Root’s guide to recovering after an extreme storm damages your car

Recovering from a major storm or natural disaster isn’t easy. Whether your vehicle was flooded, harmed by hail, or damaged by another type of extreme weather, we’re here to help you find the resources you need during this stressful time and you get back on the road.

Stop sign

Practice safety first.

Your safety is most important. We recommend you follow guidelines issued by local authorities and keep yourself and family out of harm’s way. Don’t attempt to access your vehicle if it’s not safe to do so. We understand that in extreme circumstances, you may not be able to include photos of damage with your car insurance claim—don’t worry, that’s OK. Make your safety a priority.

Filing a claim

File a claim for your storm-damaged car right in the app.

When it’s safe, and if you carry Comprehensive coverage, file your claim in the Root app. It only takes 5 minutes, and we walk you through the process.

To start, just open the Root app and tap File a claim on the home screen. Provide as much information as possible, and include photos of the damage.

Claims support

A claims expert will guide you through next steps.

A claims expert will get in touch with you to review your claim and discuss the next steps in the process. During times when we receive a high volume of claims from a natural disaster, we make every effort to respond as quickly as possible.

Every storm damage claim is different, and your car insurance claims expert will guide you based on your situation. Generally, you’ll choose which auto shop to use for repairs, pay your deductible, and we’ll cover the remaining costs.

Remember, you must carry Comprehensive coverage for us to pay for damages due to storms. (Comprehensive pays for covered damages to your vehicle caused by anything other than an accident, including hail, flooding, and broken glass.)

Rental keys

Use your Rental coverage.

If you carry Rental coverage, we’ll help you get a rental car or send you Lyft credits while your car is being repaired.

Keep in mind: after disasters, fraud is a major risk. Be alert, and only work with reputable auto shops and rental companies. Learn more to avoid contractor fraud.

Cars and red crosses

Drive toward recovery.

We know this is a distressing time, and we hope to make this part of your car's storm damage recovery as quick and painless as possible. Below are frequently asked questions and more resources to get you closer to recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Comprehensive coverage?
Comprehensive coverage pays for covered damage to your vehicle that is caused by pretty much anything that is not an accident. This could be hail, flood, or fire damage, vandalism, or even an unfortunate run-in with a deer. It will cover small issues like a cracked windshield, and it will cover the bigger problems—like if your car is stolen or if a hurricane washes it away.

What is a deductible?
A deductible is the amount you pay toward repairs (or maybe a replacement car) before Root pays for the rest. The lower your deductible, the higher your rate. That's because you would pay a lower amount toward the repairs of your vehicle, and we would pick up the rest. For example, your deductible could be as little as $100.

And of course, the opposite is true. You could choose a higher deductible—say, $1,000—and pay less for your insurance. But if you ever need to use your Collision or Comprehensive coverages, you'd have to pay this higher amount first before your insurance kicks in and covers the rest of the costs.

Deductibles are per incident. It's not like health insurance where once you pay your deductible for the year, insurance covers the rest. If you needed to use your Comprehensive coverage three times in a year, you would have to pay your deductible each time.

What if I don’t have Comprehensive coverage?
Since Comprehensive coverage is the type of insurance people buy for unexpected incidents like storm damage, you’ll need to have carried it before the incident. If you live in a county that is declared a presidential natural disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may be able to assist with expenses for disaster-related damage. Visit FEMA’s website or call 1-800-621-3362 to learn more.

And while it may be the last thing on your mind now, you may want to consider adding Comprehensive coverage to your policy in case another incident occurs.

Still have storm damage questions? Find more FAQs here.

Additional Weather-Related Resources

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