The hurricane season is just around the corner and now is the best time to assess your insurance option for covering the potential damage delivered by bad weather. Even now there can already be a slight increase in car insurance quotes for policies covering hurricanes, especially in those areas where they happen most of the time. However, even if you manage to buy a policy with suitable hurricane coverage, knowing how to proceed during and after the hurricane has hit is also very important. That's why we're providing you with several tips from insurers and insurance experts that will help you minimize the costs and get the best coverage when disaster strikes:
Before the disaster
- First of all you have to make sure that your insurance company is adequate in dealing with hurricane-related quotes. It would be best to learn about their hurricane payout rates even when you're comparing car insurance quotes, not when the disaster is about to happen.
- If you want to insure a classic or retro car against hurricane damage it's best to find an insurer that specializes in such cars, not a general insurance company. Specialized car insurance providers usually have a more adequate approach when it comes to evaluating damage and finding a good repair shop for an old vehicle.
- Keep all your insurance documentation in a safe place that is likely to survive the hit and keep the papers intact. Make copies of all the documents and keep them in another place as well, just as a backup.
- If your garage is likely to get flooded or badly damaged during the hurricane, arrange for a backup storage location for your vehicle, preferably at higher ground. If you can't find one contact your insurer to make the arrangement - they are likely to help you out with that.
After the disaster
- Take as many photos as needed to document the damage inflicted to your car. Having several photos from before the hurricane is a great bonus as they will help the insurance company to assess the damage more accurately. Once you've taken the photos call the insurer right away.
- Do not start the engine or try to drive around in the damaged car before an assessment is made by the insurer. The engine may be flooded and other systems may also contain bad water, which will inflict more damage if you try to start the car.
- Removing contaminated water from your car should be a priority. The sooner you do it the better. Have a professional drain all the fluids from the engine and the car interior for better results.
- Remove any debris that got inside the car during the hurricane but only after you've documented the damage through photos. You have to provide proof that the damage was inflicted by the debris you've removed when the insurance agent arrives.
- Negotiate the cost of repair with the insurer. Ask for several options when it comes to repair shops and see if the insurer will cover you if you take the car to a different shop. Ask the repair workers to give you an estimate on the work to have some negotiating basis with the insurer.