The answer to that question is yes, as long as there is the right coverage on your auto insurance policy. Flash flooding is not an uncommon event and when an area’s storm drains are overwhelmed by the amount of a downpour, the water ends up flooding the streets. Once this happens it is difficult to determine how deep some of the floodwaters are until you have already committed to driving through them. Unfortunately, that is when a car can easily be totaled. Therefore, an insurance company will pay you for the repairs or for a total loss, only if there is comprehensive coverageon your policy.
What Should You Do If My Auto Is Flooded?
First and foremost, if you are driving your vehicle while it is being flooded, get yourself out of harm’s way. Drive steadily to the nearest higher ground and open your windows if the water appears to be getting higher, so you will have an immediate exit out if needed. If your engine stalls, you should attempt to restart it in order to make it to safety. But if you cannot restart your vehicle, you need to get out. If you become trapped, immediately call 911 or flag down anyone that is within sight of you.
Once you have made it to safety, you should notify your auto insurance company’s claim department as soon as possible, especially if it’s a catastrophic claim situation. That way you can get your claim processed quicker. Insurance claims departments are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words
Take the time to document the damage of your vehicle. You can use either a digital camera or your smartphone to take pictures of your vehicle. Make a note to as how deep the water may have been when your car became submerged and how long it was in the water. Some of these details are important for determining the damage.
Some Preventative Measures
Once you have submitted in your claim, get your vehicle dried out as soon as possible. This may avoid a total loss situation. Open all the doors, trunk and hood, pull out the floor mats and whatever else is inside the vehicle and if possible, have the car parked in the sun. This can help with drying out the car’s interior and prevent mildew. Do not attempt to start or drive your car until after an inspection has been done to avoid doing any additional damage.
It’s fair to say that the probability of another deluge of rainwater impacting the streets is highly likely. Unless the torrent is following you as you are driving, try to avoid driving through any puddle that is wider than your vehicle. That way you are assured that you and your car are safe. Also, reconsider adding comprehensive coverage to your auto policy. Unless you are able to financially afford to replace your vehicle in the event of a total loss, then it makes good sense to have the additional coverage.
Here at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency our goal is to try to help our viewers by suggesting solutions for all insurance needs. By no means can we address each reader’s specific concerns in every incident. So, we strongly advise you to check with an insurance representative to address your specific needs. However, you can always contact us for any questions or concerns and we will be happy to help you. We offer a complete line of personal & commercial insurance products for all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.