Did you know that hail alone causes about $1 billion dollars in damage to crops and property each year? Severe weather season is here, and, while you can’t control Mother Nature, there are some steps you can take to help prevent her wrath from reaching your wallet. These tips could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in weather-related car costs.

When You’re Home And A Storm Is Brewing

  • Try to find a covered place to park your vehicle. If you don’t have a garage or carport with covered parking at home, check to see if there are any parking structures nearby (like a mall or public parking garage). Shelter like this can protect your car from a number of things like hail damage, falling limbs, and some flying debris.
  • If you can’t find a covered place to park and you know there’s a hail storm coming, cover it with something soft! Blankets will work. So will moving pads or heavy towels. These could help absorb the shock of the hail. You could also invest in one of these inflatable contraptions.
  • If you’re expecting heavy rains, flooding, or a hurricane event, avoid parking your car in low-lying areas that have a tendency to flood. From interior restoration to engine replacement, the repair tab for flood damage can add up quickly.

If You’re Driving And Get Caught In A Storm

  • Many experts like those at NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center say that the best thing to do if you run into severe weather on the road, if you’re able, is to find a parking garage or other covered parking nearby and let the storm pass. Getting out of the storm is the safest option for both you and your car.
    • In the event of a tornado, you should avoid sheltering under a bridge as experts say this can create traffic hazards while offering little protection against flying debris If you are caught by extreme winds or flying debris, park the car as quickly and safely as possible — out of the traffic lanes. Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat, or other cushion if possible.
  • Even if you can’t find shelter, pull over and wait out the storm to avoid treacherous driving conditions during a severe weather event.  According to the Federal Highway Administration, out of an average 5,870,000 vehicle crashes each year, 1,312,000, about 23%, are weather-related.
  • Don’t drive through standing water. Not only is this a bad idea because it’s dangerous, accounting for more than half of flood-related drownings, but it can also cause costly flood damage to your vehicle.

Steer Clear Of Buying A Flood-Damaged Car

If there’s anything that can drastically drain your bank account, it’s buying a lemon, especially one with flood damage. DMV.org has some great tips to help you avoid making a purchase you’ll regret.

  • Always get a VIN check. If the car has been declared a flood-damaged vehicle, it should show up in the Vehicle History Report.
  • There are a few things you can look out for, like mismatched upholstery and rust under the gas pedal, that could indicate flood damage. Run through the DMV’s list of What To Look For In A Flood-Damaged Car before making a purchase.
  • Have a mechanic take a look. A professional could spot something an untrained eye might miss, ultimately saving you from future headaches and big bills.

Get Comprehensive Coverage

No matter how many preventative measures you take, sometimes there’s just no stopping Mother Nature. That’s where Comprehensive coverage comes in. Comprehensive coverage helps to pay for repairs to your vehicle from damages that were caused by something other than a collision, like the weather. If you don’t think you could afford to pay for repairs out-of-pocket if your vehicle was damaged in a weather-related event, you might want to consider adding comprehensive coverage to your policy.

Stay safe out there! And check back soon. We’ll be sharing more cost-saving tips on our blog as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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