Natural disasters such as hurricanes can wreak havoc on your life, causing damage to your home, business, and even your vehicle. The powerful winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding from hurricanes can result in significant damage to vehicles, leaving car owners grappling with the aftermath.
When faced with the results of a destructive hurricane, you may have a lot of questions about repairs and the necessary steps to fix your car. We'll explain what you need to do when your car has been affected by hurricane damage. Additionally, we'll discuss the most common types of damage cars experience after being hit by a powerful storm.
Big storms, like hurricanes, can be unpredictable. They bring with them strong winds, heavy rainfall, flooding, and flying debris - all of which can lead to different types of storm damage to vehicles. However, it can be difficult to predict exactly how your vehicle will be affected. Your car may experience a slew of issues or you may only be left with only minor damage. Some of the most common forms of storm damage include:
One of the most devastating consequences of hurricane damage is flooding. Water can infiltrate the vehicle's engine, transmission, and electrical systems, causing irreparable damage. Additionally, water damage from hurricanes is especially harmful due to the corrosive nature of saltwater.
If your car experiences water damage as a result of a storm, the sooner you take care of the issue, the better odds you'll have of saving your engine. Cars that sit in flood water for days are usually declared irreparable. However, if you're able to drain your car quickly, the chances of repair are much higher.
Another common type of hurricane damage that cars often experience is due to the heavy winds. Powerful hurricane winds can throw debris such as branches, signs, and even other vehicles into yours. This can lead to dented panels, shattered windows, and even structural damage, depending on the wind speed.
There are a few steps you should take once you realize your vehicle has experienced hurricane damage. Though dealing with the effects of a hurricane can be challenging and stressful, it's essential to remain level-headed and follow the necessary steps to ensure your safety and get your car back in top condition.
The first step you ought to take is to assess the safety of your situation. You should always follow local recommendations when waiting out a hurricane to ensure it's safe to check on your vehicle. If your vehicle is damaged and you are in a safe location, move it to a more protected spot if possible.
As the next step, documenting the damage is crucial for insurance purposes. Once the storm subsides, carefully inspect your vehicle and document all visible damage. Take clear photos from multiple angles, both up close and from a distance. These photos will serve as important evidence for insurance claims.
As soon as it is safe to do so and your power is restored, contact your insurance provider to report the damage. Provide them with a detailed description of the damage and share the photos you took. Your insurance company will guide you through the claims process.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to get your car to a mechanic as soon as the storm clears. Often, auto shops become busy dealing with all of the vehicle damage from the hurricane. You'll likely need to wait a while before you can take your vehicle to get fixed. It's a good move to cover broken windows and open areas with plastic or tarps to prevent further exposure to the elements. This will help minimize the risk of additional damage, such as interior water damage.
Sometimes hurricanes wreak so much damage that your car is irreparable. If the damage to your car is extensive and the cost of repairs is close to or exceeds the vehicle's value, your insurance company might deem it a total loss. In such cases, you will be offered the option to accept a settlement based on the vehicle's salvage value.
However, if you're certain your car can be fixed, then you should take it to a professional. If repairs are needed, choose a reputable auto repair shop with experience specifically related to storm damage. You should also ensure they provide detailed estimates and a clear timeline for the repair process. The length of repairs will depend on a lot of factors, namely the business of the dealership and the extent of damage to your vehicle.
With particularly devastating hurricanes, it may not be possible to entirely prevent damage to your vehicle. However, there are a few simple tips you should follow to help mitigate the damage your vehicle might experience. Reducing the risk of vehicle damage could save you a lot of time, stress, and money in the future, so it's a smart idea to try out these tips if possible.
Natural disasters can leave a trail of destruction, with vehicles often bearing the brunt of the damage. When a hurricane strikes and your vehicle is impacted, staying informed and following a systematic approach can help ease the recovery process. From documenting damage and working with insurance companies to taking preventive measures for the future, being prepared can make a significant difference in the aftermath of a storm. At Brickell Honda, we have experienced professionals ready to handle all service repairs you may need. Check out our online booking system if your car needs service.