December 2010 has seen some of the worst winter weather for decades with a major part of the eastern part of the US caught in a major storm. In their defense, the Insurance Information Institute routinely reminds people to check their insurance coverage if they live in areas which are prone to be affected by more serious outbursts of weather. Just so you know, the biggest losses come from tornadoes and hurricanes. In just a few hours, entire communities can be flattened or flooded or both. Next comes all the damage when the road stops holding on to the tires on your vehicle and invites you to have fun skating. That’s in addition to high winds bringing down trees or a build up of ice snapping power lines which make navigation more exciting. So let’s get the more straightforward point out of the way. If you have your vehicle safely in the garage and the roof collapses under the weight of snow, the damage should be covered under your homeowners policy. Anything else is covering under your vehicle insurance or not covered at all.
Why worry? Well, this December has seen the temperature lower in Florida than in Maine. Life is tough for the oranges. No matter what you think about the idea of global warming, all the scientists are saying these winter storms and more extreme temperature shifts are going to become more common. Insurance companies are already building these expectations into their calculation of the premium rates. You had better start planning for the worst as well. Let’s assume you will face icy roads, often covered by wind-driven snow. That means keeping a clear view of the road with your front and rear windshields clear. Now focus on defensive driving. Always allow the maximum time for your journey so you never have to hurry. Don’t slam on the brakes or try to make sudden turns, and always keep as far away from other vehicles as you can. If ice falls on you from trees or properties next to the road, this should be covered under your comprehensive cover, i.e. this is not a collision. If you do run out of control on snow or ice, that’s a collision.
Pack an emergency kit and ensure your cellphone is fully charged in case you need to call for help. Then it’s all down to keeping your vehicle well maintained. Monitor the amount of tread on the tires and keep the tires inflated to the right pressures. Check your exhaust. If there’s a leak, this could pump carbon monoxide into the passenger area. Always have a full tank before you set off. If you get caught in bad weather, you may have to keep the engine running for hours to stay warm or go out of your way to avoid bad conditions. So check the auto insurance quotes for all the terms and conditions on what is covered and what is excluded. You want the best terms at a price you can afford. This means some effort on your part. Do not simply pick the lowest of the auto insurance quotes. Pick the best value-for-money quote.