When flood waters rise, most of the focus falls on homeowners and the damage to their property. But what happens if your car is flooded with water? In this article, we explain what happens if you have a flooded car and whether you’re likely to be covered by your Car Insurance.

What damage can flooding do to your car?

Flooding can cause very expensive damage to cars. It only takes around 30cm of water for a car to start floating, and just 60cm of water to send your car sailing down the road. Even a particularly deep puddle can cause your engine to stall and water to seep into your interior.

Deeper water is obviously more serious and can threaten your fuel tank and engine. Longer immersion can also lead to mould and rust, malfunctioning brakes, and damage to your lights, parking sensors and cameras.

If the flood damage is particularly extensive, your car could be written off.

Will Car Insurance cover a flood-damaged car?

The answer to this will depend on your Car Insurance provider. 

However, it is important to note that only fully comprehensive policies will cover you if your car is flooded. If you only have third-party protection, with or without fire and theft cover, you won’t be able to make a claim. This is because your insurance provider cannot recover the cost of repairs from an at-fault party.

If you have comprehensive Car Insurance, you will still need to check the terms and conditions of your policy carefully. This is because insurers are becoming ever more specific about which events they cover. ‘Acts of God’ terminology is being phased out, which means they need to be clear on what they will or won’t accept a claim for. 

Insurers will also make an assessment based on whether your car flood damage was the result of avoidable or unavoidable circumstances.

Avoidable car flood damage

In some situations, it is possible that the flood damage to your car could have been avoided. For instance, if you made a call to drive through some water and it turned out to be deeper than you expected, your insurer may decide that you are at fault for the resulting flood damage.

Similarly, if you park your car in an area where water can easily reach it, your insurer may not support your claim.

Most avoidable car damage is caused by drivers going through unexpectedly deep water. Before going ahead, try to assess the depth of the water or, better still, find an alternative route.

Unavoidable car flood damage

Of course, flood damage cannot always be avoided. 

For example, if you are already cut off by water, attempting to drive through it and causing damage to your car is likely to be seen as unavoidable by your car insurer. Flood damage is also likely to be seen as unavoidable if your car was flooded after being parked in its usual location, such as your driveway.

In these cases, you should be able to make a claim. But make sure you check your policy first!

Will personal items be covered by Car Insurance?

If you have personal possessions inside your car when it floods and they are damaged, you should check your policy. 

If your Car Insurance policy doesn’t cover them, it is worth checking your Home Insurance as your contents cover may extend to these items. If you’re unsure, give your insurer or broker a call.

How do you make a Car Insurance claim for flooding?

If your car is damaged by flood water, check your policy wording and get in touch with your insurer as soon as you can.

On the call, you will need to let your insurer know what has been damaged, such as the engine, and how it happened. 

Once your claim has been submitted, your insurer will assess the damage and decide whether your prized car can be repaired or if it will need to be written off.

In the meantime, it is best not to attempt to dry out your flooded car yourself as this is a job for professionals. You may also find that a particular partner is recommended by your insurance company to sort out any damage. 

Talk to us about Car Insurance today

If your Car Insurance is due to be renewed, speak to our experienced and friendly team. We can help you to find the right cover for the right price.

Simply call 0800 917 2274 to get an accurate quote now.