Were You Driving in a Storm?

This is the most significant deciding factor in which of your insurance policies should cover the cost of the damages to your vehicle. Were you driving somewhere when the storm damage occurred? Did a tree or limb fall across the road, damaging your vehicle? If so, this damage will be covered by your auto insurance, not your homeowner’s policy. Depending on the nature of the damage, it will vary what sort of vehicular insurance will cover it. It could be covered by your collision coverage in certain situations, or your comprehensive coverage may cover it.

Was Your Vehicle Parked on Your Property?

If your vehicle was parked on your property, whether in the driveway, under a carport, or inside a garage, and sustained severe damage, your homeowner’s policy may cover it. If the damage to your vehicle resulted from damage to a garage or your home itself, the vehicle may be covered under your homeowner’s policy. Because of the ways policies and insurance companies work, both companies may enter into negotiations about payments. Sometimes, your homeowner’s policy may only cover certain expenses, like the deductible on your vehicular insurance.

Why Does It Matter Which Insurance Company Pays?

In some ways, it won’t matter too much who pays for the damage as long as one of your insurance policies covers it. The reason why it can benefit some people to have their homeowner’s insurance offer coverage for a vehicle damaged in storage on the property would be because they won’t have to pay two separate deductibles. Your homeowner’s policy will cover the damage to your home, except your deductible. Your auto policy will do the same for damage to your vehicle. If you only have to pay one deductible instead of two, that can be a financial boon after significant losses due to a storm.

When your car is involved in a storm in Florida, the responsibility for covering the damage depends on the specific circumstances and your insurance coverage. Here's a breakdown of how different situations are typically handled:

  • Comprehensive Auto Insurance: If you have comprehensive auto insurance as part of your policy, it should cover storm-related damage to your vehicle. Comprehensive coverage typically includes protection against non-collision events, such as damage from storms, hurricanes, floods, falling objects (like tree branches), and other natural disasters. You will be responsible for paying your deductible, and your insurance company should cover the rest up to the policy's limits.

  • Collision Auto Insurance: If you only have collision coverage, which is designed to cover damage resulting from collisions with other vehicles or objects, it may not cover storm-related damage to your car. In this case, you might have to pay for the repairs yourself.

  • Third-Party Liability: If another driver's actions during a storm cause an accident that damages your car, their liability insurance should cover the damage. You would file a claim with their insurance company.

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: If you're in an accident during a storm caused by another driver who doesn't have insurance or doesn't have enough insurance to cover your damages, your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (if you have it) can help cover your expenses.

  • Flooding and Water Damage: Comprehensive insurance typically covers damage from flooding in Florida, which can be a common concern during storms and hurricanes. However, it's essential to read your policy to understand the specific flood-related coverage.

  • Hail Damage: Hail is another storm-related peril typically covered by comprehensive insurance. It can cause significant damage to your vehicle, but comprehensive coverage should help with repairs.

It's crucial to review your auto insurance policy to understand the specific coverages and limits you have in place. If you have comprehensive coverage and a storm damages your vehicle, you can file a claim with your insurance company to help cover the cost of repairs. In case of an accident during a storm involving another driver, their insurance should cover your damages, assuming they are at fault and have insurance. 

An Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Policies and Coverage

It may seem unnecessary, but if you don’t fully understand which policy covers what damage, working with an experienced insurance law attorney can help. This legal professional understands the laws, the procedures, and the best way to work with your insurance carriers. The greater the overall damage to your property, the more helpful an attorney may be. They can even help appeal a denied claim. Don’t let your insurers deny claims that should be covered! Partner with an experienced insurance law attorney to ensure you receive the coverage you’ve been paying for all this time.

Has Your Home Insurance Company Denied Or Undervalued Your Property Damage Claim In Florida?

If your insurance company is dragging its feet regarding your property damage claim, you should speak with an experienced insurance claim lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Florida law office at 800.451.6786 to schedule your free consultation. We help Florida residents like you fight the big insurance companies who fail to abide by their policies. Remember, we work on a contingent basis, meaning you don't pay us anything until we win your case. 

K.C. Williams III
Managing Partner who has spent his entire career representing Florida insurance and personal injury claims.