September 26th, 2011
One of the last things you want to think about during a natural disaster is your car (unless you need to drive somewhere quickly). But, just like the rest of your property, your car can get seriously damaged -- if not destroyed -- in a natural disaster. So it’s best to take steps beforehand to make sure you’re covered and won’t have to pay for the damages of out pocket.
Like we wrote in our piece about car insurance in a hurricane, it’s important to get a comprehensive policy. Comprehensive coverage will cover your automobile against damages stemming from almost all natural disasters, including the most common -- floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and fires. While you can buy coverage for each separately, it’s better to just go ahead and get the full comprehensive for what often turns out to be the same price.
Comprehensive insurance also covers collateral losses that can stem from natural disasters such as vandalism, theft (looting) and animal damages.
Collision insurance will usually only cover you during a natural disaster if a car crashes into you during the event. Otherwise, if your car is unilaterally damaged by the natural disaster, which is much more common, you will need comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage is not a great idea unless you are extremely budget conscious on a monthly basis.
Note that comprehensive coverage will be slightly more expensive in states more prone to natural disasters (for example: California for earthquakes, Florida for hurricanes), but it’s still a worthy investment. The few extra dollars a month can come up big during a natural disaster, especially with so many other things to worry about.