Hurricane Driving Hazards and Auto Damage: Protecting Your Car and Who Pays When Car Damage Happens?

There are many advantages to living in the state of Florida.

The beautiful blue skies, warm––and hot––weather, awesome beaches, and great people are all good reasons to never want to live elsewhere.

But living in Florida long enough also means you get to experience monstrous lightning storms, torrential rain showers that obstruct your driving commute, and the occasional hurricane weather that blows through the entire state.

Hurricane safety is a serious matter. Being unprepared during a hurricane could result in damage to your home, vehicles, and potentially affect your overall well being – including placing your life at risk.

The purpose of this article is to address the potential risks involved with hurricane weather as it pertains to driving, vehicle safety, and how to handle auto insurance claims if damage occurs.

PREPARING YOUR CAR

  • Make sure your car is in good working condition in the case you may need to follow your evacuation route during the storm. Fill up your gas tank and place a change of clothes in your car just in case. It is also advisable that you stock your car with some emergency supplies and a health kit.
  • Take pictures of the interior and exterior of your car for personal and insurance purposes. This will make sure you have proof of your car’s condition prior to the storm.
  • Check your auto insurance coverage. We always recommend that you carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle. It will cover expenses that are not related to a collision, such as auto glass damage, impact damage by debris, or things like trees or tree branches falling on your car.
  • Park your car in a place safe from high waters and flying debris. If you do not have a garage, you may want to park your car next to a high building or high wall structures in order to reduce the chances of damage.

DRIVING HAZARDS

  • If driving around in this weather, take great caution. In a recent document by FEMA preparing the public for Hurricane Matthew’s landfall it states:

There is the potential for flooding with this storm. Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous and almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas, at bridges and at highway dips. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. If you encounter flood waters, remember – turn around, don’t drown.

It is also important to keep this in mind AFTER the hurricane has moved through as there may be many flooded areas surrounding your neighborhood for days after the storm has passed.

  • Replace your windshield wipers if needed and apply a rain/water repellent product to your windshield, side window glass, back glass, and outside rearview mirrors in order to have the best visibility possible during heavy rain.
  • Do not drive during very heavy winds! Debris – such as tree branches, trash, and heavy materials – could end up damaging your car or putting you in serious physical danger. Find a safe place in a solid structure with hurricane windows and solid walls to stay in until the storm has passed.

WHEN VEHICLE DAMAGE HAPPENS

  • If the damage to your vehicle includes any glass damage: Call us first. We can save you a lot of time in navigating the insurance claim with your insurance company, or agent if necessary. Our Dedicated Insurance Department handles the claims with you so that you are not overwhelmed by the process. You can also fill out this form and we will start the process for you.
  • If you only have windshield damage – and you have comprehensive coverage, as mentioned above – your windshield will be replaced free of charge, regardless of the size of your deductible. We will send out our Certified Technician wherever you are to perform the work. We offer free mobile service.
  • If you have incurred damage to other glass in your vehicle or the damage to your car includes more than just glass damage, you may be liable to pay up to your comprehensive deductible amount. For instance, if the total damage to your vehicle (not including windshield damage, which is free to repair) is $2,500 and your comprehensive deductible is $500, then your out-of-pocket total will be $500. Your insurance policy will pick up the rest of the bill.
  • If you do not have comprehensive coverage you may be paying for all of the repairs out of your own pocket. That is why this type of coverage is so important to carry on all of your vehicles.

We at Auto Glass City pray for your safety during this hurricane season.

Below are some additional resources regarding hurricane safety:

https://www.fema.gov/

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

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Hurricane Driving Hazards and Auto Damage: Protecting Your Car and Who Pays When Car Damage Happens?

Hurricane Driving Hazards and Auto Damage: Protecting Your Car and Who Pays When Car Damage Happens? There are many advantages to living in the state of Florida. The beautiful blue skies, warm––and hot––weather, awesome beaches,