As residents of the East Coast begin to clean up after Hurricane Sandy, it isn’t just homes that are being impacted. In many of the areas that were hard-hit by flooding, residents have experienced significant water damage to their vehicles. Did Hurricane Sandy flood your car? If so, are you covered for water damage to your car?
Do You Have Comprehensive Insurance?
The most important factor in whether you’re covered in water damage to your vehicle is whether or not you have comprehensive insurance. If you only carry liability insurance on your car, you’re not covered for water damage. If you do have comprehensive insurance, the coverage may vary depending on the extent of your insurance.
Some states have state-specific coverage and regulations related to comprehensive insurance. Your agent should be able to tell you whether any of these special circumstances apply in your policy.
Even if you do have comprehensive insurance, you’ll still have to pay the deductible you selected when you bought your insurance. If you have comprehensive insurance with a $1,000 deductible, and technicians estimate that it will only take $800 to repair the flooding to your vehicle, you’ll be out of pocket for the entire cost.
What to Do if You’re Not Covered
If you’re not covered for water damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, here’s what you need to do to ensure your car is drivable:
- Take steps to dry the vehicle ASAP
- Don’t start the car until a thorough inspection and cleaning is performed
- Flush and replace all fluids, oils and lubricants
- Clean the brake parts thoroughly, and repack bearings that aren’t sealed
- Have the engine, transmission, axles, brake and fuel system examined for water contamination
Depending on how badly your car was flooded, you may be able to get back on the road with a minimal out-of-pocket cost - even if you don’t have insurance.
If you have questions or are having problems with your claim for water damage to your car, Bill Voss, Policyholder Insurance Attorney, can help.