Insurance Coverage For Water Damage To Your Vehicle

Floodwaters can do a lot of damage to a vehicle whether you are driving on the road or your vehicle is parked at the time the water hits. But even if you live in a high-risk flood zone and buy flood insurance, it doesn't cover water damage to your vehicle caused by a storm surge or an overflowing creek or river.

That's why it's important to carry comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy, especially if you live in an area at high risk of floods. Although comprehensive insurance generally covers losses from water and floods, there are things you need to know if water threatens your vehicle.

Heed Driving Conditions

It doesn't take much water to stall a vehicle. Therefore, if a roadway is covered by water and you don't know how deep it is, it's better to turn around and find a safer route than to drive through water of unknown depth.

While it's best to avoid even standing water on a roadway, if you have to get through, drive slowly. You don't know what hazards may lie under the water. It also takes only two feet of water to set your vehicle afloat.

Know the Potential Dangers

Avoid driving through moving water, particularly fast-moving water that can sweep your vehicle away. You may think it looks safe to drive through, but water can change speed quickly.

Pay attention to barricades. They are there for a reason. If you go around the barricade, chances are a flooded roadway lies ahead, and you may find yourself facing dangerous driving conditions.

Downed power lines near water are another risk to watch out for and avoid. Water is an easy path through which electrical current can travel.

Check It Out

It doesn't take much water to damage an engine, causing your vehicle to be a total loss. Sometimes the damage may not seem serious at first, especially if no water reached the engine. Still, have a mechanic carefully check out the vehicle from front to back.

Water can damage electrical components, and the damage may not be obvious right away. Even if your vehicle's electrical system appears to be working after it dries out, there can be problems later on when corrosion sets in.

File a Claim

If your vehicle suffers water damage due to a flood, file an insurance claim as soon as you can. Normally, comprehensive coverage requires that you pay a deductible at the time you get your vehicle repaired. However, if the insurer declares your vehicle a total loss, the company will subtract the deductible when it pays you for the loss.

Your comprehensive coverage will also have a limit—the highest amount the insurance company will pay to help repair the damage to your vehicle. Another thing to consider is that comprehensive coverage generally doesn't cover water damage to removable items that aren't permanently affixed to your vehicle.