Question: I was driving to work and came upon a flooded road after a heavy rainstorm. I couldn’t turn around so drove through the floodwater. Will my insurance cover damages from flooding? Will a deductible be due?
Answer: Yes, damage to your car from flooding will be covered if you have optional comprehensive insurance. When the insurance adjuster looks at your vehicle, he will determine if it can be repaired or be declared a total loss due to flood damage. Either way, your deductible will be due.
“Driving through flood water, intentionally or unintentionally, will be covered under comprehensive coverage on an insurance policy and subject to that deductible,” says Lauren McKenzie, insurance agent with A Plus Insurance. “Each claim will require its own investigation to determine if it will be paid out since all circumstances are different, but in most cases, flood damage would be covered.”
“My advice for drivers who have been caught in flood water, notify your insurance company right away to start working with a claims rep,” McKenzie says. “The process could take several days, and the sooner they are notified, and the more willing the driver is with cooperating and/or answering questions, the better the outcome.”
It may be true that the flooded road 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.
McKenzie says there are three instances where flood damage may not be covered by comprehensive coverage:
- If the driver intentionally drove through water with the intent to cause damage or vandalize the vehicle.
- If a driver let another person drive their vehicle who was not listed as a driver on their policy or is an excluded driver without coverage.
- Finally, if there was a lapse in the insurance policy and the flood/water damage occurred within the time the policy was canceled or lapsed. If it is disclosed when reinstating the insurance policy, the policy will not be able to be reinstated, and the claim would not be paid.