How Does Flooding Affect Auto Insurance?

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    The late summer can often be a time when hurricanes and flooding become a real threat in some parts of the country, and many homeowners there are often prepared for the fallout should such an issue arise. However, that’s not always the case when it comes to auto insurance, because some drivers might not even know they need to review their auto policies to better understand how they would be protected in the event of flooding. That, in turn, is something that insurance agents may need to do a better job of telling their clients about the various issues that might arise over the course of time, such as when harsh weather and other issues hit.

    The most recent projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that between June 1 and Nov. 30, there’s about a 70 percent chance of between six and 11 storms becoming “named” for having winds of at least 39 miles per hour or more, according to a report from financial news site The Street. Of that group, about half could become hurricanes, meaning this would be a hurricane season with relatively little activity.

    “A below-normal season doesn’t mean we’re off the hook,” NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan told the site. “As we’ve seen before, below-normal seasons can still produce catastrophic impacts to communities.”

    Some insurers actually consider this a collision.Some insurers actually consider this a collision.

    But what does this mean for insurance?
    For most people, the impact on their insurance coverage would be minimal, even if their cars are completely flooded or otherwise damaged in a storm of this type, the report said. Comprehensive insurance is quite common, and provides adequate coverage not only for common things like getting into accidents, but also issues like theft, wind damage, vandalism, and, yes, flooding as well.

    However, others might only have collision insurance, which, as the name implies, would only cover them if they get into an accident, the report said. But what’s interesting here is that some insurers actually consider flood damage to be part of collision coverage. Bill Crowley, worldwide automobile claim manager for an insurer based in Warren, New Jersey, told the publication that those companies tend to view it as flood water “colliding” with an automobile. Of course, because each plan is going to be different, consumers will have to look into how they’re covered, and think about the changes they may have to make to ensure they’re going to be fully covered.

    What else can agents do?
    The more insurance agents can do to help their clients understand what their policies do and do not cover, and what issues may arise as a consequence, the better off both sides of the equation are likely to be. That’s because consumers generally feel better about their coverage when they know more about it and have a good working relationship with their insurer or agent. That, in turn, would typically not only boost the customer satisfaction ratings among their clients, but also improve their retention rates as well.

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