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Preparing Your Car for a Hurricane

Disasters and emergencies can happen at any time, but when a hurricane or summer storm is on the horizon, there are many precautions you can take to ensure you are ready to evacuate safely, if need be, and that your vehicle is ready to go.

Review insurance coverage

Before a hurricane or storm strikes, Ready.gov recommends making sure your auto insurance policy and other important personal documents are up to date. These documents should be stored in a secured place or password protected online.

When you insure your vehicle with MAPFRE Insurance, optional comprehensive coverage typically covers damages from extreme weather like hail, wind, fire, and floods. Comprehensive also usually covers damage from falling objects, like branches or trees.

Even if you have the proper coverage, the Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends reviewing your policy yearly to make sure there haven’t been any changes to your policy since your last renewal. Your independent agent can always go over your policy with you.

Car preparation

While you should always keep on top of regular car maintenance like checking tire pressure, testing the battery, topping off the coolant, keeping the oil changed, and inspecting windshield wipers are other things to double check before a hurricane or major storm makes landfall.

  • Prepare an evacuation route in case you must leave your home.
  • Get a full tank of gas or charge if it’s an Electric Vehicle.
  • Park your car in a garage or if you must park outside, away from trees.
  • Secure loose items around parked car – such as patio furniture.

Among the items that should be stored in your car ahead of an emergency according to the National Safety Council are:

  • Emergency first aid kit
  • Medications
  • Nonperishable, high-energy foods
  • Drinking water
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • A properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod jack
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Reflective vest
  • Rain poncho, extra clothes, blankets

Exercise extreme caution

Because of high wind speeds and heavy rain, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) strongly recommends motorists not drive during a hurricane. Not only can strong wind gusts knock down power lines and trees, but they can also cause your vehicle to overturn. Debris on the road can also be thrown onto your car, and heavy rain can flood roads and wash out bridges.

You should always avoid driving through deep water, as your car can be swept away. If you are driving during a hurricane and find yourself trapped in rising water, get out of the car immediately and get to higher ground and safety.

After hurricane or storm

The first thing to do after a hurricane or storm is to make sure nobody is hurt. If there is damage to your car, follow the same process as if you were in an accident:

  • Document the damage as much as possible with photos, video, or sketches so you can provide them to MAPFRE or your independent agent.
  • If your car is not drivable and you need it towed, make sure you verify the credentials of the tow truck driver before the car is taken to a repair center.
  • Call your independent agent to report the damage and begin your claims process. At MAPFRE, you can begin that process online or by calling our 24-hour claim reporting line at 1-800-221-1605.

We hope you found these tips helpful and that you exercise caution ahead of any hurricane or storm that heads your way. Not a MAPFRE customer yet? Contact an independent agent in your state or get a fast, free car insurance quote in Massachusetts today!

Please Note:This content is not intended to describe any specific coverage offered by MAPFRE Insurance. No coverage is provided, bound or guaranteed by this article. Available coverages, credits and discounts vary from state to state and are subject to eligibility criteria and policy terms/conditions, which will control in the event of conflict between this article and your insurance policy. For information about your policy, please review your individual policy contract and speak with your insurance representative.

MAPFRE Insurance® is a brand and service mark of MAPFRE U.S.A. Corp. and its affiliates, American Commerce Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 4928-8); Citation Insurance CompanySM; The Commerce Insurance CompanySM; Commerce West Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 1372-2); and MAPFRE Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 3039-5). Not all products available in all states.

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