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Does Car Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

Every year in the United States, floods cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

Whether it’s buildings, roads, or vehicles, water destruction is expensive. Texas is known for heavy flooding and has its fair share of rainstorms.

In July of this year, a heavy thunderstorm led to a large amount of destruction to Dallas’s homes, infrastructure, and cars. This likely left car owners wondering if their insurance covered flood damage.

The answer is: it depends. Comprehensive auto coverage covers flood damage, but not all automobile insurance plans include this coverage. Unfortunately, home insurance does not cover flood damage even if flood insurance is included. It will only cover the belongings in the vehicle.

In Texas, according to NerdWallet.com, comprehensive car insurance averages at a little less than $2,000. In other states with heavy flooding, this insurance costs around the same amount.

In situations where a car owner leases or finances a vehicle, comprehensive insurance is required. However, it might be a good idea to pay extra for comprehensive coverage if the owner lives in a state with heavy flooding.

If an owner does not have comprehensive coverage, and their car gets flooded, there is not much the owner can do. Nevertheless, there is a chance that the owner will be eligible for a loan from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Other than this, there is not much to be done.

If an owner does not want to pay more for comprehensive coverage, there are a few tips that may help in the event of a flood. Towing insurance is more economical and useful in the event that an owner needs to move their vehicle to higher ground. Rental reimbursement insurance will cover a rental car payment once the owner’s vehicle is damaged.

Conversely, if an owner does have comprehensive coverage, there are a few smart steps to take in the event of car flood damage. FIRST, CALL YOUR CAR INSURANCE PROVIDER! In any case of vehicle impairment, it’s a good idea for the owner to photograph detailed pictures of the damage from all angles in supportive lighting. Capturing a video might be even more useful. It’s important to document the height that the water reached against the vehicle. This action will make the claims process more streamlined and much faster.

In addition, submitting a claim as soon as possible will put the car owner at the top of the insurance company’s list of carriers after a widespread flood. There are now options for mobile submissions, and the rise of smart phones has allowed owners to visit websites through internet applications.

Once the owner has gone through the claims process, the insurance provider will decide if the vehicle is a total loss or if it can be repaired. If the car is totaled, the car owner will receive a payment equivalent to the car’s worth at the time of damage. If it is not totaled, then the vehicle will be repaired to its state before damages. Hopefully, if an owner’s car is damaged from a flood, the process will be quick and easy.

However, it’s important to remember that flooding can be just as dangerous as other forms of natural disaster. If a car owner suffers flood damage to their vehicle and does not take the proper precautions, they could be putting themselves in harms way.

It’s very important to always use caution when assessing the damage of a car because operating an impaired vehicle is clearly very dangerous.

PLEASE NOTE: Ben Abbott & Associates does NOT handle flood insurance claims.

Remember, call Ben Abbott & Associates for a FREE consultation if you have been in a car wreck! Check out Ben’s Blog for more helpful tips and tricks. 

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