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How Super Storm Sandy Was A Wake Up Call To Drivers

Major media coverage of Super-storm Sandy showed waters ravaging houses along the North East of the US and considered to be one of the most catastrophic events in past years. How does this related to auto insurance rates? Well there have been more than two hundred thousand claims to insurance companies for vehicles. Not houses. Yes, I will say it again; “vehicles”. While the claims for vehicles is in the millions, the total damage is reported to be near fifty billion dollars.

Car Under The WaterWhile a number of vehicle claims may have been for minor damage like minor scratches from objects which may have hit the vehicle during the hurricane others definitely were for cars that spent days underwater. A flood could cause enormous damage to a vehicle and even though it is rare for a car to be flooded. Super-storm Sandy was an example where many vehicle owners may have not had the correct protection which is why it is important to shop for car insurance quotes, compare them, find savings, with proper protection. 

We are going to talk about a few items which you may want to know about car insurance and the rates applied if or when your car may be affected by “Acts of God” type incidences. We have provided a quick check-list for you to cover with your insurance company:

  1. Ensure you’re covered.

  2. Consider gap insurance

  3. Avoid streets or roads which are flooded

  4. Check the damage to your vehicle

  5. Be sure to communicate with your insurer

  6. Check for vehicles with have previous flood damage to them.

You may want to realize, since many are keeping minimum coverage, you are not going to be protected if you have only liability cover. Be sure to have comprehensive coverage since it covers non-collision issues with your automobile. It is optional coverage, as long as you do not have a loan on the vehicle, and many are trying to save money therefore they are willing to drop comprehensive coverage. On the other hand, unforeseen accidents could cost more in the long run.

Gap insurance can be helpful in a scenario where you owe more than the vehicle is worth. Since vehicles depreciate the moment you drive them off the vehicle lot, if you finance a vehicle there could be a chance you may owe more than what it costs. What gap insurance will do is if you owe more than the car is worth, the insurance company will cover the costs of the value of the vehicle. With gap insurance the “part” you owe from financing is covered too.

  • Vehicle is worth 10,000 dollars
  • You finance the vehicle for 15,000 dollars
  • There is 13,200 dollars you owe to the bank for the vehicle
  • There is a 3,200 dollar “gap”

If you are driving during a hurricane to get home or during heavy rain period you want to be sure to avoid flooded roads. As rudimentary as this sounds many drivers are willing to take the chance and go through a road that “appears” to be only a few inches deep. Flooded roads can be very deceiving giving the appearance of very little water when it could be four or five feet of water. It always best to avoid roads covered with a lot of water.

If there is a chance your vehicle does end up in water submerge beyond theCar Flooded Sandy exhaust pipe the first thing you want to do is get yourself and any passengers to safety. If you are in the vehicle you do not want to turn on the engine or try to start the vehicle again when submerged as this may cause more damage. After getting the vehicle from the water be sure to bring it to your mechanic or to one your insurance company recommends to asses the damage.

You want to be sure to get your insurance company involved as soon as possible. In cases, such as Super-storm Sandy, a flooded vehicle could cost more to repair than to get a new or “comparable” vehicle. You want to be sure you get your insurance company involved before any mechanical work is done to it, according to Triple A (AAA). The claims adjuster will appraise the damage and work out how much you should compensated for the vehicle damage. Since Iphones, Smart Phones, and Droids are popular today it is a good idea to take pictures of vehicle as soon as possible. This will be helpful for your insurance company during the claims process and also to the adjuster.

The important part to realize is the more you drive your vehicle the higher chance you have of various incidences. Most of the people during Super-storm Sandy where concerned about their homes which is more important than a vehicle. However, there were many people which were affected by the hurricane from vehicle damage. Insurance is for unforeseen possibilities. If you “had” the potential to foresee future accidents or calamities then nobody would need insurance, except the State minimum coverage. Then again, there are many in the North East of the United States driving without insurance and if their car was flooded…then they have to pay all – out of pocket – which could be thousands.

  • State insurance department offers tips before a storm
Greg Fowler

Greg Fowler

Managing Member of AutoInsureSavings LLC, Greg enjoys writing articles to help drivers save on anything related to automobiles. Travel and enjoying the outdoors are some of his hobbies. The best way to reach him is at his Twitter or Facebook Profile.

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