Question: I went to bed last night and left my sunroof open on my car. The next morning I found large amounts of water in the vehicle and my electrical components were acting funny. Turns out a rainstorm passed through during the night. Would this scenario be covered by my insurance? I have comprehensive coverage.
Answer: It all depends upon the specific terms of your auto insurance policy, especially the comprehensive coverage portion, whether this type of damage would be covered. There is a good chance that the water damage won't be covered.
There are several main perils that are covered by comprehensive coverage, such as theft, vandalism, fire and striking an animal. Some policies also cover water damage, but in many cases, the policy is specific that the damage has to be from rising water or flood waters, because this type of water damage you have no control over.
In general, comprehensive coverage will cover damage from water if the situation that caused the damage was from a covered event. For instance, if vandalism or an extreme weather condition (like a hail storm) caused your sunroof to break and rainwater to get into your vehicle, then your car’s interior and electrical components that were damaged would usually be covered.
Water damage that is due to your negligence (failure to use reasonable and ordinary care to close the sunroof before a rainstorm) may not be covered. It will all depend upon the exact terms of your auto insurance policy and what perils your specific comprehensive coverage covers.
Comprehensive is sometimes referred to as “other than collision” because it covers a variety of physical damage to your vehicle that is caused by situations that are not covered by collision coverage; however, comprehensive still doesn’t cover every type of damage your car could sustain. Policy terms and the covered perils vary from one insurer to another, so what may be covered by one auto insurer may not be covered by another.
Review the comprehensive coverages portion of your policy to see what perils are covered and what perils are specially excluded. If you’re still unable to determine if this event is covered, call up your agent or a claims representative and ask.
Even if you find that the damage could be covered, it’s a good idea to check into the cost of the repairs before making a claim. You may find that the cost of repairs is less than your comprehensive deductible amount.
If the damage is covered and you make a claim, don’t be surprised if there is a thorough investigation. People have been known to throw water into a car that already had damages to get insurance to pay, so investigators are always on the lookout for anything suspicious.