With repair bills totting up into the millions after Storms Ciara and Dennis already this spring, many motorists have been left wondering if their car is covered by flood damage insurance.
It’s good news if you have fully comprehensive cover because you will almost certainly be protected against flood damage to your car. But if you only have third party, fire and theft you are going to be out of luck if you were hoping to make a claim.
What sort of flood damage is my car covered for?
You will need to check your policy’s T&Cs but flood damage insurance will usually cover mechanical repairs and repairs to your ICE system, upholstery and carpets.
Your regular motor insurance will not, however, pay for the recovery of the car to your home or a garage. This is where your breakdown insurance comes into effect.
Personal belongings in the car would be covered under the motor policy, subject to the usual policy limits. Anything over the limit may be claimed from your home insurance if you have “away from home” cover.
If my car is flooded at home do I claim on my home insurance?
No. Even if your car is parked in your driveway or in a garage at home, if it is damaged by flood water, you will have to claim on your motor insurance rather than your household insurance policy.
What is the difference between avoidable and unavoidable flood damage?
An avoidable flood is when you are driving and you try to negotiate a large puddle, ford or otherwise water-logged road and your car becomes flooded.
An unavoidable flood is when your car is parked normally but, for example, a river bursts its banks or the road is deluged by flood water caused by overflowing drains. The flooding in these cases is beyond your control and unavoidable.
You may jeopardise your flood damage insurance claim if you deliberately ignore warning signs or advice not to drive through a flooded area.
Are cars written-off when they are damaged by flood water?
Not always. Each case is considered individually. It depends on the extent of the damage caused by the flood, the estimated cost of repair and the value of the car. Bear in mind, if your car is to be repaired you will have to pay the excess on your policy.
When do I contact my insurance broker about flood damage?
Adrian Flux claims advisor Kirsty Butters said: “If you have been flooded make sure you and those with you are safe, let the emergency services know if there is a danger to public safety and notify your insurer as a matter of extreme urgency.
“The quicker you let us know about the problem, the quicker we can start helping. and working on your flood damage insurance claim.“
If you live in a high risk flood area sign up for flood warnings from The Environmental Agency. Simply enter your postcode or town to find out if there are any flood warnings in your location and then register for alerts. Warnings can be sent to your mobile phone, your email or a home phone.