing coverage on a whim.

Compare car insurance quotes today to make sure you’re not overpaying for coverage. Enter your zip code above to begin.

Your Collision Coverage and Hurricane Damages

A hurricane may create unsafe driving conditions that lead to an accident. The amount of damage that can occur varies, but it may be caused by one or a combination of the following:

  • Heavy rains
  • Extreme winds
  • Road damage that causes you to crash

Although losses can seem unrelated to a hurricane, the actual cause of the loss may fall under your collision coverage.

A collision is considered a vehicular accident where your car collides with another vehicle, a pothole or road debris, or an object; collisions with animals are not covered under this coverage.

Your loss may be considered a collision if you hit road debris created during the hurricane, an object that’s been blown into the road, or even another driver trying to move away from the area.

In a traditional collision, your claim often carries a deductible. Collisions that occur due to a hurricane are often the same, even though hurricane losses are often considered a catastrophe situation.

Insurance deductibles are an amount of any covered loss that you, the policyholder, are responsible for covering. A deductible helps reduce the number of small value claims being filed.

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Your Comprehensive Coverage and Hurricane Damages

Collisions are a smaller occurrence within a hurricane since the biggest damages occur from flooding and wind damage.

These types of losses occur from the weather-related occurrences that a hurricane can bring, and they can often impact a lot of people all at once.

When you experience losses caused by these types of weather-related events, comprehensive coverage often comes into play.

Within your comprehensive coverage, your policy provides protection for disasters that a hurricane can bring, including:

  • Flooding
  • Heavy winds
  • Hail

It’s important to confirm with your provider what coverage you carry before a loss occurs.

Just like collision coverage, your comprehensive coverage will often carry a deductible. The deductible will be subtracted from any settlement you receive. Even in catastrophe claim situations, you are often required to pay the deductible to get your claim covered.

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Policy Conditions and Hurricane-Related Damages

Make sure you assess your policy coverage and conditions before a loss occurs. The state-required minimum coverage is often inadequate to protect you from a hurricane.

Insurance providers will often place a temporary hold on writing new insurance coverage when a hurricane is imminent. Your provider may not be willing to add additional coverage to your policy once a hurricane warning has been issued.

The National Hurricane Center is a good resource for insurance providers and policyholders alike. These types of restrictions often are removed once the hurricane has concluded.

If you live in a hurricane-prone location, you may want to renew your coverage or purchase your policy before any hurricane restrictions take effect.

For instance, if you’re looking to purchase a new vehicle, you may want to consider waiting until after the hurricane has passed through.

If you purchase your vehicle too close to a hurricane notice, you may find it difficult to get coverage until after the hurricane passes.

Things to Remember About Hurricane-Related Losses and Your Policy

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Your car insurance is designed to help you restore yourself to a pre-loss condition when you experience a loss that’s above and beyond what you can handle.

When your loss is caused by hurricane-related events, there are points to remember:

  • The first thing to do when a hurricane-related loss occurs is to document the damages to your property as soon as it’s safe.
  • The second thing to do is to make contact with your insurance provider when possible, even if you just call to inform them of the loss. In the event of a natural disaster, insurance companies often put special catastrophe claim handling procedures into place to allow effective management of a large number of losses.
  • The final step you should take is protecting your property from further damage, if possible, by taking reasonable and necessary steps to mitigate loss. This can include simple steps, such as covering broken windows or relocating your car to a safer location. It’s important to take mitigating steps whenever possible.

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Conclusion

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Hurricanes are more likely to occur in some areas than others, but it’s important to protect yourself from these losses with your insurance coverage.

Hurricane losses can fall under different coverage options, such as collision and comprehensive coverage, and you may need to have this protection in place days or weeks before a hurricane affects your location.

Make sure to check your insurance coverage to understand what coverage options you carry, and speak to your insurance provider if necessary.

If you find that the coverage you carry does not offer protection from hurricane damages, you may need to purchase additional coverage.

If you find that your current provider cannot meet your coverage needs, you may want to consider switching to another provider. You can shop around for coverage quotes at any time, which allows you to compare coverage options and pricing from multiple providers.

Comparison shop for coverage today by entering your zip code below!