The sound of thunder and flashing lights can be both scary and exhilarating, but when a storm hits hard, we cannot deny the damages it can bring — especially to our personal vehicles. Storm damage can be costly, time-consuming, and overwhelming, but knowing the basics of dealing with it and how insurance can help can lessen the worry that comes with it. We will tackle the ways to handle storm damage to your personal vehicle and examine how your insurance policy can cover you.
1. Assessing the Damage
Before anything else, it's essential to assess the damage that your vehicle incurred from the storm. Check the exterior and interior of your car and take note of the dents, broken windows, and other damages. If there's flooding, check the engine and any electrical system within the car. If you have doubts about the condition of the car, have it checked by a professional mechanic. Doing this will help you give an accurate evaluation of the damage and determine whether it's worth repairing.
2. Filing an Insurance Claim
If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, you are likely covered for damages caused by storms. Carefully read through your policy and check the coverage limits, deductibles, and exclusions to know what is and isn't covered. When filing a claim, provide the insurance company with all relevant documentation, including photographs and videos of the damage, the date the damage occurred, and the police report if necessary. Be honest and transparent about the incident to ensure that your claim will be processed correctly.
3. Choosing a Repair Shop
Your insurance company may recommend a repair shop, but it's up to you to decide which one to use. It’s advisable to choose a licensed and certified repair shop that has experience dealing with storm damage. Ask for an itemized estimate and check with your insurance company to see if the estimate is covered. Once you have chosen a repair shop, make sure to communicate with them frequently and approve any additional work before they start.
4. Payment and Reimbursement
Your insurance coverage may depend on your deductible, which is the amount you pay before the insurance policy kicks in. If you have a high deductible, the repair cost could be lower than the deductible, and you may have to cover the repair cost yourself. Insurance companies often pay for the repairs directly to the repair shop, or reimburse you the cost of repairs if you already paid for them. Make sure to keep receipts and other documentation in case you have to request reimbursement from your insurance company.
5. Preventing Future Storm Damage
Prevention is always better than cure, and it's important to be proactive in preventing future storm damage to your personal vehicle. Park your car in a covered area, such as a garage, during storms. Avoid driving in water or through flood-prone areas, and if you have to, avoid crossing flooded roads or areas where you can't see the road. Regular maintenance and check-ups, such as keeping your tires fully inflated, can prevent damage to your car from debris and other hazards.
Dealing with storm damage to your personal vehicle can be stressful, but with the right knowledge and insurance coverage, you can navigate the situation with ease. Remember to assess the damage, file an insurance claim, choose a reputable repair shop, plan for and manage payment and reimbursement, and prevent future damage. Safeguarding your personal vehicle is essential, and being prepared and responsible can save you from further headaches and worries in the long run.At Orlando Insurance Center we are— ALL THINGS INSURANCE— our local insurance specialists will also help you save in the purchase of insurance bundles. Give us a call today at (407) 680-1214— for an initial consultation and quotes from among 20 different insurance carriers who support us!