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Wealth Exposed: Insurance Planning for High Net Worth Individuals and Their Advisors by Brian G. Flood

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CHAPTER 5

Which Car Will I Drive Today, the Ferrari or the Bentley?

Nearly three months after Superstorm Sandy slammed into New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, thousands of stranded homeowners were still up in the air, and thousands more were still without power in the midst of one of the coldest winters on record. So it may seem a bit trivial to point out that the storm also wiped out thousands of luxury and classic cars that lined the waterfronts of this tri-state area. While the dollar amount of damages pales in comparison to the loss of homes, estimates for luxury and classic car damages alone put the total at somewhere between $300 million and $500 million, which is not a trivial amount.1

While it’s not the first hurricane to target concentrated areas of population, Sandy, with its massive tidal surge, was the worst kind of storm for cars in general. In addition to the typical falling tree branches and collapsing garages, most cars suffered from the massive flooding. Salt water is among a car’s worst enemies. And for luxury and classic cars, every custom part or material begins to corrode almost immediately. The most tragic losses were the prized collectible autos that can’t be replaced.

IT’S NOT YOUR OLDSMOBILE’S INSURANCE COVERAGE

Events like Sandy, while rare, are stark testaments to the importance of matching your insurance coverage to your particular needs. While there is no telling how many of the thousands of luxury cars were underinsured relative to their value, ...

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