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Home / Articles / Columnists / Happy Motoring /  Will Your Car Insurance Cover Flood Damage? It Depends on the Policy
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Wednesday, September 2,2015

Will Your Car Insurance Cover Flood Damage? It Depends on the Policy

By Teresa Aquila  


When Hurricane Sandy hit last year, it caused massive amounts of flooding along the East Coast. Not only did this flooding damage homes and businesses, it also destroyed the cars of many Americans.

When these people tried to file an insurance claim, some received very bad news: their insurance would not cover any of the damage. Only certain types of car insurance cover floods. To protect your vehicle against floods, you need to have comprehensive coverage. Basic Liability Coverage Doesn’t Include Floods The reason so many Americans couldn’t collect on their insurance was because they only bought the most basic level of car insurance, liability coverage. Don’t get us wrong, liability coverage is incredibly important. If you get into an accident and it’s your fault, this type of insurance will pay for the damage to other people’s property and protect you in case you get sued.

However, liability coverage only covers the damages of other people. When people had their own cars destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, they could not collect on their liability coverage. In addition, homeowner’s insurance and flood insurance policies also do not cover flood damage to cars. As a result, many Americans that thought they were protected were stuck paying for all this damage on their own.

Benefits of Comprehensive Coverage When you upgrade to comprehensive coverage, your car insurance covers much more. This type of policy pays to repair damage to your car from many different disasters. Floods are included as well as fires, hail storms, deer accidents, and vandalism. If someone steals your car, your comprehensive coverage will also cover the loss.

Keep in mind that comprehensive coverage won’t cover the damage to your car from a car accident. To get these repairs covered, you also need a collision policy. If you’re unsure about what your car insurance currently covers, you should meet with your agent to make sure you aren’t exposed to any coverage gaps.

Hurricane Sandy put many unprepared car owners in a very tough financial situation. Hopefully, you can learn from their mistakes and protect your valuable asset with comprehensive coverage. Did you know that there are different types of car insurance? Are you worried that you may be driving right now without proper protection? If you are unsure, then check with your automotive insurance agent.

So what exactly happens to the vehicles that have come under water and the insurance company has labeled it totaled? Since the vehicle has a legal document identifying it, known as a title, once it is deemed a total loss, the insurance company must submit for a Salvage Title. This allows the vehicle to then be sold as scrap to a salvage company or a wrecking yard for parts.

Some individuals will repurchase the vehicle and make the necessary repairs and resell it. Here is where I say buyer beware. If you find yourself looking for a used car and it has a Salvage Title, this should be a red flag. Car dealers do not resell cars holding a Salvage Title because of the liability that can go with it. If you are purchasing it from a private party, I would steer clear of this deal. It may seem cheap in price, but who knows what you’ll find down the road. If this vehicle was in a flood situation then many areas of the car’s mechanical components may be damaged, such as the rear end, transmission, transfer case, flooring, etc. If you are dead set on buying one, lift up the carpet and look for rust. Observe the undercarriage for rusted bolts, rust in the fender areas, molding and the frame. Have your mechanic give it a once over, it just might save you troubles later down the road. Happy Motoring!


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