MIAMI (WSVN) – A lot of South Floridians are dealing with waterlogged or damaged vehicles in the wake of severe weather that swept through the region this week. A local insurance adjuster is offering a few words of advice to owners as they weigh their options when it comes to repairs.
Concertgoers in Sunrise walked out of the Amerant Bank Arena Wednesday night to find their cars flooded.
In Miami’s Brickell section, vehicles of various sizes were left stalled out on the side of the road after going through high water.
Speaking with 7News on Thursday, property claims adjuster Alberto Perdomo said the first thing that car owners dealing with a flooded vehicle need to do is check their auto insurance policy.
“Making sure that you have the proper coverage before you begin the claim process,” he said.
Whether a car was flooded or crushed by a downed tree, owners must have what’s called comprehensive coverage. Insurance companies won’t pay for damages if owners only have collision insurance.
Vehicle owners’ next step, Perdomo said, is to document everything.
“Handling claims for many years, I can’t stress the importance of documentation,” he said.
Perdomo advises owners to take pictures and videos of damage done to their car. Those who you have their vehicle towed to a mechanic are advised to save the receipts.
Perdomo said it is also a good idea to have the damaged car looked at by a professional.
“As far as the damages go, you need a professional’s opinion, so going to a mechanic, or having the car towed to a specialist, so they can narrow down what is exactly the cause of loss or what are the damages,” he said.
Having someone look at the vehicle will help if owners receive a lowball estimate from their insurance company.
“The carrier will determine if it’s a total loss, if it’s something repairable, but you ultimately will be able to lean back on your mechanic or a professional’s opinion,” said Perdomo.
Even if the vehicle wasn’t damaged, experts advise owner to check their insurance policy. Most storm damage, including hurricane damage, will only be covered with comprehensive insurance.
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Based in New York, Stephen Freeman is a Senior Editor at Trending Insurance News. Previously he has worked for Forbes and The Huffington Post. Steven is a graduate of Risk Management at the University of New York.