The Atlantic hurricane season can bring destruction to just about everything, including your car.
From Louisiana to Florida and all the way up the East Coast, s trong winds can topple vehicles or knock down trees, while storm surges and heavy rains bring flooding—all of which could potentially damage your car.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, a typical year has 21 major storms, almost half of which are hurricanes. This might raise some red flags for anyone living in affected areas.
Even if you can’t avoid a hurricane, there are ways to offset the financial impact any resulting damage has on you and your family.
For one, you may be able to write off a portion of your damages on your taxes, which can reduce your tax burden for that year. But you don’t have to wait for tax season to come around to offset your costs: a comprehensive car insurance policy can help protect you from unexpected bills after a hurricane damages your car.
It’s safe to say that the right car insurance coverage can make or break your finances after a hurricane rolls through. If you only have collision coverage on your policy, it’s not enough to cover damage from a major storm. So if it’s time to bulk up your policy, head on over to Insurify to compare personalized quotes. You’ll find the best deals on comprehensive coverage tailored to you.
Car Insurance for Hurricane Damage
Damage from hurricanes is considered an act of God under car insurance policies. Acts of God are events outside of anyone’s control, or where it’s not possible to assign blame to an individual.
This is where comprehensive coverage comes in. Comprehensive insurance coverage protects you from acts of God, whether it’s severe weather or anonymous damage to your car.
If a hurricane hits your area, you need comprehensive coverage to cover flood damage and damage from high winds. Just make sure you plan ahead with comprehensive coverage. If you wait to purchase a new policy until there’s an active hurricane warning in your area, you may not be able to use your coverage.
The right car insurance coverage can be the difference between shelling out the cost to repair or replace your damaged car and just paying your deductible. Finding the right insurance company can be as easy as a few clicks with Insurify. In less than 10 minutes, you can build a profile and get personalized car insurance quotes. If you’re ready to find the right coverage at a good price, give it a try today.
Filing a Car Insurance Claim for Hurricane Damage
After your car has been damaged in a hurricane, it’s time to file a claim with your insurance company. Damages you can claim on your insurance depend on your car insurance policy. While it’s possible to hit someone else ’s car while driving in bad weather and filing a collision claim, damage to your vehicle that’s a direct result of a hurricane or storm would fall under your comprehensive insurance policy.
Each insurance provider has its own process in place for filing claims: some require you to call your local agent, while others have an online or mobile claims center. If you’ve never had to file a claim before, it’s a good idea to figure out what steps you need to take before a storm hits. There’s a good chance phone lines will be busy in the wake of a hurricane when many customers need help at the same time. This can make it challenging to get timely advice from your insurance company.
Generally speaking, you’ll need your policy information, like the name of the main policyholder and the policy number, on hand to file a claim. You should also take photos of the damage to your vehicle whenever it’s safe to do so—these will help complete your claim.
When it comes to filing a claim for hurricane damage to your car, one of the most important things is that you have coverage before a storm warning is in effect. If the National Hurricane Center has already issued an alert for a storm heading your way, it could be too late to invoke a new policy.
Writing Off Hurricane Damage on Your Taxes
Filing an insurance claim isn’t your only hope to recuperate some of the cost of repairing your vehicle. The IRS has a process for taxpayers to write off a portion of damages resulting from a natural disaster.
As with many tax policies, there are rules and restrictions to go with this type of write-off. If you’re considering taking advantage of this option, just keep in mind the damage must be from the natural disaster itself—you can’t write off any part of the damages that come from normal wear and tear on your vehicle.
The best thing you can do to prepare for writing off hurricane damage on your taxes is to file your insurance claim on time. You’ll need information from your claim to complete the required tax forms, so take care of it quickly and document everything accurately. In most cases, you can only write off damage from natural disasters in the same tax year that the damage occurred.
The IRS doesn’t allow you to claim the full replacement cost of your vehicle, even if it’s a new car or considered a total loss. Instead, you’ll need to factor in any reimbursement you already received from the insurance company. There are also standardized adjustments that will reduce the amount you can claim.
Online tax software can help you with this type of write-off, but you may also want to enlist a tax professional’s help to make sure all of your i ’s are dotted and t ’s are crossed. That said, those filing online or by mail can look to Form 4684 and Schedule A Itemized Deductions to write off losses from a natural disaster.
If you’re not sure if you’re eligible to write off certain car-related payments, check out our guide to car insurance and taxes.
Make Sure You’re Protected
You may not be able to stop a falling tree or floodwaters from damaging your car, but you can protect yourself against the cost of damages with the right insurance policy. And it’s not just hurricanes to think about: any kind of severe weather can cause unexpected (and costly) damage to your vehicle. That’s why comprehensive car insurance is so important.
Finding the right insurance coverage doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Try Insurify’s comparison tool to find affordable rates on comprehensive car insurance so you can save money now and after disaster hits.
Compare Car Insurance Quotes Instantly
Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Service's database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums.