Every year, floods cause millions of dollars in damage to personal property, including homes and cars. Unfortunately, despite the frequency of flooding and the widespread applicability of flooding threats, most people still do not know if their insurance policies will cover damage by floods. The good news is that special flood insurance is not needed for automobiles. However, the bad news is that your auto insurance policy still may not cover damage to or the loss of your vehicle during a flood.
What You Need
Generally in order to be covered for flood damage you need a comprehensive auto insurance policy. This policy will cover damage caused by both collisions and by “other” causes. The “other” causes clause, in this case, does include floods.
Before you get too excited, you need to go back and read your comprehensive automobile insurance policy to make sure that it is not excluded from coverage. Some cut rate insurance products will exclude a number of “other” causes of damage in order to reduce the number of claims that have to be honored. Reading through your insurance policy will allow you to pinpoint if flood damage is or is not covered by your comprehensive policy.
Talk With Your Agent
If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, it is important to talk with your insurance agent about your coverage. You will not only want to make sure your policy covers flood damage, but that you also understand how your deductible will impact your ability to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or lost in a flood. During this discussion, you will want to weigh the pros and cons of higher and lower deductibles that are tied to your comprehensive automobile insurance policy.
Home Owner’s Insurance
If your vehicle is damaged while garaged, then it may also be covered by your home owner’s insurance policy. In this scenario your home owner’s policy will need to have a flood insurance policy attached to it. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, then you most likely are required to carry this policy. When buying your home flood insurance, see if your vehicles are covered when parked on your property or when garaged on your property. If they are, then you can avoid paying for double coverage for automobile flood damage, or you can provide yourself with flood damage protection if you only carry liability insurance on your automobile.
Whatever option you select, it is always a good idea to read through your insurance policies before a disaster, flood or accident occurs. This will help you to understand what you are covered for and what you need to do in order to get your money quickly after damage or a loss has occurred.