Hurricane

What Happens to Your Automobile During a Storm?

Hurricane season is in full swing. As an insurance advisor, it is my responsibility to educate my clients so they feel confident in their insurance coverages when a storm arises. It’s easy for someone to look at insurance as an afterthought, without realizing the potential impact it could have on someone.  Every year we see these disastrous storms do life-altering damages – and we need to be ready.

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Hurricane preparedness is a popular topic in the media and cannot be stressed enough.  Instead of focusing on how to prepare for a hurricane, this article is meant to educate you on the coverages that are significant when it comes to being as protected as possible in the event of a storm.

To most people, the primary concern during a hurricane is protecting your home.  Although wind and flood coverages are crucial, other insurance policies are often overlooked.  Have you ever wondered what would happen to your vehicle if it floods or if the wind blows a tree on it? Even though this can happen in the blink of an eye, not many people worry about whether or not their auto is fully insured in regard to a storm.

Did you know that an estimated 500,000 vehicles were destroyed in the Houston area alone during Hurricane Harvey?  This seems unreal; however, it happened and with little warning.

Flood

Flooding is a major concern with hurricanes.  Since automobiles are usually parked in flood prone areas, it’s important to know what line of insurance will cover your auto if it floods: auto insurance or flood insurance?  You might be surprised to find out that your auto insurance will cover the flood loss if you carry physical damage.  Comprehensive coverage is not automatically included into your auto policy; however, it should be added.  Make sure to double check with your insurance advisor to see if you have this coverage.

Falling Objects

With hurricanes come falling trees, telephone lines and poles, roof collapses, etc.  If your vehicle is parked in your garage, does your homeowner’s or auto policy cover it if the roof collapses? In this example, your auto policy will still cover the loss if you carry comprehensive and collision coverages.  The same goes for any other falling object, such as a tree or pole. 

Evacuating

When you are forced to evacuate, it’s an extremely stressful time.  People are on a mission to get out of the area fast.  Driving out of town becomes extremely dangerous due to the amount of people on the road.  Make sure to look over your liability and uninsured motorist’s coverage to make sure you have enough in case an accident occurs.

Hurricanes are unpredictable and can change paths at any time.  Before you are forced to evacuate or decide to “hunker down” for a storm, review your auto insurance with your advisor.  Not only will this give you confidence that your auto will be covered for physical damage, but will also give you peace of mind.


About The Author

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Abbey Bouchard, a Client Advisor in the Private Client division of Bouchard, specializes in high net worth personal insurance that focuses on affluent individuals with more complex insurance portfolios and exposures. As a third generation Bouchard working for Bouchard Insurance, Abbey’s purpose is to continually better serve the affluent client base by promoting exemplary service and always putting the client first. | Connect on LinkedIn

Hurricane Deductibles - Know Your Options

In 2017, there were 6 major hurricanes, including two Category 4 and two Category 5’s in the Atlantic. Irma packed winds of over 130 miles per hour as it hit Florida. In 2016, Florida was spared the worst of Hurricane Matthew, but definitely saw the devastation it created.

Hurricane activity in 2018 is expected to be above normal. Are you ready?

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Now is the time to review your property policy, be aware of the limitations it contains, and understand how your Hurricane Deductible is calculated. Hurricane Deductibles are typically a percentage (usually 2-5%) of the amount of dwelling coverage you have. For example, a home insured for $300,000 with a 2% hurricane deductible would cost the homeowner $6,000 before coverage kicks in. However, new options and new policies have hit the Florida market to provide relief from these high deductibles.

“Flat” Deductibles

Several companies are now offering a “flat” dollar amount for the Hurricane Deductible with some as low as $500. Surprisingly, the premiums for these lower deductibles are not as substantial as you would think. The catch; however, is, that in most cases, deductibles can only be decreased on the policy’s renewal date. 

CAT4Home

A CAT4Home deductible buyback policy can pay up to 100% of losses covered within your deductible. These polices are based on the location of your home, as well as the home’s age and construction features.    

StormPeace

A StormPeace policy will provide you with money right away to get back on your feet.  Aside from the hurricane deductible, coverage is provided for things like evacuation expenses, damage to landscaping, pool cages, debris removal, food spoilage, and other losses not covered by your homeowner’s policy. The claim payout is based on the intensity and proximity of the hurricane to your home.

We are here to help! Please contact us today at 844-848-9373 or email MyInsurance@BouchardInsurance.com to discuss which option may be best for you.


About The Author

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Kristie Pauly is the Vice President of Personal Lines at Bouchard Insurance. Kristie's team focuses on protecting individual's assets through all lines of personal insurance. | Connect on LinkedIn