Don’t forget about your car during hurricane season

During hurricane season, most people think about protecting their house. However, you shouldn’t forget about another asset: your car. Experts believe 2020 could be another active hurricane season, with a prediction of 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes (category 3 or higher).

Hurricanes and even tropical storms can cause a lot of damage to your car from flooding, flying debris, or fallen trees. Now is the time to take steps to protect your vehicle. Here are seven ways you can do that.

1. Review your auto policy

You will want to start by reviewing your current policy to ensure you have enough coverage to make repairs or replace your vehicle if necessary. This is especially important if you have a new car that’s worth more money than your previous one.

Pay attention to exclusions as well. For instance, make sure your policy covers damage caused by a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tropical storm.

2. Have a record of your car’s current condition

Take pictures of your car before a storm hits. This way, you’ll have evidence that shows the extent of the damage if you have to make a claim. Get some shots of the exterior and interior, so you have a complete record.

3. Remove non-permanent exterior fixtures

Remove all non-permanent fixtures, including things like removable antennas, magnetic signs, or accessories. First, you don’t want to lose anything valuable. Second, these objects could come off and become a dangerous projectile during a storm.

4. Put your car in a safe place

Leaving your car outside during a hurricane is very risky. If possible, put your vehicle in your garage or park under a sturdy covered structure.

If your house doesn’t have a garage or you live in an apartment without covered parking, you may still have options.

Perhaps your office building has a garage where you can leave your car. Some cities also open up public garages to local residents. Even some malls with garages may allow you to park there for free until the storm passes.

If none of those options will work, park your vehicle as close to a building as possible. Be sure to park on the highest ground possible to avoid rising floodwaters.

5. Have a full tank of gas

Gas is critical if you have to evacuate. If a lot of people are leaving the area, you could get stuck in miles of traffic on the highway. Massive evacuations can also lead to fuel shortages along the highway, leaving travelers with no way to fill up.

Even if you do stay in your home, you will need gas to get around after the storm. If there is widespread damage or power outages, gas stations may not be able to operate for several days.

6. Store important documents

Store your insurance card, insurance policy, and any other documentation in a safe, dry place. A zip-lock bag is usually the safest option in case your home is damaged, or there is flooding.

Make copies of your documentation and give them to every licensed driver in your home. If you get separated from your vehicle or family, you or other family members will still be able to make a claim.

7. After the storm

Once the storm has passed, inspect your vehicle for damage. If there has been damage, take pictures to document it and compare them with the “before” pictures (see Tip #2).

Even if your car is fine, you should still be careful when driving around. The roads may be dangerous, with debris, fallen trees, or downed power lines. Even if your neighborhood is fine, others may have sustained worse damage.

We can help you recover after a storm

Take steps now to protect your vehicle with an auto policy that will allow you to make repairs or replace your car if you sustain damage. Make sure you also protect your home, boat, and business. Ask us about insurance for personal or commercial needs.

If you have questions about your insurance coverage or you’re interested in a quote, contact us today.

This blog and website are made available by the publisher for educational and informational purposes only. It is not to be used as a substitute for competent insurance, legal, or tax advice from a licensed professional in your state.