If you have a comprehensive insurance policy, you're probably covered in the event of a hurricane.
Sadly, hurricanes are not an odd occurrence in the United States. In fact, they are one of the
most common natural disasters in the United States.
These violent storms with high winds can affect big areas in a short period of time and can potentially cause significant damage. Yet, hurricane damage is rarely mentioned when it comes to car insurance. If you're unsure if hurricanes are covered by your insurance policy, read on to find out everything you need to know about hurricane coverage.
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Is my car protected against hurricanes?
Your car may or may not be protected against hurricane–it all depends on how much coverage you have. While "hurricane insurance" isn't really a thing,
comprehensive coveragecan help you.
Most people have the car insurance that is required by law; this coverage usually includes costs for bodily injuries and property damage that is directly linked to a car accident. This coverage is often considered the bare minimum. As you might have guessed, this would not cover damages related to a hurricane.
However, if your vehicle is covered under a comprehensive insurance policy, you'd be covered against the following things:
Hurricanes fall under the "weather and storm damage" category, so as long as you have comprehensive coverage, your car insurance will cover hurricane damage.
Can I upgrade to a comprehensive insurance policy?
Usually, yes, you should have no problem contacting your insurance company and signing up for an upgrade. However, there is one instance in which your insurer will deny you this request.
Insurance companies are smart. They know that once a hurricane is announced, thousands of people will suddenly want the comprehensive coverage and might sign up for it at the last minute. This could potentially cost the insurance company quite a bit of money.
Think about it this way: a bunch of people sign up for the coverage, they pay a month of the policy, and the next thing they know is they're all filling claims for thousands of dollars. It's not great business for the insurance company, which is precisely why most of them limit or completely prohibit new enrollments or upgrades once a hurricane has been announced.
So, if you're thinking about getting comprehensive coverage for your car, make sure to do it before the next hurricane season arrives.
Will adding insurance raise my premiums?
With additional coverage, a rise in premiums is expected. A comprehensive insurance policy covers much more than a basic insurance policy. This broader coverage will be reflected in an average increase of $600 per year in your premiums. However, the increase will be small compared to the potential costs you may be liable to if a hurricane causes you to lose your car.
Remember that a hurricane can affect your car in many ways: the wind could flip it, a tree could fall on top of it, flood damage might damage electrical or mechanical systems, or a flying object might break your windows. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, comprehensive car coverage might be a saving grace.
Will my premium increase after filing a claim?
Usually, when people file a claim, their insurance premium goes up, and hurricane claims are no exception. While you might be thinking, "well, what's the point of having insurance if I'll have to pay more every time I use it?" This can be frustrating, but keep two things in mind:
- Hurricanes don't just happen to you; they happen to many people at the same time. Insurance companies have to pay out multiple claims at once; this amounts to millions of dollars flowing out of the company, so they need a way to bring some money back.
- The premium increase you'd be paying would amount to nothing next to the costs you'd have to cover if you had to pay for 100% of the damages your car might've suffered.
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