Will Insurance Companies Come Through for Hurricane Sandy Victims?

Are you covered for Hurricane Sandy’s damage to your vehicle? E3 Spark Plug sheds some light.

Was your vehicle a victim of Hurricane Sandy? And are you wondering if your insurance company will pay up? E3 Spark Plugs offers a few pointers.

The first thing to know is whether your auto insurance policy has comprehensive coverage. If so, you’re likely in luck. That’s because comprehensive coverage differs from liability and collision coverage in that it’s specifically designed for storm damage, theft and vandalism. While nearly all states require liability insurance (which pays for damage to other vehicles in the event of an accident that’s deemed your fault), many do not mandate collision (which covers damage to your car) or comprehensive coverage. So, if you were looking to pinch pennies by going with the minimum required coverage at the time you signed, you may have opted out of comprehensive coverage. Fortunately, But 76 percent of auto policy holders do have comprehensive coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

The next bit of info to ascertain is the amount of the deductible you chose when you purchased your comprehensive auto insurance policy. In an effort to keep their monthly premiums manageable, many people opt for a higher deductible, particularly if they feel they’ll be able to pay for any auto damage with their savings or other financial resources. So long as the damage racks up to more than your deductible amount, you’re likely covered for any damage above the deductible.

Of course, it all depends on how much your car is worth. No matter how bad the damage, your insurance provider will not pay more than its determined total value of the car. This is particularly true for older cars. And it’s all a moot point if you failed to keep up your monthly premiums and allowed your insurance coverage to laps.

If your car is damaged and you have comprehensive auto insurance in place, take photos and call your provider to file a claim right away. Also send copies of any appraisals you may have had done on your vehicle, but understand that your insurance adjuster likely will have the last word on your car’s worth.