The 2010 summer hurricane season officially begins on June 1, but this year, a number of major weather incidents that have already damaged cars in their paths.
Storm damage is one of the reasons you need auto insurance. To make sure you are covered and get what you need, follow these steps:
1. First, check your insurance coverage: You need "comprehensive" coverage to file a claim for storm damage.
2. Consider rental reimbursement, which provides rental car coverage and could be helpful if your car ended up in the shop after a storm.
3. Keep insurance papers safe and dry in a waterproof bag or container, and take them with you if you evacuate.
4. Take photos of your vehicles. Keep the photos with your insurance info -- they can help with claims reporting later on.
5. Prior to the onset of a storm, evacuate endangered areas if you can and take all of your vehicles -- cars, trucks, motorcycles -- with you, if possible. If that is not possible, park them indoors or on high ground as close to a sturdy building as you can.
6. Avoid debris and low-hanging or fallen power lines after the storm. Also resist the temptation to "sightsee" after a storm.
7. Report storm damage right away and be on the lookout for post-storm landscape changes like missing street signs and broken traffic lights.
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