Car Driving Through Floodwaters

Homeowners in Florida might have a requirement to buy flood insurance. After all, it's supposed to help you rebuild or replace your house following a devastating event like hurricane storm surge. However, flood insurance specifically applies to houses, not cars. All the same, cars can become lost in flooding just as easily as houses can. In fact, they often face even higher risks of water damage. Which begs the question, does your car insurance cover water damage?

In many ways, yes, your policy can address a car when it becomes the victim of floods or other precipitation. However, restrictions do exist, which is why you should always consult your insurer as soon as a loss occurs.

The Risks Of Water Damage To Cars

Water damage isn't anything to take a chance on when it comes to your vehicle. You have probably seen someone on the news being rescued from their submerged car after they attempted to drive through floodwaters. These are devastating losses that could easily damage, or even total, nearly any vehicle.

Still, floods aren't the only risks that could damage a car. Suppose, perhaps, that you leave your moon roof open one night, and a rainstorm pops up, soaking the interior of the car. You could face hundreds of dollars in repair costs for the interior equipment. Even high humidity can do a number on certain components of the vehicle, which is why you should always have your vehicle serviced regularly.

Coverage For Vehicle Water Damage

There is a bright spot in this scenario. Car insurance can accommodate water damage to cars. However, policies will place limits on when such damage will qualify for a claim.

To qualify for any type of assistance, you'll first need comprehensive physical damage coverage. Comprehensive car insurance will pay for damage to the car from mishaps other than collisions. This is optional coverage, so you'll have to ask your insurer to include it on the policy.

Still, other limits will apply.

  • Flood damage will have coverage. Even if you drive through flood water (which makes the accident your fault), you should receive coverage.
  • If you leave your windows down during a storm, your policy will not cover the damage. You could have prevented the loss. However, if hail breaks the windows and water into the car, then you could qualify for coverage.
  • Slow leaks will not have coverage. However, if heavy rain encroaches into a sealed vehicle, then it might have coverage.
  • Some other aspects of the vehicle will not have coverage. This is the case regardless of the cause of the water damage.

You will need to speak to your insurer about the specific nature of the water damage to the vehicle. Keep in mind, comprehensive insurance will have deductibles attached. Therefore, you must pay the deductible out of pocket before the insurer pays the remaining claim. If the damage costs fall below the deductible cost, then your policy won't pay.

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