Does my auto insurance cover natural disasters?

Does auto insurance cover natural disasters? Only comprehensive auto insurance protects drivers against damage caused by natural disasters. Earthquakes, hail, wildfires, riots, theft, and more are all covered under the comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy. Because a full coverage policy that includes comprehensive covers more, you can expect to pay more in auto insurance rates. Compare multiple quotes for auto insurance that covers natural disasters before buying.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jan 7, 2022

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  • Basic auto insurance alone will not cover natural disasters
  • Comprehensive auto insurance is required for drivers to be protected from flooding, wildfires, hurricanes, hail, earthquakes, and more
  • Comprehensive coverage has limitations based on location and timing of a natural disaster

Natural disasters are chaotic and can leave you feeling lost in the aftermath. If you’ve experienced one, you may be wondering, “Does auto insurance cover natural disasters?”

A flood, wildfire, or earthquake often comes with little warning and may unexpectedly damage your home and vehicle.  

It’s critical to learn exactly what your auto insurance policy can cover in the event of a natural disaster. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to compare auto insurance online and find the most appropriate coverage for you.

A natural disaster often causes dangerous driving conditions, and might even damage your car while it’s not on the road. Drivers should familiarize themselves with the details of their insurance policy so they know what to expect. 

Before learning more about affordable auto insurance that covers natural disasters, enter your ZIP code into our free tool above to compare auto insurance rates from multiple companies near you.

Does auto insurance cover natural disasters?

Simply put, yes. Auto insurance covers natural disasters under a comprehensive, which is part of a full-coverage auto insurance policy.

Specifically, comprehensive coverage offers protection from damage caused by natural disasters and other incidents out of a driver’s control. In addition, riots, theft, and vandalism are all covered by comprehensive car insurance. 

Auto insurance companies offer policies that protect against certain classifications of natural disasters.

There are so many auto insurance companies and policies to choose from. We recommend discussing your options with an insurance agent before you decide. This will prevent you from overpaying for coverage you don’t need.

You may also wish to compare multiple quotes for auto insurance that covers natural disasters. Looking at quotes from multiple companies will help you narrow down your options.

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What does full-coverage insurance cover?

Just about every auto insurance company offers full-coverage insurance. However, because this policy offers the most coverage, you can expect to pay higher auto insurance rates each month.

Comprehensive auto insurance on your policy will have you covered in the event of any harsh weather, extreme conditions, and other natural disasters. 

Whether or not auto insurance covers natural disasters depends on how the damage occurred. The natural disasters covered by auto insurance include: 

  1. Flooding
  2. Wildfires
  3. Hurricanes
  4. Hail
  5. Earthquakes
  6. Riots, theft, etc. 

A flood can cause severe damage to vehicles. The only way to be prepared for a flood is to maintain a comprehensive auto insurance policy.

It is much better to be prepared ahead of time, so we recommend looking into adding comprehensive auto insurance to your policy right away if you have concerns about flooding.

Unfortunately, insurance companies may enact certain restrictions on new and existing policies if a flood threat has already been declared in your area. This is why you must plan and secure comprehensive coverage before local flooding. 

Suppose a natural disaster has been forecasted to hit your area. In that case, these binding restrictions may prevent you from adding comprehensive auto insurance to your policy, or auto insurance companies could deny your natural disaster insurance claims.

Like flooding, wildfires are covered by comprehensive insurance.

Again, timing is critical, as binding restrictions are put in place when a wildfire occurs in the area. If you’re concerned about wildfire damage, act quickly to ensure that you are covered beforehand.

The same goes for earthquakes, riots, thefts, and more. For example, although full-coverage auto insurance does not cover your home during an earthquake, damage to your car will be paid for.

Because riots and thefts are out of the driver’s control, they are also covered by comprehensive car insurance. Damages from a variety of other circumstances, typically known as “acts of God,” are covered as well.

Protection against “acts of God” includes coverage for: 

  • Riots and civil disobedience
  • Vandalism of the vehicle
  • Sinkholes
  • Landslides and mudslides
  • Eruptions from volcanoes

Typically, “acts of God” insurance will cost at least $967 a year, or $80.58 a month. 

Adding comprehensive coverage to your plan provides protection for damages not covered by collision or liability insurance. Although it costs more monthly, it can save you more money in the end.

Talk with your insurance agent to see if comprehensive auto insurance is right for you. 

You can also compare auto insurance rates that cover natural disasters to find the best deal.

The Bottom Line: Does auto insurance cover natural disasters?

If you’re planning to purchase comprehensive coverage, we recommend that you do it sooner rather than later.

Deciding which coverage to buy is a difficult choice, so be sure to understand the basics of auto insurance and what you might need.

Comprehensive coverage will protect you in the event of flooding, wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and any other “acts of God.”

When a natural disaster strikes, you can rest easy knowing you’re covered. But remember: Drivers must add comprehensive coverage to the policy before any damage or weather warnings are declared in the area.

Given that natural disasters are unexpected, it’s essential to maintain comprehensive coverage on your vehicle at all times. 

Comprehensive coverage adds an extra cost, but it’s a very affordable coverage and is well worth it. 

Ready to buy auto insurance that covers natural disasters? Enter your ZIP code into our free tool below for quotes from auto insurance companies near you.

Free Insurance Quote Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap insurance rates.

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