How to Claim Flood Damage on Car Insurance

October 27, 2019

Flood damage is a tough one to get covered, except on a car. If you have comprehensive car insurance, chances are it will cover flood damage. This is good news because floods can cause serious damage and even total a car.

Keep in mind, you can only claim flood damage if you have comprehensive car insurance. The law doesn’t require this type of insurance, but as you can see, it comes in handy. If you have comprehensive car insurance keep reading to learn the process to claim flood damage.

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Don’t Waste Time

Time is important when filing any auto insurance claim, but is even more important with flood damage. If water levels rose in your area, chances are you won’t be alone in your claim. Filing the claim as soon as you notice the damage can help speed along the process.

Before you file the claim, get as many pictures/evidence as you can. The insurance company needs proof that the flood happened outside of your control. That’s what comprehensive insurance covers – damage from issues outside of your control.

If you can prove the damage occurred because of rising water levels in your area, though, you may have coverage. The adjustor that checks your car can also tell how/why the damage occurred.

Get Professional Help to Dry Out Your Vehicle

Once you have the necessary evidence, get to work drying your car out. Because of the risk of mold growth and permanent damage to things like the engine, you should get professional help. The longer the water sits, the higher the likelihood becomes of a total loss. This could affect your insurance rates more and obviously force you to buy a new car.

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Ask Your Insurance Company Where to go for Repairs

Most insurance companies have preferred auto body shops. If you use them, the insurance company guarantees the work.

Typically, choosing your own body shop isn’t a big deal. However, flooding causes serious damage. You nor the professionals may see the damage right away. It could occur down the road. If you use the insurance company’s auto body shop, though, the work may still be covered. If not, you may be on your own.

Reasons Insurance Companies Won’t Cover Flood Damage

Keep in mind, insurance companies don’t always cover flood damage. They only do so if the damage couldn’t be prevented, such as the following examples:

  • A hail storm that breaks your windshield – If water gets in because of the damaged windshield, insurance will likely cover the damages because you couldn’t prevent the broken windshield
  • A major rainstorm that leaks into your car – Insurance companies typically cover rainstorm damage, unless it’s due to a lack of maintenance. For example, if you have had a damaged windshield but never fixed it, insurance won’t pay for the water damage that results.

Insurance companies won’t cover:

  • Damage from left open windows – If you left your windows open overnight and a rainstorm came through, the damage is your responsibility
  • Damage to non-permanent car equipment – Sound systems, anti-theft systems, and any other after-market accessories typically aren’t covered

The key to a successful insurance claim after a flood is to act fast. Insurance companies often cover flood damage as long as you can prove you couldn’t prevent the damage. Keep up with your car’s maintenance and always have any leaks check out right away. Any sign of a lack of maintenance is reason for the insurance company to deny your claim.

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