Hurricane Sandy destroyed an estimated 250,000 cars, with flooding the main culprit. If you lost your vehicle in the super storm, check your car insurance policy. To file a claim you must have comprehensive coverage. Liability does not cover for flooding.
If you have comprehensive, here’s how to file a claim:
- Before contacting your insurance company, take pictures. Unless your vehicle is in standing water, it’s difficult to convey the actual flood damage. To compensate for this, snap as many pictures as possible. Take shots of the exterior from different angles, making sure to capture any sediment on the bumpers or that’s stuck to the grill. Then focus on the interior. Snap pictures of the floor carpeting, dashboard, upholstery and inside the trunk.
- Contact your insurance agent. Due to the inordinate number of claims, exercise patience. It may be days before a claims adjustor arrives at your door.
- While waiting for the claims adjustor, try, if possible, to have a mechanic inspect your car and provide you with a detailed damage estimate. Request a total estimated repair cost as well as the estimated cost for each part in need of repair. Having an independent estimate will keep the claims adjustor honest, as it were, improving your chances for a fair insurance payout.
- Check Kelley Blue Book for your vehicle’s current market value. This will give you a basis of what kind of coverage to expect from your insurance provider.
- Wait for the claims adjustor to arrive. Be sure you’re present to answer questions when the claims adjustor inspects your vehicle. Don’t forget to hand over your photos and repair estimate.
- Within a week or so your insurance company should present you with a check. Keep in mind that if you find the payout is significantly less than expected, you do have the right to dispute the claim.