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Article Title:
Florida Hurricane Season Demands Smart Auto Insurance

Article Description:
Does your car insurance policy cover hurricane damage?  If you 
are living in the state of Florida, or another high-risk region, 
be sure to purchase a comprehensive policy to cover damages in 
the event of a storm.

Additional Article Information:
645 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Fri Mar 31 04:04:54 EST 2006

Written By:     Erin Shaughnessy
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

Article URL:

For more free-reprint articles by this Author, please visit:


Florida Hurricane Season Demands Smart Auto Insurance
Copyright © 2006 Erin Shaughnessy
Florida Auto Insurance

Does your car insurance policy cover hurricane damage?  If you 
are living in the state of Florida, or another high-risk region, 
be sure to purchase a comprehensive policy to cover damages in 
the event of a storm.

Automobile damages resulting from Hurricane Wilma have resulted 
in more Florida insurance claims than either Hurricane Katrina or 
Hurricane Rita.  Vehicle damage can range from scratches and 
dents to shattered windshields, and sometimes the complete 
wreckage of an automobile.  Windborne debris and fallen trees may 
be responsible for most storm-related claims.  More complicated 
claims arise when drivers collide at intersections without 
working traffic signals due to power outages.

State Farm and Progressive are the two largest auto insurance 
providers in the state of Florida.  One week after Hurricane 
Wilma hit Florida, State Farm had received over eighty-seven-
thousand claims, almost thirty-five-thousand of which were for 
automobile damage.  Progressive Insurance reported that it 
received more automobile insurance claims related to Hurricane 
Wilma than for any other hurricane last year.

Not all cars have insurance coverage for hurricane damage.  The 
policy holder has to have purchased the 'comprehensive' policy in 
order to be insured for damage to their vehicle resulting from a 
hurricane.  While homeowners must purchase a separate policy to 
cover flood damage, auto insurance includes flooding in the 
comprehensive policy.

One problem for hurricane related automobile damage is the high 
volume of claims occurring at one time.  Body shops can be 
inundated with damaged vehicles and policy holders may experience 
a delay in getting their cars repaired and returned.  Adjusters 
typically check on the most severe claims first.  Larger auto 
insurance carriers, such as State Farm, can call on insurance 
claim adjusters from other states to share the burden of visiting 
damaged vehicles.  Due to general hurricane damage to hard-hit 
areas, insurance company representatives may have trouble gaining 
access.  Even if access is not a problem, adjusters can still 
face heavy traffic and long lines at gas stations, just as 
residents do following a hurricane.  It is important for 
insurance company representatives to survey damaged vehicles 
quickly, as policy holders are often encouraged to refrain from 
having their automobiles repaired until the adjuster has visited.

Following Hurricane Wilma, about 225,000 automobile claims were 
filed in the state of Florida.  According to the Florida Office 
of Insurance Regulation, there were approximately 180,000 claims 
filed by Floridians in 2004 for damage to vehicles resulting from 
Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne.

According to Insurance Services Office Inc., (ISO), property and 
casualty insurers would pay approximately $6.1 billion to policy 
holders in the state of Florida for losses from Hurricane Wilma. 
The ISO Property Claim Services unit asserted, in a November 28, 
2005 press release, that ninety percent of the catastrophe losses 
from twenty-two events resulted from three hurricanes.  The year 
to date catastrophe losses could be as much as $50.3 billion, 
according to the ISO Property Claim Services unit.  Hurricanes 
Katrina, Rita, and Wilma were responsible for $45.2 billion of 
catastrophe losses.  ISO Property Claim Services expected to 
receive approximately 750,000 claims relating to damage of 
personal and commercial property, automobiles, boats and yachts.

In a press release dated January 26, 2006, Insurance Services 
Office, Inc. revealed that United States property and casualty 
insurers would pay a record breaking $56.8 billion to homeowners 
and businesses for property losses in 2005.  The actual amount of 
property damage insurers will pay exceeded the estimated amount 
by $6.5 billion.  This number breaks the previous record, of 
2004, when $27.3 billion was paid by insurers for catastrophe 

Ninety-three percent, or $52.7 billion, of the insured losses for 
2005 were accounted for by Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, Rita, 
Ophelia, and Dennis.  ISO also reported that over eighty percent 
of these claims came from policy holders in just five states; 
Louisiana ($27.2 billion), Mississippi ($12.2 billion), Florida 
($9.9 billion), Texas ($2.9 billion), and Alabama ($1.5 billion).

Erin Shaughnessy is a freelance writer of political and 
consumer advocacy articles.  She is a contributor to and has most recently covered  
<a href="";>Florida 
auto insurance</a> topics related to Hurricane 



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