As a responsible North Carolina driver, you're probably painfully aware of the region’s weather patterns, particularly during hurricane season. While prioritizing your safety and that of your loved ones is paramount, don’t forget to safeguard your vehicle through auto insurance. In North Carolina and many states, there are many different types of insurance coverage. If you want to adequately protect your car from a wide range of risks, you’ll want comprehensive auto insurance coverage, also known as Other Than Collision coverage This type of coverage extends beyond the scope of liability insurance, which only covers damages you may cause to people and property you damage in an accident. Comprehensive insurance covers other events that are out of your control, such as natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and other non-collision incidents.
What is Other Than Collision (comprehensive) coverage?
Comprehensive insurance coverage offers financial protection for your car in scenarios where damages may occur due to circumstances like severe weather, falling objects, fire, theft, or other unforeseen events. If your car sustains hurricane damage, for example, comprehensive coverage will cover the costs of repairing or replacing it, minus your deductible.
It's important to note that comprehensive insurance policies may vary in terms of coverage limits, deductibles, and specific incidents covered. Therefore, it's advisable to thoroughly review and understand the terms and conditions of your policy, as provided by your chosen insurance provider.
According to the official North Carolina Department of Insurance website, comprehensive insurance coverage is not mandatory for NC drivers. However, the department highly recommends comprehensive insurance, especially in regions like the Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras, and other coastal areas, as they are prone to unpredictable weather patterns that can cause hurricane damage and tropical storm damage.
Why do you need more than the minimum liability to cover storm damage?
You need at least the minimum liability coverage to legally drive your car in North Carolina. But liability coverage only pays for bodily injury and property damage liability – the damage you do to people and property in an accident. Liability coverage doesn’t apply to damage to your car from flooding, fallen debris and wind from natural disasters.
If you want your car to be financially protected from storms, you should opt for comprehensive coverage on top of your state-required minimum liability insurance coverage. Comprehensive coverage caters to non-collision-related damages, including those caused by severe weather conditions. With comprehensive coverage, you can relax, knowing your storm damage to your car is covered.
How much does a hurricane insurance policy cost?
Elements such as your driving history, the amount of insurance coverage you choose, the make and model of your vehicle, your location within North Carolina and your deductible preferences collectively influence your premium. Adding comprehensive coverage to your car insurance will raise your premium, but it’s worth it to cover your car from severe weather events like hurricanes and tropical storms.
On average, comprehensive coverage in North Carolina costs around $200 per car annually. While this may seem like a hefty sum, it’s a reasonable amount compared to how much it would cost to fix or replace your car in the aftermath of a severe storm.
Buy coverage before storm warnings go into effect
Timing plays a vital role in getting your insurance coverage right, much like plotting a course before a storm. Insurance companies work on assessing risks, and as weather alerts increase, so does the risk of potential vehicle damage. Waiting until a storm is on the horizon to adjust or purchase your insurance could lead to restricted coverage or claim denials. In the event of a storm warning, numerous insurance companies implement a temporary restriction on issuing new policies or enhancing coverage for existing policies for individuals residing within the anticipated hurricane-affected region. It's advisable to get comprehensive coverage well in advance of any storm alerts. This proactive measure ensures your vehicle is safeguarded against damages, no matter when the storm hits.
Will my car insurance cover hurricane damage?
It depends on your insurance policy's specifics. Comprehensive coverage, unlike liability insurance, addresses hurricane and storm-related damages. If you've chosen this coverage, your policy protects against events like flooding, fallen trees, and debris carried by strong winds.
Still, it's crucial to review your policy's terms and conditions to understand the extent of coverage and applicable deductibles. If your insurer deems your vehicle a total loss due to hurricane damage, they will generally reimburse its actual cash value, minus your agreed deductible. This underscores the need to choose a deductible that fits your financial situation.
Insurance can protect your car from hurricanes and tropical storms
As North Carolinians brace for the upcoming hurricane season, we highly recommend you to safeguard your vehicles during unpredictable storms. Though comprehensive hurricane insurance might seem costly, it's a smart investment compared to paying out of pocket to fix a storm-damaged vehicle. Opting for coverage beyond the state's minimum liability requirements and embracing comprehensive protection is like building a strong shield for your vehicle against hurricanes and tropical storms. Obtaining comprehensive coverage well ahead of any storm's arrival is key to peace of mind.
So, as you gear up for the approaching hurricane season, remember to secure your vehicle with comprehensive insurance coverage.