Will my car insurance cover me for flood damage?
Compare car insurance policies with flood cover now.
Last updated: 07/09/2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
Floods happen quickly and unexpectedly and can cause irreparable damage to your vehicle. It's important to know whether or not your car insurance policy covers flood damage in case you find yourself in this situation.
We take a look at what you can do if you have a flood-damaged car, what it means for your insurance and how you can protect yourself.
Whether you're insured against flood damage or not depends on what level of cover you have.
Generally, you'll need a fully comprehensive car insurance policy, and even then it's not guaranteed your claim will be successful.
That will depend on whether the flood damage was avoidable or not.
Third party, and third party, fire and theft policies are unlikely to cover flood damage, but it sometimes can be included as an add-on to your policy.
If you live in a high-risk area it’s advised you look for comprehensive policies that include flood damage cover when you get an insurance quote for your automobile.
If your insurance provider covers you for floods, this'll usually include damage to upholstery or stereos as well as any necessary repairs to the vehicle itself.
Your policy may also include contents cover if your personal possessions have been damaged, but if it doesn't, it's possible you already have contents cover as part of your home insurance, so do check.
On the extreme end of the scale, moving flood waters could carry your vehicle away altogether.
But static water itself is also much riskier than you might think, and in actuality the average car will float in about as little as a foot of standing water.
That's not much leeway!
It's not just a flooded engine that's a danger (which we'll chat more on next). You're at risk of seriously harming the breaks and rusting the suspension – particularly hazardous if you're already in a wet weather warning.
Mould and rust can cause all manner of problems and repairing damaged electrics can be costly.
The extent of damage to your engine will depend on how much water has seeped – or perhaps gushed – in. If it's only a little, then you may be lucky and it might dry out of its own accord. Try to air out the car's interior if it's safe to do so.
If you have a flooded car engine, then contact your local breakdown service who can assess the damage. You should also check your oil and air filters, because if there is water in them a mechanic can flush them clean for you.
You should also contact your insurance company as soon as you can. It's not a given your car will be a write-off: it may well be repairable. Although, if you're stuck in a flood, it's imperative turn off your engine and don't try to start it as doing so could permanently damage your car.
In sum, avoid driving during a flood warning at all costs, for both your safety and to avoid invalidating your insurance.