Hurricane Ian car damage: What experts say to do – News-Press

In the wake of Hurricane Ian’s destruction, many drivers in Southwest Florida are now wondering what to do after their vehicles were left unsalvageable from storm surge and strong winds.
If your car experienced severe damage due to the hurricane, here are what experts recommend for your next few steps.  
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According to AAA Spokesman Mark Jenkins, there have been 500 claims so far since Ian ended. While it’s still too early to tell, he believes it is on the same level of Irma and Charley.
Widespread flooding will likely result in significant damage to vehicles. Flooding is often covered by “comprehensive” auto insurance policies. However, because Floridians are not required to carry this coverage option, some may not be protected. 
When a car has been partially or completely submerged, AAA recommends the following:
Jenkins said once residents’ contact their provider to file a claim, it likely will be a week out before they hear back. 
When going to your insurance provider, bring as much information and evidence as possible, including when and where the storm occurred and what types of damage your car sustained with photos and videos provided.
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Once an appraiser has inspected the vehicle and determined the damage, they should receive a copy of the estimate, as well as a recommendation of reputable auto shops. Whether the car has minimal damage or is completely damaged, Jenkins said it is the same coverage and deducible. 
Some will be looking forward to using insurance funds to buy a car. However, there’s a chance that could turn into its own potential nightmare if you’re not careful.
Carmax says there is potential for Hurricane Ian-damaged cars to end up back on used car lots.
“Customers should be aware that some businesses and individuals may try to sell salvaged and flood damaged vehicles without disclosing their condition,” Carmax said it a release. “We encourage all customers to check the car history report to see if there is flood history noted or a salvage title has been issued on the vehicle. When possible, we also recommend having the vehicle checked out by a trusted mechanic before purchase.”
Flood-damaged cars can be dangerous because water can “permanently damage computers and electrical systems that control many aspects of the car”, including gas and brake pedals, steering and gear shifts and safety and warning sensors.
On top of checking vehicle history and shopping with reputable dealers, CarMax officials recommend the following when looking to purchase a car:
Are rental cars available in SWFL?
As of Oct. 4, these are the only car rental services with vehicle options:
Various car rental associates said they predict their inventory will remain sold out over the next few days but they highly recommend calling to check back and make a reservation ahead of time for a vehicle. 
If you are SWFL car rental and are now open/no longer sold out, please email:  


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