After the Flood, Your Car and Basement May Not Be Insured. That’s Why | Business



With the summer storms that have hit many parts of the country in recent weeks, it’s often easy to find out what insurance policies cover and don’t cover in this type of emergency. Includes many angry consumers.

For example, a submerged car may not be covered by insurance.

“Services vary considerably from one insurance company to another,” said J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumers Union of America. “If the engine is involved, I ask for a total loss.”

Full coverage

However, many drivers of older cars may have withdrawn their full coverage to save on auto insurance costs. And if they are facing the flood, they are really stuck.

“If you want to protect your car from flooding, you need a comprehensive policy,” said Scott Hallman, director of media relations, Insurance Information Association, a leading insurance company that provides non-insurance. –life for homes and cars. I go.

Wholeman pointed out that his father had stored old trucks in a very rural area of ​​Kansas. He only insured the truck for civil liability, it was not complete. However, it was a vehicle that was only used occasionally, and although the truck was irreparably damaged, the family encountered no difficulty.

He said that when a flood or other problem occurs, what can be done if the vehicle is not covered should be carefully assessed.

“What do you prefer to do? Do you have a completely new car payment? ” He said.

Comprehensive coverage will cover a variety of accidents including theft, tornado-type natural disasters, floods, fires, windfall and vandalism.

Again, your full cost of purchasing a new car is not covered.

Allstate says online: “Comprehensive coverage is limited. This is the maximum amount the policy will pay for a covered claim. If the vehicle is flooded, full coverage will be depreciation (“actual helps you pay to replace your vehicle up to (called” cash value “).”

In general theory, drivers can consider excluding full coverage if the value of their vehicle is less than the cost of such coverage. However, if you are leasing a car or your car loan is not paid off, you often cannot withdraw this coverage.

What to do to file an automobile claim

Consumer Federation of America insurance expert Douglas Heller keeps in mind that if you lease a car or still take out a loan, there is comprehensive coverage that lenders and lenders need. ..

About 78% of auto policyholders nationwide have comprehensive coverage, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Auto Insurance Database report 2020, which uses data from 2017.

In Michigan, nearly 86% of policyholders add that they are inclusive. And most people have to pay a deduction.

According to Heller, special care must be taken when a car or truck is hit by a storm, which can lead to vehicle operation problems and injury from broken glass or branches.

Record the damage with a photo or video from a safe distance.

If the damage is severe, especially if the engine is damaged, it’s likely you’ll be billed as a total loss of the car’s current value less deductions, Heller said. In this case, the insurance company usually takes possession of the old vehicle.

He also said consumers should make sure insurers pay for all of the various costs associated with buying a new car, including taxes and ownership fees. In addition, annual vehicle registration fees (registration fees) that may have been paid to the destroyed vehicle must be pro-rated and reimbursed.

The insurance company responds to requests for information. But he said he was also very clear about your expectations that the full amount of your claim would be paid.

If you think your insurance company is minimizing your claim or reducing repair costs, get a second opinion from an auto repair shop you trust, Heller said.

“If the car is totally lost, be prepared to provide some evidence to support your opinion on the value of the car,” he said.

Examine the market value of the car you were driving and the car’s documentation (photos and service records) before the damage occurs.

“If an insurer has difficulty paying the full amount of a claim, it will have to file a complaint with the Insurance Financial Services Authority,” Heller said.

In some cases, if the business does not pay a fair claim, consumers should consider seeking an attorney.

What happens to what I lost underground?

People often think they are the target of flood damage when they are not. Many people can only see the complexity of the cover up close in the event of a major flood.

If you can find an insurance policy, the first step is to take the time to review your insurance policy and discuss what the agent covers. It’s a good idea to have your policy number and other relevant information handy.

Experts say it’s best to let your insurance agent know if your home or other structures are flooded and determine what coverage is available. Do not necessarily assume that the damage is due to the flooding.

According to a Michigan council, “Consumers are simply stating that the damage is due to flooding, as additional causes of flood damage, such as sewer backups and drain pump failures, may be subject to a policy. . Should not be “insurance and financial services.”

What are the good first steps?

Don’t wait for the basement to be cleaned. You want to try to clean and protect your property before you can even contact the insurance company.

Take photos and videos of your damaged belongings, but be aware that many of your personal belongings may not be covered. Nevertheless, the loss must be documented. Some experts recommend that you don’t want to get rid of big ticket items until your insurance company tells you to.

The immediate goal after a disaster is to protect assets and prevent other problems such as mold growth. Please keep documents and receipts for supplies purchased to protect your property.

Experts say they want to get in or cover damaged windows and roofs, or replace broken locks as soon as possible to minimize future damage.

How to prevent it from coming off

Another unfortunate reality of any crisis is that crook artists may try to push “enough” because they are in the neighborhood.

In particular, the Better Business Bureau cautions, “Most contractors follow the law, but be sure to allow strangers to inspect your roof or elsewhere in your home. Unethical entrepreneurs get the job. May cause damage. “

And the BBB warns that you might think you’re dealing with a local company, even if you really aren’t.

From time to time, so-called storm chasers offer local construction companies to pay a reasonable amount to use the company’s established name, reputation and phone.

“They pose as local businesses, take out insurance and move on, and real businesses deal with unhappy customers due to poor finish, unfinished work, or unfulfilled warranties. I’ll leave it to you, ”BBB said.

Understanding flood coverage

According to a survey conducted by the Insurance Information Association in July 2020, about 27% of homeowners nationwide have flood insurance, a record. This is an increase from 13% in the 2018 survey.

In addition, 24% of Midwestern respondents say they have purchased flood insurance.

However, the same study points out that the latest national figures are higher than those estimated by the National Flood Insurance Program: “What is homeowners’ flood compensation and how does it work?” You may not have a basic understanding of what it is. “

The transactions are as follows: Flood damage is not covered by standard homeowner and lessor insurance policies.

However, there are some insurance policies, including federal flood insurance, and homeowners may have purchased to cover flooding and water and sewer backups caused by storms and other natural disasters.

The National Flood Insurance Program offers two types of flood insurance. Construction assets that cover the actual house, electricity, plumbing, etc., and personal assets that cover the interior of furniture, clothing, etc. The NFIP recommends purchasing both types of coverage.

According to experts, compensation under the federal flood insurance program typically takes 30 days to take effect. However, there are a few exceptions, such as purchasing flood insurance when creating, increasing, extending or renewing a mortgage. Or, if you change the flood insurance coverage on your insurance contract renewal application.

The National Flood Insurance Program states, “A single inch of water column can cost a home $ 25,000. “

Certainly, depending on your accommodation, the cost can be low or high.

“People are better informed that they are at risk of flooding even if they are not in the floodplain,” said Hallman of the Insurance Information Association.

After the Flood, Your Car and Basement May Not Be Insured. That’s Why | Business

Source link After the flood, your car and basement may not be insured. This is why | Business



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