Louisiana has its share of severe weather events throughout the year. After one of these events, you may be wondering, does car insurance cover storm damage? Car insurance normally covers damage to the vehicle that occurs in a storm, but you have to have the correct type of coverage.
Those who have the most basic liability-only insurance will not have storm damage as part of the coverage. However, those who have the more common comprehensive type of auto insurance coverage should have protection against most storm damage types.
Understanding Weather-Related Damage and Auto Insurance
According to the National Weather Service, Louisiana has a wide range of severe storms at different times of the year. Any of these types of storms could lead to motor vehicle damage. Storms that could cause damage in Louisiana include:
- Strong winds
- Large hail
- Flash floods
Examples of Vehicle Damage From Storms
Strong winds create some of the most common reasons for storm damage to a motor vehicle. For example, wind could break tree branches, causing them to fall on top of a car or go through a windshield.
Flash flooding from hurricanes could waterlog an engine or the passenger area of the vehicle, ruining the car.
Hail can cause damage to the entire body of the car. If the hail is large enough, it could go through windows or break headlights.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
What Type of Insurance Covers Damage to My Car From Storms?
As long as you have the right type of insurance coverage on the vehicle, you should have protection from the majority of storms that cause damage. To determine what kind of coverage you have, it’s helpful to understand comprehensive versus liability auto insurance coverage.
Comprehensive Auto Insurance
Comprehensive coverage is the most expensive and widest-ranging type of coverage. According to the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI), comprehensive auto insurance pays you when you suffer damage to your car in nearly all storms, including when falling objects, floods, and other things occur.
Some policies have limitations on what falls under comprehensive coverage. It does not cover you in a collision with another driver, for example. Your policy will have collision coverage for this purpose. The majority of insurance companies sell collision and comprehensive coverage as one package.
Car owners typically carry comprehensive coverage when they have a loan on their car. The vast majority of lenders require comprehensive coverage. Older cars may not have comprehensive coverage, as this saves money on the premium.
Liability Auto Insurance
Louisiana state law requires that all drivers and automobile owners carry liability insurance. This only covers injuries for everyone involved if you are responsible for causing an accident. It covers property damage to other people’s property that your accident causes too.
Liability-only insurance is typical for auto owners who do not have a car loan and want to save money on the policy. However, if you have a liability-only policy, you will not receive a payment when you suffer storm damage to your car.
Are There Times Where My Comprehensive Coverage Won’t Cover Storm Damage Fully?
You could have a few exemptions in your policy that leave you without a full reimbursement for storm damage. If you have comprehensive coverage, these exemptions would be rare, though.
Flood damage is one of the most confusing aspects of all kinds of insurance, including automobile insurance.
Generally, your comprehensive auto policy will include coverage from any kind of flood. This could include an overflowing river, storm surge, tidal waters, heavy rains, and failed levees or dams.
However, in a few circumstances, you may need to purchase flood insurance separately. When you live in a state like Louisiana where flooding occurs more frequently than some other states, auto owners should always ensure coverage against flooding as part of the comprehensive coverage.
Nearly all comprehensive auto insurance policies will have a deductible as part of the policy. The deductible is the amount that you will pay out of pocket before the insurance company begins paying. This technically means the insurance company will not pay the full cost of the repairs from storm damage.
When purchasing an auto insurance policy, motor vehicle owners can select the amount of deductible the policy has. Policies with higher deductible amounts cost less in terms of the monthly premium you will pay than those with lower deductibles.
If your policy has a deductible of $500, and if your storm damage repairs for the car cost $800, you would pay $500 of the repair bill. With comprehensive coverage, your insurer would then pay the remaining $300 of the repair bill. If the repair bill is $8,000, though, you would pay $500, and the insurer would pay the remaining $7,500.
Receive a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Storm Damage Insurance Claim Today
If your insurance company is trying to deny your car damage claim after a storm, our team is ready to help you fight to receive your payment. Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation at (337) 777-7777.