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Does auto insurance cover flood damage?
Mother Nature is unpredictable, especially in central Texas. That’s why it’s important to be prepared!
Imagine driving home from work during a storm, only to discover the streets are quickly flooding. The car ahead of you seems to make it across standing water okay, and you decide to drive through the water. The next thing you know, your car stalls and your engine floods! What will you do? Does your auto insurance cover flood damage?
Related Video: Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Difference
If your auto policy has comprehensive coverage, you will most likely get some reimbursement. Comprehensive coverage specifically protects you from natural disasters, as well as theft and vandalism, falling objects, fire, hail, flood and animal damage.
3 Steps to Protect Your Car From Flood Damage
Step 1: Do not drive through standing water
Be cautious! It is very hard to estimate the depth of standing water, and since an average car can be swept off the road in less than 12 inches, it is best to not take any chances. Roads are also prone to collapsing or corroding when they are flooded. When a road or low water crossing is completely covered by water and you can’t see the road, it’s always best to turn around and not drown!
If your automobile stalls in flood waters, you may need to restart the engine to make it back to safety. However, restarting may potentially cause more damage to the engine, possibly irreparable. If you run into standing water on the road, the safest solution is to turn around and take an alternate route.
Step 2: Check your auto policy
If you want flood insurance for your car, check your policy and make sure you have comprehensive coverage. In the state of Texas, comprehensive coverage is completely optional and not required by law. Since comprehensive coverage is less expensive than collision coverage, in some situations it might make sense to carry comprehensive coverage without collision coverage, especially if your car is not garaged.
Review your deductibles and make sure you can afford to pay them after a flood or natural disaster. After a recent storm in Austin, Texas, one of my customers called to say his car had flooded and his comprehensive deductible was $1000. Unfortunately, he did not have $1000 in the bank to pay his deductible, so he could not get his car repaired immediately. If you know it will be a financial hardship to pay the deductible amount listed on your policy, it is best to lower your deductible and pay a little more for your insurance, than risk not being able to repair your car after an accident or flood.
Step 3: File A Comprehensive Claim
If your car has been damaged by a flood, contact your insurance company right away and file a claim. Flood damage can easily total a vehicle, so it’s important to get your car to dry ground and safety as quickly as possible. An adjuster will not be able to assess the damage until the car has dried out, but do not delay in filing a claim.
Remember, flash floods can occur anytime and come on very rapidly, especially in central Texas. If you have any questions about flood damage or auto insurance, give me a call! I’ll be happy to answer any questions or give you a free quote. If you encounter flood waters… turn around, don’t drown!