Severe Storms Are Coming, Are You Prepared?

Severe storms have caused a great deal of damage throughout the US over the past several weeks and more severe storms are expected this week. Lack of preparedness for severe storms can be costly. These storms bring damaging hail, winds, flood waters, and lightning. Are you prepared for these severe storms? What about your auto insurance? Severe weather preparedness for both is very important.

Car insurance preparedness

Just as important as having your severe storm survival kits of batteries, food, and water, making sure your car insurance (and other insurance products) is updated and ready to handle the damage that may accompany these storms is a key preparedness procedure.  What do we mean by that? How is one’s insurance prepared for severe storm damage?

Severe weather insuranceCheck coverage levels and deductible amounts

Before severe storms roll in, it’s a good idea to go over your insurance policies (we’re going to talk about car insurance, but much of this can apply to homeowners, renters, and other types of insurance products). The first thing you should look at are your coverage levels. Has anything changed since you first purchased this insurance policy or since you last made changes to it? If so, you may need to adjust your coverage levels accordingly.

Let’s say you purchased your auto insurance policy two years ago. That was before you installed $2,500 worth of aftermarket equipment and upgrades to your vehicle. If your auto insurance policy does not reflect that, then you could have to pay that amount out of pocket in order to replace that equipment should it be damaged. Otherwise, that additional equipment may not be replaced and you may not be compensated for it. If you aren’t prepared to pay for replacement yourself, then you should consider upping the limits on your comprehensive and/or considering lowering your deductible.

Rental car preparedness

In the event that something should happen to your car, do you have a backup plan? Some car insurance policies offer a rental car while you are without your vehicle. Be aware that there are limits to this coverage. There is usually a maximum daily price for the rental, and then a total amount that can be paid. This means your policy might say that you are allowed up to $50 per day up to a total of $500. That means you could have a $50 a day rental car for ten days total. After that, it’s on your dime. If storm damage hits a large portion of your community and numerous other vehicles are damaged, it may take longer for you to get your car repaired. Are you prepared to pay out of pocket for a rental car?

Don’t be late

If you’re behind on your insurance payments, now is the time to get paid up. Regardless of the reason for being behind, you’ll want to be sure your current on your auto insurance payments before severe storms blow into town. You can usually make sure of this by either logging into your account online or by calling your insurer’s customer service phone number.

Protect your property from severe storms

We know that sometimes there’s just nothing that could have prevented the storm damage to your vehicle. In most cases, a little preparedness goes a long way. If you can move your car to a garage or other indoor location, do so. If you don’t own a garage, consider covering it with a car cover. Also, make sure to avoid parking under or near anything that might fall or collapse onto your vehicle such as trees or telephone poles. If it’s possible, try to park on higher ground to reduce the risk of water damage from any flooding that might occur as a result of the heavy rains common to severe storms. Finally, be sure to remove any valuables you might have in your vehicle. This includes wallets, keys to other vehicles, or anything else that would be difficult or impossible to replace should something happen to your car.

What if extra protection means paying more?

As with most things, you get what you pay for when it comes to auto insurance. This means that covering your vehicles, particularly if you live in an area that has a regular severe storm season, can be expensive. We think that protect your property is just as important as saving money. If your insurance company tells you that your new rate for this adjusted coverage is more than you can afford, don’t be afraid to shop around. Compare car insurance companies, policies, and coverages to make sure you’re getting the best price. Since you’re here, why not give a try? We work with insurance companies throughout the US to bring you the best possible prices, and then allow you to compare the offerings side by side.

Car Owner’s Guide

What to do in a hit and run? What steps can you take to prevent auto theft? What can I do to lower my auto insurance payments? Car owners get faced with a lot of questions. Read our Car Owners Guide to make sure you’re getting the most out of your car.

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