Replacing Your Car After a Natural Disaster

If you’re someone who likes to be prepared for all occasions, you’ve probably already done a lot of research on where to find car insurance that covers absolutely everything. But how often are you warned about protecting your vehicle from the truly unexpected events of life? When you buy car insurance, you might not think it’s important to protect yourself against natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. But think again: You never know what’s going to happen down the line, and if you live in a high-risk area for natural disasters, you don’t want to get caught with a totaled car after the storm. If you want to make sure your car is protected against even the most volatile storm, here are a few things to consider.

Reach Out to Your Insurance Representative

After a huge storm or flood, it’s likely that you’re not going to be in a position to look through your files and determine whether or not your insurance policy covers natural disasters. If you’re trying to find out what’s covered on your plan, call your insurance company and explain what’s happened. They will let you know whether or not your vehicle is covered, and if it is, they’ll be able to tell you who to reach out to next and how to file your claim quickly and easily.

Note the Damage and the Value of Your Vehicle

After the disaster, try and get your paperwork together if it’s salvageable. If possible, try to figure out the original worth of the car and the amount of damage caused by the storm. It’s not important to get a perfect figure. If you can get a sense of how much the damage will cost, present that to your insurance company when filing your claim. If you need help figuring out your car’s market value, there are a number of online resources that will help you find this information based on your car’s year, make, and model. To figure out the damage costs, have a few different professionals give you quotes and average out the difference.

Take Pictures

Perhaps the most important step of all is to document the damage done to your vehicle. Just as at the scene of an accident, you’ll want to make sure every inch of the destruction is recorded and made available to your insurance company. When you file your claim, these images will help build a strong case. It’s also helpful to include photos of the car before the disaster hit if you have any on hand.

Have a Stand-In for the Wait Time

After your claim has been processed and approved, you’ll need something to get around in while you’re waiting for your check to arrive. Try renting a car from a service that charges per day or per mile so that it will be easy to keep track of your expense. If your insurance company won’t reimburse you, you can always try to expense the cost of a rental to your job at the end of the year.