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Typically, when drivers are worried about car damage, the concern is usually toward other drivers or objects on the road, however, there is one often overlooked danger; severe weather.

Every day across America, cars are damaged due to flood waters, hail damage, objects being carried by the wind, and more. According to Kelley Blue Book, when you are a victim of weather damage, there are important steps that should be taken to make sure that you can get your vehicle fixed as fast as possible without any delay. Here are five steps you need to take if your care is damaged by weather.

Call your insurance company right away

Car damage by flooding
Flood damage | Bryan R. Smith / AFP via Getty Images

Oftentimes when damage occurs to a vehicle, the vehicle owner is busy handling damage to other property as well. KBB’s first step is calling an insurance company to report vehicle damage. For as much coverage as possible, along with an accurate damage report, the damage must be reported to an insurance company as soon as possible.

Not only will insurance companies be able to assist you as quickly as possible, but if your vehicle damage occurs due to a natural disaster that is affecting many people in your area, your claim may be expedited.

Do not drive your car

While it may be tempting to drive a car that has only sustained local damage due to weather, it is important to not drive your car until it has been fully assessed by an insurance company. Oftentimes frame damage and flood damage can be hard to see and driving a car with these issues can put your safety and the safety of other drivers in danger.

Drivers are better off waiting until a car is fully evaluated and assessed for damage before attempting to drive.

Assess the damage and your car’s worth

While you may not be an expert in vehicle damage, researching obvious damage costs can prepare you for how much your insurance will be covering. It can also give you an idea of whether or not your car will be considered totaled when the repair costs are compared to the value of your car.

Typically a car is considered a total loss if the repairs to the vehicle equate to around 75% of the vehicle’s current market value. But, this number is fluid and every state has different formulas for figuring out if a vehicle is a total loss or not.

Take pictures

In the age of the smartphone, we can take quick, detailed photos now more than ever. So, when your car has been damaged, it is important to get as many detailed pictures and videos as you can. If your car’s interior has been flooded, it is important to get pictures and videos of the interior while it is still wet. If your vehicle is smoking, take a video of the smoke for the insurance adjuster to find the source of the smoke or fire. Pictures can help an insurance adjuster file your claim as quickly as possible without any hidden damage being missed.

Be ready to wait

After a large local weather-related incident, insurance companies will be flooded with claims, so be ready to wait longer than you usually would for an insurance claim. Several days or even weeks may elapse before your claim is completed, but the steps above can help you expedite your claim and get back on the road as soon as possible!


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