Does Car insurance Cover Flood Damage?

Flood damage is no fun at all, especially when it comes to your car. But you have car insurance, so the damage should be covered, right? Well, it’s not quite that simple. Flooding isn’t one of the most common issues that car owners face, so it’s not necessarily included in every car insurance policy. Don’t worry; you have options, and we’re here to help. Ahead, we’ll discuss what kind of car insurance you’ll need to cover floods and how to file a claim for a flooded car.

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    In this article

      Does car insurance cover floods?

      In short: possibly. If you have comprehensive insurance, your car should be covered for flood damage. If your car is leased or financed, you should have comprehensive insurance already, as it’s required on a car that’s still being paid for. If you aren’t making payments on your car, you might still consider comprehensive car insurance, especially if you live in a state prone to flooding, like those on the coasts, in the flat Midwest, or anywhere near water.

      Flooding can cause serious damage to your car. Some of the most common problems with flooded cars are down to the electrical system inside the car, but it will damage just about everything, both under the hood and inside your car. Flood water will even wreck your interior, so if you’re worried about flooding, get that comprehensive insurance so you’re covered.

      [ Read: The Best Cheap Car Insurance for College Students ]

      Tips for filing your flood damage auto insurance claim

      Take plenty of pictures 

      The most important thing you can do if you have flood damage is to document it. Take pictures of every single angle of your car and every place that’s damaged. Take close-ups, wide shots, interior pictures, under-the-hood pictures and everything else you can think of. These should be pretty easy to take on your phone, just make sure you don’t lose track of them. Back the photos up on the cloud or your computer, just in case.

      File early 

      File a claim on your damaged car immediately. You’ll want to contact your insurance company as soon as is safely possible, depending on what you’re dealing with flood-wise. Get in touch and let them know the situation with the flood and how much damage you’re dealing with with your car. You already have your pictures handy, which will help back up your story. But the sooner you file your claim, the sooner the insurance company can start processing it and help you.

      Check for hidden damage 

      You may not be able to see all the damage under the hood right away. If your car is driveable, you might take it to the local body shop to have a professional look for further damage. If it’s not driveable, see if you can have a mechanic come to your house and look for further damage. Do this early so you can include it in your claim.

      [ Read: The Coolest Car Insurance Mobile Apps ]

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      What to do if a flood totals your car 

      If the insurance company determines that the cost to fix your car is more than the car is worth, they might consider it totaled. The damage doesn’t even have to be considered 100 percent totaled, depending on what state you live in. In some states, 75% of the value is enough to be considered totaled. An insurance company may also total your car if it’s determined that it’s simply not safe to fix it and drive again. If this is the case, the insurance company will pay out what you’re owed, depending on the car’s value and your insurance policy. Be prepared here, though, to have your own information backing up the value of the car, as your insurance company might rely on you to have this information or might not come back with a value that you agree with.

      If your car is not totaled in a flood 

      If your car is damaged in a flood and the insurance agency determines that it can be fixed, you’ll first have to cover the deductible, whatever it is on your policy. The insurance company will cover the cost of the damage after that, but be prepared for this process to not be quick. There is a lot of paperwork and planning in this process to ensure the repairs are made in a way that the insurance company allows. Also, most likely if your car was damaged in a flood, others in your area were as well, which means the insurance companies are busy with claims, and the mechanics and autobody shops in your area are busy with repairs.

      [ Read: When Should You Downgrade Your Car Insurance? ] 

      How to prevent and prepare for auto damages in a flood

      • Get comprehensive car insurance: The first and most important thing to do is make sure you have comprehensive car insurance. This car flood insurance is the key to your protection.
      • Park your car on higher ground: If you know a storm is coming, move your car to higher ground if possible. This way it’s less likely to get caught in a flood.
      • Seal the doors and windows: Not that this will save you in a total flood, but make sure the doors and windows are properly sealed, as it can help keep some of the water out.
      • Avoid puddles: If you’re driving while it’s raining and starting to flood, avoid driving through puddles or standing water. For one, these are obvious pools of water, which can breach your car. For two, you don’t actually know how much water might be in that puddle, and it could flood your car.

      We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

      Hedy Phillips

      Contributing Finance Writer

      Hedy Phillips is a freelance lifestyle writer based in New York. While she’s not writing on topics like living on a budget and tips for city dwelling, she can usually be found at a concert or sightseeing in a new city. Over the past 10 years, her bylines have appeared in a number of publications, including POPSUGAR, Hunker, and more.

      Reviewed by

      • Nashalie Addarich
        Nashalie Addarich
        Insurance Editor

        Nasha Addarich is an editor at The Simple Dollar and a former attorney who specializes in home insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, and savings. She is a former contributing editor to Reviews.com.