What To Do With a Damaged Car After a Hurricane in Florida
It’s no secret that Florida is a hot spot for hurricanes. These extreme weather events are acutely destructive and often result in extensive property damage and personal injury.
As much as you might try to protect your vehicle, it may sustain significant damage in a hurricane. If your car is damaged, you may wonder what your next steps should be.
What you do with a damaged car after a hurricane depends on the type of car insurance coverage you have, if any.
Is Your Car Covered by Insurance?
First and foremost, you must consider whether your vehicle is protected by car insurance and what kind of coverage you have for it.
Florida law requires drivers to have minimum car insurance, including $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage. However, PDL only covers property damage resulting from car accidents.
Under state law, PDL insurance is required, but comprehensive insurance is not. Comprehensive insurance is generally needed to cover hurricane-related damage.
Comprehensive insurance coverage can cover the following disasters:
- Falling debris
If you have optional comprehensive insurance coverage and your policy covers the type of damage your car has sustained, you can file a claim with your insurer.
What To Do for Insurance Claim Denials
Claim denials happen. However, if you have the right type of insurance and your damage is covered by your insurance, there’s no reason for your claim to be denied.
If you file a claim for damage caused by a hurricane and your insurance company denies it, you should ask the insurance adjuster to explain their decision. It might also help to consult an experienced auto accident lawyer for advice and guidance.
What To Do When the Appraisal Is Too Low
When you submit a claim to your insurance provider, they’ll investigate to determine the value of the damage. If their appraisal is too low, it may not be enough to cover your vehicle’s repairs or replacement.
That said, it’s possible to dispute the insurer’s valuation. To do so, it’s helpful to have the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer.
What About Cars Not Covered by Insurance?
If hurricane damage isn’t part of your auto insurance policy, you’ll likely have to pay out of pocket for the damages to your vehicle.
The federal government and the State of Florida usually set up disaster funds in areas impacted by hurricanes. If you live in one of these areas, you may be able to seek compensation for property damage caused by a natural disaster.
Tips for Minimizing Car Damage Caused by Hurricanes in Florida
Hurricanes are synonymous with property damage.
However, you can help minimize that damage by following these steps:
- Consider Where You’ll Park: Think about where you’ll park your vehicle before the storm arrives. Try to park where there’s less potential for damage, such as an elevated and enclosed structure.
- Protect Your Car: Covering your vehicle with car covers, blankets, or another type of covering may help safeguard it from dents and scratches.
- Tape Car Windows: Taping car windows can help keep the glass contained if they shatter and could prevent water from entering the vehicle.
- Avoid Driving: There will likely be lots of standing water during and after a hurricane. Driving through deep water can damage your vehicle.
You should also remove valuable items from your vehicle to protect them from water damage or destruction.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Options If a Hurricane Damaged Your Car in Florida
Dealing with insurance companies can be tricky and frustrating. A skilled attorney can provide valuable guidance if you run into any issues while attempting to collect payment from your insurer after a hurricane damages your vehicle.
Contact the Jacksonville Car Accident Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
For more information, please contact the Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra car accident law firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve Duval County, St. Johns County, and its surrounding areas:
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Ponte Vedra
480 Town Plaza Ave #130,
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32081