Last updated: October 2022
Mother Nature has been harsh these past few years! From hurricanes along the gulf coast to wildfires out west (and every storm in-between), many Americans have boarded up, packed up, and left their lives behind due to extreme weather damage. Because we never know when the next storm will strike, it’s important to be prepared. If you’ve ever wondered does car insurance cover weather damage, you’re not alone. Here’s what you need to know about extreme weather and auto coverage.
Does Car Insurance Cover Tornado Damage?
A tornado is a destructive vortex of violently rotating winds. A strong one can easily level a house or pick up and toss vehicles around. So how do you know if your car is protected from these devastating forces of nature? Well, if you said yes to comprehensive coverage when you first bought your auto policy, you should be in the clear. Comprehensive insurance pays to repair or replace your vehicle after a non-collision event, like theft, vandalism, fire, or even a tornado.
However, comprehensive coverage isn’t included by default when you get a quote for auto insurance. States don’t include it in minimum liability insurance requirements, so you must add comprehensive coverage to your auto insurance policy if you want the protection. It is worth noting that if you don’t own your vehicle outright (leasing or financing), the institution you’re borrowing from may require you to carry comprehensive coverage.
Does Car Insurance Cover Flood Damage?
We’ve all seen it: news footage of a car floating down a flooded street. If you live in a flood-prone zone, this image probably haunts your nightmares. But with comprehensive coverage, it doesn’t have to. Comprehensive insurance can come to your aid if your car is ever damaged by floodwaters. You’ll just have to pay your deductible, and then your insurer should take care of the water damage.
Unsure if you live in a flood-prone area or not? Enter your address into FEMA’s Flood Map to find out and consider comprehensive coverage if floodwaters are a threat to you.
Does Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage?
Hail can rain down without warning, and even seemingly small pieces of ice can dent the hood of your car or crack your windshield. You often have little time to prepare and find shelter from these pellets of frozen rain. If you have liability-only car insurance, you’re not covered for hail damage. You’ll need comprehensive coverage if you want your insurance company to help pay for damage to your vehicle after a hailstorm.
Does Car Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?
Living near the ocean can feel like a big vacation, but one downside is the looming threat of a hurricane. Even if you prepare for hurricane season to the best of your ability, these powerful storms can still cause significant damage to your property, including your vehicle(s). While you check off your safety list of window-boards and sandbags, double-check your car insurance policy for comprehensive coverage. If you have comprehensive coverage as part of your auto insurance plan, you’ll be covered if a hurricane wreaks havoc on your car.
Does Car Insurance Cover Damage from a Weather-Related Car Accident?
Let’s say you’re involved in an ice- or snow-related car accident. In this scenario, it’s not comprehensive coverage that would come to your aid. If the other driver is determined to be at fault for the accident, their property damage liability insurance will help pay for your car to be repaired. If you’re at fault for the accident, then your property damage coverage would pay for the damage you cause. However, if you’re at fault, you’d need to rely on collision coverage under your policy to help pay for repairs to your car.
Collision coverage is the best way to make sure your ride is protected in a weather-related car accident, regardless of fault. Just like comprehensive coverage, collision insurance isn’t mandated by state insurance laws, so you must add it to your policy.
Understanding Your Car Insurance Coverage
Are you starting to see a trend here? When Mother Nature comes knocking, comprehensive coverage is your safety net against weather-related vehicle damage. And if you’re driving in poor weather conditions regularly, collision coverage can be a valuable addition to your policy.