Driving through water-laden streets is never a pleasant experience. Forget the inconvenience of accessing your vehicle and manoeuvring it across flooded streets; there are worse eventualities. Studies show that just about 15 centimetres of water on the street is enough to cause permanent damage to your vehicle, especially the electronics and sensors that are usually below the seats.
However, if driving immediately after the winter or during one of the many seasonal or unseasonal deluges, the chances of having to drive on flooded streets are very real. But what if your car does get damaged while driving through watery roads? Will your car insurance be any good to bail you out? Read on to learn three water damage insurance claim tips.
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Three water damage insurance claim tips for drivers
Even though the precedence for successful auto insurance claims due to water damage exists, many variables exist here. In general, your insurer will look at how much of the water damage to your vehicle was due to your negligence and how much was your fault. There are some things you can do here.
- Avoid driving on water-filled puddles as much as possible
Even though a puddle may seem innocuous enough to drive on, don’t. At least, if you can do without it. In many cases, you would be in no position to judge the depth of the puddle and hence won’t be able to gauge the damage your car incurs.
And even when the puddle is not too deep, water can still splash and land beneath your car. Modern vehicles are fitted with a litany of electrical and gadgetry that are hydrophobic by design – even the smallest amount of moisture can cause substantial damage.
Water getting inside your car has several other insidious effects as well. For example, the hot brake pads on the brake rotors can get warped when suddenly splashed with cold water. It can also damage the vehicle transmission system and ruin the upholstery, besides corroding wiring everywhere.
In short, driving through water-filled puddles is never a good idea and must be avoided at all costs. However, if the location of your home or the area where your drive is prone to torrential downpours or freak storms, making it impossible to avoid puddles altogether, talking to your insurance provider would be highly recommended to ensure adequate coverage.
- Keeping avoidable damages in mind
You must also take basic precautions to ensure your car doesn’t get water damage. For example, ensure all car windows are rolled up before the rain hits. Remember that while the occasional drive on flooded streets or the unavoidable puddles can be accounted for, it’s not the same in all cases.
If you do end up leaving your windows open and rainwater manages to get in, chances are your car will get severely damaged. And to add to the misery, your insurance will probably also not cover it. Many insurance providers simply refuse to cover all preventable damages, which, in this case, will be you leaving your car windows or doors unlocked and in the open before rain starts.
For most auto insurance providers, each claim is checked on the merit of how it transpired and whether or not there is coverage for it. Always ensure your car windows are rolled up before leaving your car anywhere as a general good practice, even more so when there’s a chance of water damage from the rains.
- Have a comprehensive auto coverage
This is perhaps the most important car water damage insurance claim tips — comprehensive coverage is an optional coverage that protects you against conditions that affect your vehicle while it is stationary. The events may include non-collision incidents such as fire, vandalism, theft, or inclement weather. This is the reason it is also called “All Perils insurance”.
Some insurance companies bundle comprehensive coverage with collision insurance coverage. In such cases, a deductible is usually applicable if you make a comprehensive claim. If, however, your car gets totalled due to severely high water damage, your comprehensive insurance claim will hand you the car’s depreciated value after adjusting the deductible.
It would be worth keeping in mind that not all car insurance companies consider all damages from water as water damage. For example, if your car is damaged or gets stuck while driving through water, the situation will be deemed as a “collision with water,” and your car will be covered under a standard collision coverage in that case.
All about comprehensive car insurance
Simply put, as opposed to a collision cover that covers your vehicle in case of any collision with any other vehicle or object, comprehensive car insurance considers several auxiliary factors that can impact your vehicle. Some of the possible scenarios may include:
- A tree falling on top of your car during a storm or due to lightning striking it
- Your car becomes totalled – impossible to repair – in the event of a tornado or a fire
- Your car roof incurs significant damage during a severe hailstorm
- Cases of vandalism like someone spray painting the sides of your car or your car getting stolen and then recovered
Water damage insurance claim tips for drivers — Conclusion
Water damages and the myriad complexities surrounding it are all the more reasons you should be careful while getting your car insured. Not having sufficient car coverage might mean you end up at the short end of the stick due to many variables that can affect your vehicle. Your best bet is to get comprehensive car insurance that ticks most of the main boxes and helps keep your vehicle safe in many cases.
But, as always, talking thoroughly with your insurer to understand the nuances of your auto insurance will be a great way to ensure successful claims. Make sure to account for all the conditions that can impact your vehicle and convey them to your insurer to avail of the best and the most secure coverage.