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Does car insurance cover driving through floodwaters?


Question:  I was driving to work and then the road was flooded; I couldn't turn around so drove through the floodwater. When I arrived at work my car's grille was broken, and the engine light was on. Will my insurance cover it? Will a deductible be due?

Answer:  Yes, the damage from the floodwaters should be covered by your physical damage coverage. Comprehensive covers water damage from such incidents as driving through a flood.

Typically, high water on its own won’t break your grille. It sounds like when you drove through the high water that you could have hit something that caused the grille damage.  If this is the case, there may also be a collision claim to be made; however, there should only be one deductible due since the damages are all from one incident.

You should contact your car insurance company to notify them of the damages your vehicle sustained and how it occurred.

If all of the damages were from the floodwater, then it would only be a comprehensive claim. An insurance adjuster will be assigned to look at the car and determine how the various damages were sustained and under what coverage to claim it.

Since the engine light is on, ask you insurance company before you drive it anywhere. They may tell you that the car will need to be towed to a repair shop where the mechanic and the claims adjuster can view it.

If you drive your vehicle while the check engine light is on and cause more damage to your vehicle, then your car insurance company may not pay for the extra damage to your vehicle (engine in particular) because you failed to mitigate your damages by continuing to drive the car.

When the insurance adjuster looks at your vehicle, he will determine if it can be repaired or be declared a total loss. Either way, your deductible will be due.

It may be true that the road being flooded was not your fault, and you had no option but to drive through the high water; however, your comprehensive deductible is due whether the accident is your fault or not.

The good news is that a comprehensive auto insurance claim won’t normally cause your car insurance rates to go up. Comprehensive claims don’t usually affect your future car insurance premiums, as a collision claim can.


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