Who pays when your car is damaged in a storm?
Posted in General on December 28, 2016
Like most residents of Florida, you pay every month to insure your home, your vehicle, and your health. Sometimes, when a storm causes damage, it can be in unexpected areas. Hurricanes or severe storms are notorious for uprooting trees and damaging houses. What happens when your vehicle is damaged during a storm? Which insurance company is responsible: the auto insurance company or your homeowner’s policy? If you don’t know who is supposed to cover the damages, filing a claim can quickly become confusing and difficult. Thankfully, it’s easy to determine who is responsible.
Were you driving in a storm?
This is the biggest deciding factor in which of your insurance policies should be covering 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 clearly be the kind covered by your auto insurance, not your homeowner’s policy. Depending on the nature of the damage, it will vary what kind of vehicular insurance will cover it. It could be covered by your collision coverage, in certain situations, or it may be covered by your comprehensive coverage.
Was your vehicle parked on your property?
If your vehicle was parked on your property, whether in the driveway, under a car port, or inside a garage, and sustained serious damage, it may be covered by your homeowner’s policy. Particularly if the damage to your vehicle was the result of 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. In some cases, 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 major losses due to a storm.
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 processional understands the laws, the policies, and the best way to work with your insurance carriers. The greater the overall damage to your property, the more helpful an attorney may prove to be. He or she 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.