From floods, to wildfires, and snowstorms! Every year, natural disasters continue to increase in both frequency and severity in all parts of the world. Because of this, you might be wondering “does car insurance cover natural disasters?”
If your car becomes damaged due to a natural disaster and you only carry your state’s minimum required coverage, you may be unpleasantly surprised . State minimums are unlikely to pay for damage from weather events.
Comprehensive coverage to the rescue
If you have comprehensive coverage as part of your car insurance policy before the disaster happens, then you’re in luck. Comprehensive coverage protects you from events that occur to your car that are outside of your control. Examples include: riots, theft, vandalism, and natural disasters.
In the event of a natural disaster, comprehensive insurance covers up to the current market value of your car after you’ve paid your deductible. If your car is considered a total loss, your car insurance will issue you a payment that equals the car’s market value minus your deductible. A total loss is when the cost to repair it is close to or higher than its market value,
Comprehensive coverage doesn’t work retroactively. You’ll need to have it as part of your car insurance policy prior to a natural disaster to get coverage. However, some carriers might implement binding restrictions on comprehensive coverage if a natural disaster is scheduled to hit an area. A binding restriction is when an insurance company temporarily stops writing new policies or increasing limits in existing policies.
Even if your policy covers natural disasters, your carrier might have limitations in place regarding claims associated with natural disasters. They could require you to file the claim within a certain time frame or implement a different claims process. Insurers might also take longer to issue payment for claims after a natural disaster. This is because other people will likely be filing claims at the same time.
Things to consider
However, you might not need comprehensive coverage if your car has a low market value. This is why it’s important for you to know the value of your car and if you can afford to replace it out of pocket. This holds especially true if you live in an area with higher risk of natural disasters. Additionally, if your livelihood depends on having your car, it’s a good idea to consider rental reimbursement coverage.
Natural disasters can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs. If you don’t have the right coverage, you might end up having to pay for them yourself. Contact us today to learn more about your options. We’ll evaluate your current policy and see if you have enough coverage in the event of a natural disaster.