Can I purchase additional car insurance during a storm?

You cannot buy additional car insurance for a storm that is on its way. Car insurance companies may still offer basic liability car insurance for a storm since it covers injuries and not storm damage.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Car insurance companies normally won’t sell comprehensive or full collision coverage before an impending storm
  • Insurance companies always consider risk and reward to make decisions
  • If you live in an area that is plagued with frequent hurricanes, tornadoes, or other storms, consider purchasing additional coverage to protect your assets


During hurricane season, people typically learn a lot about storm preparation.

For some individuals, one of these important lessons has to do with purchasing car insurance while their state is under a storm warning.

Some people are caught off guard when told that certain types of car insurance coverage are unavailable until after a storm warning is lifted.

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The scenario described above is more common in America than you might think.

Why? Because there are individuals who only carry minimum liability coverage on their vehicles as a general rule.

But when a severe storm, such as a hurricane, is predicted to come into the area, some of these drivers attempt to purchase comprehensive or full collision coverage just in case the storm damages their expensive cars.

Insurance During a Storm Warning

View of a large tornado destroying a barn

In all likelihood, you’ll never be denied the minimum liability coverage required by your state, even during a storm warning.

That’s because such coverage only protects you against bodily injury, property damage, and liability issues while you are driving.

It does not cover the replacement cost of your vehicle should it be destroyed in an accident.

Insurance companies have nothing to lose by issuing minimum liability coverage during a storm warning.

On the other hand, comprehensive and full collision insurance will pay to repair or replace your vehicle regardless of how it was damaged.

That means if an insurance company issues you a comprehensive policy before an impending storm, they could end up paying out significant amounts of money for which they will never see a return.

This risk is simply bad business and few insurance companies are willing to take it.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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For Insurance Companies, It’s All about Risk

To many people, not being able to purchase insurance coverage during a storm warning seems a bit unfair.

Yet if we look at it from the standpoint of the insurance company, they really have no other choice.

Car insurance is all about risk.

In other words, when a company agrees to insure your car, they are taking the risk of having to spend more money to replace your car than they can earn by investing your premiums.

Any insurance company that takes too many risks will soon go out of business.

If you or I tried to get comprehensive auto coverage two days before a hurricane is scheduled to strike, we’re asking the insurance company to take a huge risk.

They would not see a return on their investment quickly enough to make up for the losses they would incur if your car was destroyed.

Any insurance company that took such risks would be saddled with serious debt.

Your Best Bet Is to Plan Ahead

In order to avoid finding yourself in a denied coverage scenario, it’s best to simply think ahead.

If you live in an area that is prone to severe storms, having comprehensive car insurance coverage is practically a necessity.

Having comprehensive is even more important if you have an outstanding loan on your vehicle.

If your outstanding loan is still higher than the Blue Book value of your car, the need for comprehensive insurance is even greater.

A comprehensive policy will usually pay for repairing or replacing your vehicle regardless of how it was damaged. But you need to fully review your coverage just to be sure.

You can do this by reading the declaration pages that your insurance company sent you in the mail.

Be sure to contact them right away if you have any concerns about what is and is not covered during a severe storm.

Have you ever heard the saying: “Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”? This is absolutely true in the insurance business.

Fortunately, car insurance companies are a lot more forgiving than people give them credit for.

But there are some risks they are unwilling to take at any cost.

One of those risks is issuing comprehensive car insurance with pending storms on the horizon. They simply won’t do it.

You can get online car insurance quotes from multiple companies by entering your zip code below!

References:

  1. https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
  2. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/10/04/decoding-the-mysteries-of-high-risk-car-insurance
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/052015/what-debtequity-ratio-typical-companies-insurance-sector.asp
  4. https://www.kbb.com/
  5. http://thelawdictionary.org/article/how-do-i-obtain-my-auto-insurance-declaration-pages/

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