Your car insurance may cover hurricane damage, but it depends on your policy.
How do I Know if My Car Insurance Covers My Damage?
Florida Statutes § 627.7407 requires all Floridians to have a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection, often called PIP, and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. It is important to note that a property damage liability policy will not cover damage to your own vehicle. This coverage is for damage to another person’s property in an accident you caused.
Many people choose the additional coverage offered on their plans for hurricane damage, such as comprehensive insurance. Knowing what your insurance covers ahead of time is an important part of being prepared for a hurricane.
Comprehensive Coverage Covers These Types of Damage
Comprehensive car insurance is the best way to make sure your car is covered after a hurricane.
If you’re having trouble getting fair compensation from your insurer, a lawyer with experience handling disaster recovery claims can help.
Unlike full-coverage insurance, comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle against common causes of damage in natural disasters, including:
- Flying debris
- Wind damage
- Flooding and water damage
If you live in Florida, you already know the dangers of hurricanes and tropical storms. Strong winds are often a factor for flying debris, but the wind could also pick up your vehicle or turn it on its side.
Hurricanes also come with flash floods, surges of water, and heavy downpours. Comprehensive coverage will take care of flood and water damage.
Water damage can cause a host of issues in your vehicle, including electrical problems that can result in fires. Getting your car looked at immediately after it’s damaged can help assess which problems were caused by the storm.
Collision Coverage May Apply in Certain Situations
If you were evacuating the area and collided with another vehicle or a stationary object, your collision coverage will pay for your property damage.
Your Insurance Agent Can Help You Understand Your Coverage
If you are unsure if your car insurance policy covers hurricane damage, you can contact your insurance agent and ask. Hopefully, they give you a straight answer and show they’re willing to negotiate with you in good faith.
If you suspect that your insurer is trying to deny a valid claim for compensation, you may want to look into hiring an attorney who can negotiate for you.
Homeowner’s Insurance May Cover Some Kinds of Damage
It’s possible your car may be covered under your home’s policy. If debris from your home damaged your vehicle, you may be able to use your homeowner’s insurance to cover it.
Policies vary a great deal, and some insurers may try to keep you from using your insurance to its full extent. If you are unsure if your homeowner’s insurance can pay for damage to your vehicle, an attorney familiar with disaster recovery can help.
How Much Compensation Will I Get?
As with any property damage claim, you can only claim damages that are related to the incident. In this case, that means the storm has to have caused the damage in some way. A professional can give you an estimate on the cost of repairs, and ideally, your policy will have enough coverage to include those expenses.
It is possible that you may have difficulty proving that the storm is responsible for your damages. A property damage lawyer can help you create a strong case to bring to your insurer and defend against denials or unfair settlement amounts.
Does Florida Have Time Limits to File a Claim?
Florida Statutes § 627.70132 allows up to three years to file your property damage claim. If you wait until after the deadline to file, your insurance company may not need to pay you a dime.
Another reason to file quickly is that important evidence and documentation can be lost over time. Eyewitnesses move, and receipts get lost. Hiring a professional can help you secure and keep track of evidence as well as important deadlines.
Where Can I Find Help Filing a Claim for Hurricane Damage to My Car?
If you need to ask questions or start filing an insurance claim for hurricane damage to your car, contact GED Lawyers. Our attorneys have helped many Florida residents after a hurricane or tropical storm. We can help you understand the language of your policy to determine whether your insurance covers your damages. We also understand the tactics some insurers use to avoid paying your settlement, so we know how to fight back.
We want to help you recover from a hurricane and get the compensation you need to move forward. Call or visit us online to request a free consultation.