Watching the human toll exacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is a nightly exercise in shock and prayer. Urban Houstonians never thought this could happen to them. Folks who believed they found paradise in the Florida Keys, instead see destruction and carnage. How will they ever recover? How will they rebuild? These are the questions on Gildshire Magazines‘ mind as we donate what we can, hoping to help in a small way. While the very lives of the victims are the most important thing, their recovery will depend on being able to get around. What about their cars? We decided to examine the vehicular toll of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. We had some help from Consumer Reports, and discovered some good news…but more bad news.
Here is some bad news: Once the water recedes, you will want to go take a look at your car. Your initial reaction may be a positive one. “It looks just fine! I’ll Wet-Vac the inside and be good to go.” Actually, you won’t be good to go. On most cars, the intake is at the front of the car, bringing fresh air to the engine as you drive. Chances are, the water filled your engine cylinders via the intake. That will stall the motor unexpectedly, rendering it unable to turn over. In addition, there is the chance of computer modules failing from getting wet and long-term electrical problems down the road. In most cases, the costs of fixing the damaged engines, electrical, and computer parts, and interiors are too high to warrant repairs.
Here is some good news: The comprehensive coverage on your insurance policy will pay for the damage (Minus, of course, that pesky deductible.) Even the deductible can be considered good news since, on most policies, the comprehensive deductible is lower than the collision deductible. Add to that, over 80% of car owners in the United States carry comprehensive coverage.
Here is some more bad news: You know Texans! They like to be different. Only 70% of the insurance buyers in Texas choose comprehensive coverage. That’s the lowest percentage in the country. So, three drivers in ten who suffer the loss of their vehicle at the hands of Hurricane Harvey will have no recourse. It’s another sad piece of the hurricane pie. Thoughts and prayers for the victims, to be sure. We wish they had made better choices at the insurance counter.