As Michigan approaches summer storm season, you may suddenly find yourself wondering whether your car insurance covers storm damage. The answer depends on your policy.
Michigan faces its fair share of inclement weather. From violent summer tornadoes, to heavy winter storms, car owners have to be ever vigilant to avoid expensive storm damage. When damage happens, is there any insurance help available?
No Fault is No Help
If you come out after a storm to discover a limb down on top of your car, don’t look to your Michigan No Fault Auto Insurance. That policy – which is mandatory for all drivers across the state – does not cover any damage done to your car, whether because of an accident or storm damage. The only reason to look to your no fault insurance after a storm is if you are injured in a storm-related car crash. Even then, your Michigan no fault policy will cover your injuries and medical expenses, but not your car.
No Liability for Storm Damage
You can’t sue God. Storm damage, often referred to as an “Act of God” in auto insurance policies, is not something you can usually sue over. Unless you can prove that the owner of the property knew there was an unreasonable risk of damage (for example, that a dead tree limb had been hanging in the tree for months prior to the storm), you won’t be able to sue to have anybody else pay for the repairs to your car.
Comprehensive Insurance is Key to Storm Damage Recovery
The best place to look for help paying for storm damage done to your car is in your auto insurance’s comprehensive insurance policy. This is a voluntary policy that covers damage done to your car when there hasn’t been an accident. It can cover everything from shopping cart collisions, to fallen limbs, to car fires.
Michigan does not require its citizens to carry comprehensive insurance. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 77 percent of insured drivers have comprehensive coverage. Even for drivers with comprehensive coverage, however, a storm can be a big setback. Many drivers choose comprehensive plans with high deductibles to cut their insurance costs. Those vehicle owners could be on the hook for as much as the first $5,000 in car repairs after a catastrophic weather event.
Whether there is help paying for storm damage depends on your comprehensive insurance policy. Consider carefully how much you can pay toward storm damage repairs when opting for a less expensive comprehensive insurance plan, or you may end up paying far more in the end.
David Christensen is an auto accident attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He and his team represent the victims of motor vehicle accidents, helping them to recover the benefits they need to recover from their crashes. If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in an auto accident, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.