Does the car insurance cowl twister harm? – Bankrate.com
Wherever cool and warm air masses collide, a tornado can form and damage your home or vehicle. The US has the most tornadoes per year than any other country, with an average of 1,000 tornadoes forming. Although the people of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Florida are most susceptible to tornadoes, the entire country can be affected if weather conditions are right.
Does the car insurance cover tornado damage? It depends on the type of insurance in the policy. Knowing how your car insurance will protect your vehicle before a storm does damage can help you choose the best covers before a tornado hits.
Does the car insurance cover tornado damage?
Most states require drivers to have at least minimum liability insurance to legally drive a vehicle. However, liability insurance will not repair your vehicle if it is damaged by a tornado or other storm. Liability insurance covers the other person if you cause personal injury or property damage in an accident.
Collision is an optional coverage that drivers can purchase to cover repair costs if they are involved in an accident.
If you want to cover tornado or storm damage, then the right coverage to repair or replace your vehicle is comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive covers:
- Broken windows and windshields
- Hit an animal
- Theft of the vehicle
- Weather-related damage
If you add fully comprehensive and collision protection to your car insurance, choose a deductible for this cover. A deductible is the amount that you pay out of pocket from a covered claim. The higher the deductible, the cheaper the car insurance premium is usually, but the more you have to pay in the event of a claim.
Types of tornado damage covered by fully comprehensive insurance
- Damage from fallen power lines
- Electrical damage
- Falling branches
- Flying debris
- Hail damage
A tornado can cause significant damage to your vehicle, some of which will add up depending on the severity of the damage. Strong tornadoes can easily pick up a car and carry it away from its original location. Debris flying around in a tornado can also damage your car, such as gravel, branches, furniture, or even other cars caught in the funnel.
Tornadoes can also bring large amounts of rain to an area in a short period of time, which can lead to flooding. If this is the case and the water of the tornado and the resulting storm damage damage your car, the fully comprehensive insurance also covers floods. Lightning strike is another weather hazard that can cause electrical and other physical damage to your car that is also covered by fully comprehensive insurance.
Will tornado damage increase my car insurance rates?
Any claim that you submit to your car insurance company can increase your rates. Fully comprehensive damage is generally not penalized as severely as collision damage, as auto insurance companies know that fully comprehensive damage is usually beyond the driver's control.
If there is major damage in your area from a storm or tornado, auto insurers can raise rates for everyone, even if you haven't made a claim for damages. This is known as a tariff revision and must be approved by the state before an insurance company can change tariffs.
Submit a Tornado Insurance Claim
If you have comprehensive insurance and discover damage to your car after a tornado or other storm, you should file a claim ASAP. The storm likely damaged hundreds of other vehicles and homes, which could result in insurance companies being flooded with filed claims.
Auto repair shops can also build up, which can lead to long waiting times for your vehicle to be repaired. If you would like to file a claim for tornado damage, we recommend these steps.
- Snap photos of the scene before removing any debris. Get close-ups or videos of the damage to your car to deliver to the insurance company.
- Report a claim by phone, online or via the vehicle insurance app. Provide supporting materials, including the pictures or videos you took in the first step.
- Write down your claim number so that you can easily track your claim.
- Be patient. It may take some time before a claims adjuster is seconded and contacted to proceed with the claim. If you have a preferred repair facility, have the information ready to help speed the process. You can even contact the shop to see if they can make a quote that you can send directly to the insurance company.
Protect your car from tornado damage
When an impending storm is reported, especially if a tornado is expected, protecting your car from the impact can prevent tornado or storm damage. Here are a few things you can do to keep your car safe:
- Avoid parking in low-lying areas prone to flooding.
- Do not park near:
- Gravel driveways or parking spaces
- In the vicinity of loose furniture or other debris, strong winds can pick up this
- Telephone poles
- Keep it in a closed building or garage.
frequently asked Questions
Do insurance companies pay for storm damage?
Yes, if the home or car is insured against storm or tornado damage, the insurance companies will pay the claims. Homeowner policies that cover both home and personal effects typically cover storm damage, but this depends on the type of policy. If you have fully comprehensive insurance in your car insurance, storm or tornado damage should be covered.
How does storm damage insurance work?
If a storm, tornado, or other weather event has damaged your vehicle or home, you should speak to your auto or property insurer to file a claim. Your claims adjuster will guide you through the claims process and keep you informed of the steps you need to take along the way.