Hurricane Sandy Creates Risks for Drivers

Hurricane Sandy is fast approaching New Jersey, and many coastal towns have already been evacuated. Governor Chris Christie declared a state of emergency on Sunday, and the effects of the storm are already being felt across the state with power outages, flooding and high winds, even though the hurricane has not yet made landfall. Businesses and residential homes along the shore have been boarded up in anticipation of this extreme storm, and automotive insurers are making preparations as well.

While most people have evacuated the high risk areas along the ocean, some have chosen to stay put, which means their vehicles are at risk of damage. Flooding can destroy a car, as high water levels associated with floods typically contain dirt and debris that can get into the engine and cause damage. Those who live along the coast also need to be wary of salt water, which leads to rusting and other problems even if the water levels do not get very high.

Car insurance companies are already gearing up to handle the claims that will likely follow in the wake of the hurricane in New Jersey and across the Eastern seaboard.

"We plan for weather events such as this, so we feel well prepared with resources strategically positioned to quickly assist customers who may be impacted," Matthew Bordonaro, a spokesman for Travelers insurance company, told NBC News.

Following big storms, drivers who are shopping for vehicles should be wary of purchasing cars, as they may wind up buying lemons that have been irreparably damaged by flooding. It is always a good idea for car shoppers to have independent mechanics inspect cars before making a purchase. New Jersey State Auto Auction guarantees the quality of its vehicles, because every model on the lot is CARFAX certified, so drivers know they'll be getting behind the wheel of a reliable ride.