The number of vehicle losses due to hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, large hailstorms, firestorms and other severe storms nearly doubled in the five years between 2001 and 2005, according to ISO’s Property Claim Services (PCS) unit, the recognized authority on insured property losses from catastrophes in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The number of reported claims for vehicle loss from natural disasters recorded by PCS increased steadily, from 485,150 claims in 2001 to 982,350 claims in 2005, for a total of 3.3 million losses over the past five years. PCS’s numbers track auto insurance claims on vehicles with insurance policies that include comprehensive coverage, which covers damages or loss due to natural disasters, catastrophes or events other than a collision with another car.
“Drivers spend a lot of money on auto insurance and it is important for them to be as familiar as possible with what their coverage includes when they’re making their purchase decision,” said Ron Berry, senior vice president at the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “But too often, people shopping only for the lowest rates don’t notice their lack of certain types of coverage until they try to make a claim.”
The best advice is to be prepared to know what your auto insurance covers and what you should do if your car is damaged in a storm by following these tips:
- Know what your insurance covers. Be familiar with the details of your coverage. For example, don’t wait to find out that your policy doesn’t include comprehensive or won’t automatically cover costs for emergency roadside assistance or a replacement rental car.
- Report damage as soon as possible. If your car is not drivable, your agent or claims center may be able to save you time and money by having the car towed directly to the repair facility (more…)