Does Car Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?

Comprehensive car insurance can pay to repair your vehicle after damage from non-collision incidents, like severe weather or falling trees.

Courtney Washington
Courtney Washington

Courtney Washington is a Texas A&M University graduate. Her extensive knowledge and background in auto, home, and umbrella policies make her a one-stop shop for insurance advice and information. She loves to help her readers understand their insurance choices so they can make informed decisions about their coverage.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Updated May 23, 2024

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Provided you have the right type of coverage, your car insurance can cover vehicle damage from a hurricane. The strong winds and flooding from these storms can result in costly damages, so it’s important to have added protection in high-risk areas.

In 2017, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastated portions of Houston and southwest Florida.[1] The storms caused billions of dollars in damage, and insurance companies had to write claims for more than 637,000 vehicles between the two storms. The Insurance Information Institute ranks Harvey and Irma as two of the 10 costliest U.S. hurricanes.[2]

Fortunately, insurance companies provide a way for vehicle owners to remediate their damages through the different types of coverage they offer, including comprehensive coverage.

Cheapest recent rates

Drivers using Insurify have found quotes as cheap as $35/mo for liability only and $45/mo for full coverage.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 23, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 23, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 23, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 23, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

What types of car insurance cover hurricane damage?

Most states require drivers to purchase a minimum amount of liability car insurance, but you select how much coverage you want when signing up for a car insurance policy. Mandatory liability insurance only covers the other driver’s vehicle repairs and medical expenses if you cause an accident. Insurance professionals recommend carrying additional insurance.

Full-coverage policies, which include liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance, also protect you if you cause an accident or face vehicle damage outside of your control. Collision insurance covers damage from car accidents, and comprehensive coverage pays to repair a car after damage from a non-collision incident, like severe weather, falling objects, and more.[3]

Comprehensive insurance covers hurricane damage, including damage from flooding, high winds, fire, and falling objects.[4] If the vehicle is a total loss, the insurance company will write a check for what the car was worth at the time of the loss. You should consider purchasing a full-coverage policy if you live in a state with high rates of accidents, vehicle theft, and storm-related damage.

What types of hurricane damage does car insurance cover?

Comprehensive insurance covers anything that can damage a vehicle other than a collision. This includes contact with animals, riots, vandalism, theft, and falling objects. Comprehensive coverage also repairs damage from weather-related damage from flooding, wind, fire, hail, and other acts of nature.

When to buy car insurance to cover your vehicle in case of hurricanes

Drivers in areas with hurricane activity should stay prepared by keeping comprehensive coverage year-round. While hurricane season is from early June to early December, heavy rain, wind, or other covered events can happen at any time. Don’t wait until a hurricane is on its way to sign up for coverage. Some areas even have hurricane moratoriums, which means companies don’t write policies with comprehensive coverage during the hurricane season.

Letting your coverage lapse, even if it’s just liability coverage, can leave you vulnerable to financial hardship if you’re in an accident. Not only is liability coverage mandatory in many states, but drivers who cause accidents in at-fault states are also open to litigation if they can’t pay for the other driver’s repairs or injuries.

Learn More: How Long Does an Accident Affect Your Car Insurance Rates?

Learn More: How Long Does an Accident Affect Your Car Insurance Rates?

How much hurricane car insurance costs

Adding comprehensive and collision coverage to your auto policy will increase your monthly premium, but the benefits of carrying this coverage far outweigh the drawbacks, especially in hurricane-prone areas. These coverages can save you money if you face vehicle damage or loss.

Below, you can find the average monthly cost of comprehensive coverage from top U.S. insurers.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Cost: Comprehensive
Allstate$27
GEICO$23
Nationwide$24
Progressive$33
USAA$20
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

How to buy car insurance to cover hurricane damage

Whenever you’re looking to change or add to your car insurance policy, you should compare quotes and coverage details from multiple auto insurance companies. Look for insurers offering comprehensive coverage at a price that aligns with your budget.

If you have an auto policy with a company you want to stay with, you should call your insurance agent to discuss how to add comprehensive coverage. You’ll then set a deductible, which is how much you’ll pay following an incident before your company covers the rest. Deductibles can range from $100 to $2,000, and higher deductibles result in lower premiums.

You should know that some companies in high-risk areas have a cutoff period leading up to hurricane season. During these cutoff periods, companies won’t allow any changes to an auto policy’s comprehensive coverage or write any new comprehensive policies until the season has ended. Make sure you add coverage well in advance of hurricane season.

How to file a car insurance claim for hurricane damage

If your car has been damaged as a result of a hurricane, follow these steps to file a claim:

  1. Inspect your vehicle and gather information. If it’s safe to do so, inspect your vehicle for damage after the storm. Take photographs of any damage, record videos of any water damage, and write up a detailed description of the incident. You should also make sure you have your policy number ready for when you go to file the claim.

  2. Contact your insurance company and file the claim. Depending on your insurer, you can file your claim on a mobile app, online, or over the phone. You’ll need to share your policy number, documentation of the damage, and when the damage occurred.

  3. Review your claim. The insurance company will then relay the information to the insurance adjuster for an independent inspection to assess the damage. The adjuster may request more information, like an estimate from an auto shop, before providing a settlement amount.

  4. Accept payment and fix your vehicle. You’ll eventually receive a claim payout from your auto insurer that you can use to repair or replace your vehicle.

  5. Review your premium. After you file a claim, your premium may increase. You can always compare quotes from multiple insurers to find the most affordable coverage.

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States prone to hurricane damage

Several U.S. states have a higher risk for hurricanes and tropical storms than most others. If you live in one of these states, you have a higher risk of vehicle damage during hurricane season.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/7702052f80/states_florida.svg

    Florida

    Because Florida is a peninsula, almost all of the land area is vulnerable to high wind and rain damage. Cities most likely to experience hurricane damage include Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Fort Myers, and other cities in the southeast or southwest of the state.

    Average monthly cost for full coverage: $295 

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/97b10cdbc5/states_texas.svg

    Texas

    Cities like Corpus Christi and Galveston border the Gulf of Mexico, which is a magnet for hurricane activity. While Texas has seen roughly half of the hurricanes that Florida has, Texas holds the record for one of the deadliest hurricanes in history.

    Average monthly cost for full coverage: $251

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/b850be5d92/states_louisiniana.svg

    Louisiana

    The tip of Louisiana is another area hurricanes pass by on their way around the Gulf of Mexico. New Orleans, one of the cities closest to the water, is especially vulnerable to hurricane damage because it’s below sea level. If the levees experience more stress than engineers designed them to handle, they can break and flood the city.

    Average monthly cost for full coverage: $308

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/43d0635527/states_north-carolina.svg

    North Carolina

    North Carolina has experienced fewer direct hits from hurricanes than the top three states. However, the state’s position on the Atlantic Coast leaves it vulnerable to high winds and rain damage.

    Average monthly cost for full coverage: $106

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/475a36c4fb/states_south-carolina.svg

    South Carolina

    Hurricanes making landfall in South Carolina are few and far between. But when they hit, they can wipe out entire fields of crops and level any standing structures.

    Average monthly cost for full coverage: $276

Hurricane car insurance FAQs

Hurricanes are unpredictable, dangerous, and costly. Fortunately, you can take steps to minimize the damage and set up financial protection.

  • What happens if a hurricane damages your car?

    You should call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage and file a claim. Some insurers also allow you to file a claim online or via a mobile app. You’ll need to provide thorough documentation of the incident and resulting damage.

    If you have comprehensive coverage, your insurer will provide you with a claim number and inform you of the next steps in the claims process. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage, you’ll have to pay for vehicle repair or replacement out of pocket.

  • Does homeowners insurance cover hurricane damage to your vehicle?

    Typically, only car insurance covers hurricane damage to a vehicle. Policyholders can file a claim through their homeowners insurance policy for personal property damage caused by the storm. However, your comprehensive auto policy will cover your vehicle.

  • Does car insurance cover natural disasters?

    Comprehensive coverage can protect against natural disasters. Drivers can file a claim for repairs after damage from fire, falling objects, flooding, strong winds, lightning strikes, and more.

  • How can you protect your car from hurricane damage?

    Get a full tank of gas before the storm hits, and park your car in a garage if you can. If you don’t have access to a garage, you can park your car on the side of a building for some protection from rain and wind or on higher ground to protect from storm surge.

    Engaging the hand brake, rolling up your windows, and locking the doors can also help keep your car as stable as possible. Remember to remove any important documents and other property and put them in a safe place until the storm passes.

  • Does car insurance have a hurricane damage deductible?

    Comprehensive insurance, which can cover hurricane damage, has a deductible. Specifics can vary with your insurer, but you can usually set your deductible between $100 and $2,000. A higher deductible typically results in a lower premium. There is no separate deductible for hurricanes.

Sources

  1. National Insurance Crime Bureau. "Over 637,000 Vehicles Damaged in Hurricanes Harvey and Irma."
  2. Insurance Information Institute. "Facts + Statistics: Hurricanes."
  3. Insurance Information Institute. "Auto insurance basics—understanding your coverage."
  4. Insurance Information Institute. "Hurricane insurance FAQ: What your insurance does—and does not—cover."
Courtney Washington
Courtney Washington

Courtney Washington is a Texas A&M University graduate. Her extensive knowledge and background in auto, home, and umbrella policies make her a one-stop shop for insurance advice and information. She loves to help her readers understand their insurance choices so they can make informed decisions about their coverage.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

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