💲 New Jersey requires auto insurance, but it doesn't protect against everything

💲 Many drivers are unaware of the protections offered by comprehensive coverage

💲 2023 is the most expensive year for severe storms such as tornadoes

Heavy rains flood your vehicle in the street. Strong winds send a tree branch through your car's windshield.

You may have automobile insurance, because New Jersey requires it, but you may also be completely out of luck in these instances when it comes to coverage.

In order to be covered for vehicle damage caused by natural disasters, you would have had to have made the choice to purchase comprehensive coverage when picking your policy.

Even if your homeowner's policy covers floods, the policy does not protect your vehicle — only your personal belongings inside.

Cost of comprehensive auto insurance

The standard purchase of auto insurance includes liability and personal injury protection, but not acts of Mother Nature.

And that extra coverage against weather comes at a price. The Insurance Information Institute estimates the cost of comprehensive at about $300 per year, or $25 per month.

"A brand new car, you're probably going to want to have as much coverage as you possibly can, whereas an older vehicle that's already paid off — you may be able to handle that out-of-pocket expense," said Dave Phillips, a spokesperson for State Farm.

In a recent State Farm survey, only a third of respondents aged 18 to 43 could identify what comprehensive auto insurance protects against. It also handles animal collisions.

More than half of Gen Z respondents in the survey, and 40% of millennials, indicated that they either do not have comprehensive or aren't sure what their policy covers.

According to III, the U.S. is closing out what will end up being the costliest year for severe convective storms, with insured losses from these events topping $50 billion through the end of September.

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