Does Car Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?

Hurricanes can cause widespread destruction, and your vehicle may be at risk when these major storms hit. Understanding how your car insurance works if a hurricane damages your vehicle is critical, especially if you live in a hurricane-prone area.

This article will explain:

  • What type of car insurance covers hurricane damage
  • When you can and can’t use your auto insurance for hurricane claims
  • How to prepare your vehicle for an impending hurricane
  • Which states face the highest hurricane risk
  • Frequently asked questions about car insurance and hurricane damage

What Auto Insurance Covers Hurricane Damage?

Comprehensive car insurance will cover damage to your vehicle caused by a hurricane. Comprehensive policies help pay to repair or replace your car if it sustains damage from natural disasters, severe weather events, flooding, fire, vandalism, falling objects, theft and collisions with animals.

Here are some examples of hurricane vehicle damage that comprehensive insurance would cover:

  • Your car is flooded during a hurricane storm surge
  • Falling tree branches during a hurricane shatter your windshield
  • Hurricane winds flip your car over or cause dents from flying debris
  • You hydroplane and crash your car due to heavy rain and flooding from a hurricane

Comprehensive insurance also covers damage from other major storms like tornadoes and hailstorms. If your car is damaged by hurricane winds, rain, flooding or flying debris, comprehensive insurance will pay for repairs or replacement, minus your deductible.

When Car Insurance Won’t Cover Hurricane Damage

In some cases, your auto insurance policy may not cover hurricane-related damage:

  • Liability-only policies: Liability insurance only covers damage you cause to others if you are at fault in an accident. Liability coverage does not pay for any damage to your own vehicle, so you would not be covered for hurricane damage costs.

  • No comprehensive or collision coverage: If you only have basic liability insurance required by your state, you likely don’t have comprehensive or collision. Without these coverages, you will have to pay out-of-pocket to repair or replace your car after hurricane damage.

  • Hurricane deductible: If you file a hurricane damage claim, you will pay your comprehensive deductible before your insurer covers the remaining costs. If the damage is less than your deductible, your insurance will not pay anything.

  • Moratorium restrictions: Insurers may stop selling new policies or allowing coverage changes if a hurricane is about to make landfall. If you wait until the last minute to get comprehensive coverage, you may not be able to buy it.

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for a Hurricane

Taking steps to protect your car before a hurricane arrives could prevent damage or make it less severe. Here are some tips to prepare your vehicle if a hurricane is approaching:

  • Park your car in a covered, elevated garage to minimize exposure to flooding. Avoid lower-level underground garages which are more prone to flooding.

  • Make sure you have either digital or physical copies of your proof of insurance and policy documents. These will make the claims process easier if your car is damaged.

  • Fill up your gas tank in case you need to evacuate. Gas stations may be closed for days after a hurricane due to power outages.

  • Stock your car with emergency supplies like a first aid kit, non-perishable food, flashlight, blankets, phone chargers, tow straps, and reflective triangles or flares.

  • Install covers to protect your car’s windows and air intakes from water intrusion and flying debris.

  • Raise your convertible top and close all windows, doors, and the trunk tightly. Remove antennas or other detachable exterior accessories.

  • Move your vehicle away from trees or structures that could collapse onto it during strong winds.

Which States Face the Highest Hurricane Risk?

The Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal states from Texas to North Carolina face the highest likelihood of hurricane strikes each year. Florida, Texas, and Louisiana have the most homes at risk of severe hurricane damage.

Here are the 10 states with the greatest hurricane risk:

  1. Florida – Over 2.8 million homes at risk from a Category 5 hurricane, the most severe type. Florida’s peninsula geography makes the entire state vulnerable to hurricane strikes and damage.

  2. Louisiana – Approximately 850,000 homes at risk from a Category 5 hurricane. Louisiana frequently experiences strikes from major hurricanes forming in the Gulf of Mexico.

  3. Texas – More than 560,000 homes at risk from a Category 5 hurricane. The Texas Gulf Coast sees many hurricane landfalls, particularly near Galveston and Houston.

  4. Georgia – Over 460,000 homes at risk from a Category 5 hurricane. Though less common, hurricanes can impact Georgia when storms curve northward after initial Florida landfalls.

  5. South Carolina – Around 412,000 homes at risk from a Category 5 storm. Large hurricanes often track up the Southeast coast from Florida and hit the Palmetto State.

  6. North Carolina – Approximately 357,000 homes at risk from the strongest Category 5 hurricanes. The Outer Banks are very exposed to strikes, as are the sounds and coastal cities.

  7. New York – Over 256,000 homes at risk from a worst-case Category 5 hurricane. Though rare, large hurricanes like Sandy can bring massive storm surge flooding to New York’s coastal cities.

  8. New Jersey – Around 242,000 homes at risk from a Category 5 hurricane strike. Coastal New Jersey can see severe flooding when major hurricanes track north from the southeast U.S.

  9. Alabama – Approximately 226,000 homes at risk from a Category 5 hurricane. While less common, Alabama’s Gulf coast still faces hurricane threats similar to neighboring states.

  10. Maryland – Over 206,000 homes at risk from a Category 5 hurricane. Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay region is vulnerable to flooding from coastal storms tracking up from the south.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I know about hurricane deductibles?

Hurricane deductibles apply to auto insurance claims in about a dozen coastal states. Your hurricane deductible amount may be higher, from around 2% to 10% of your vehicle’s insured value. This means you will pay more out-of-pocket for hurricane claims compared to a standard deductible.

How quickly should I file a claim after hurricane damage?

You should file your hurricane damage claim as soon as possible. Insurance companies bring in special claims adjusters after big storms, and a prompt claim may help you get your car repaired faster. Make sure you take detailed photos documenting the damage before making any repairs yourself.

Can I get car insurance right before a hurricane hits?

It depends on if your insurer has enacted a moratorium, which temporarily stops new policies from being issued. Check with agents, but you likely cannot get new comprehensive coverage within 24-48 hours of a hurricane making landfall near you. Maintaining coverage year-round is highly recommended.

Will my rates increase after filing a hurricane claim?

It’s possible your premium could go up at renewal if you file a claim, especially if you make multiple claims. Insurers may also raise rates across the board in regions that suffered major hurricane destruction. Comparison shopping could help you find more affordable coverage.

What if I only have liability coverage?

Liability-only policies do not pay any damage costs for your own vehicle. You will have to pay out-of-pocket for any hurricane damage repairs or replacement costs if you only carry the minimum liability insurance.

How much does comprehensive coverage cost?

Comprehensive insurance costs an average of $150 to $300 per year, which is fairly affordable coverage. The exact premium depends on your deductible, vehicle, and location. Comprehensive may cost about 10-20% on top of your liability coverage costs.

The Bottom Line

  • Comprehensive auto insurance covers most hurricane damage like flooding, wind, and debris impacts. Collision pays if you crash due to hurricane conditions.

  • Liability-only and basic state minimum coverage does not cover hurricane damage to your own car.

  • Prepare your vehicle by parking it in a secure area, filling up your gas tank, and having emergency supplies on hand.

  • Coastal states like Florida, Texas, and the Carolinas face the highest hurricane and tropical cyclone risk each storm season.

  • Consider getting comprehensive insurance well before hurricane season begins to avoid coverage gaps or moratoriums restricting new policies.

Understanding exactly how your car policy works if a hurricane strikes can prevent major financial headaches. Drivers in storm-prone regions especially need to know what coverages they have and how to safeguard their vehicles when severe weather looms.

Does Car Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?


What happens if my car gets damaged during a hurricane?

You have 60 days to file a claim. Call your auto insurance provider as soon as possible. If you can, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle. If you don’t know your insurance company, call 888-379-9531 or visit to find your information using only your name and zipcode.

Does car insurance cover hurricane damage in Florida?

Storm damage to your car would only be covered under a comprehensive policy. It offers coverage for weather, fire, and other non-collision types of scenarios. Comprehensive insurance policies only pay out the current market value of your car, so it may be worth purchasing if you own a newer vehicle.

Does car insurance cover natural disasters?

Car insurance will cover damage from natural disasters if you have comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is the type of auto insurance that typically covers damages to your vehicle caused by events that are beyond your control, such as natural disasters.

Should I use a car cover during a hurricane?

Park Your Car Safely Parking indoors is your best bet. But if that’s not an option, try to park your vehicle underneath an overhead cover to better protect it from falling or flying debris.

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