That sinking feeling!  Flood and car insurance - some tips for navigating troubled waters

That sinking feeling! Flood and car insurance – some tips for navigating troubled waters

That sinking feeling! Flood and car insurance – some tips for navigating troubled waters

Images of flooded homes and submerged cars from Bengaluru appeared across millions of screens as a flood overwhelmed India’s IT capital last week. At least one person lost her life and property worth billions was destroyed.

Vehicles are often at the top of the list of casualties in the event of floods or heavy rain. General insurers are seeing a sharp rise in inquiries and claims by flood victims in the wake of the Bengaluru floods.
Natural disasters are particularly difficult to maneuver when it comes to insurance, especially auto insurance.

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Is Flooding Covered by Car Insurance?

This depends on the type of insurance plan you have. Flooding is only covered under a comprehensive auto insurance plan, which is optional rather than mandatory, unlike third-party insurance. Comprehensive cover insures your vehicle against natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and even man-made disasters such as fires, man-made disasters and theft.

What is covered and what is not covered by a comprehensive insurance plan?

Flooding may damage the engine, gearbox, electronic control unit (EMU), and upholstery.

Flood water may get into a vehicle’s engine and cause partial or complete damage to the unit, and this type of loss can set the owner back a few caveats, depending on the vehicle model.

The gearbox can easily get stuck due to water ingress. Electrical components, sensors, etc. are particularly weak and may lead to a short circuit in a flood. If water rises above the dashboard, it can easily get inside the car and damage the upholstery.

It should be noted that the universal cover provides cover for damage to the engine or gearbox in the event of a flood. But, you can buy the extra protection with extra rides like the engine protection cover, the zero depreciation cover, and the depreciable cover.

Also, any kind of consequential damage caused by natural disasters is not covered in any comprehensive basic plan.

So, what is the harm involved and can you avoid it?

According to the online insurance platform Acko, consequential damages are those damages that arise as a result of an action that may or may not be under your control. It is easy to understand the consequential damage with the help of the hydrostatic lock. Consider the scenario in which your residential area was flooded and in a desperate attempt to save your car, you decided to drive it to a safer place. You make your way to the car, get in it and hit the power key – but nothing happens. By running the engine, you likely caused your car to go into a hydrostatic lock. This is consequential damage and will not be covered under a basic plan. However, an extra cap will cover the same thing.

PolicyBazaar recommends following some safety tips while driving in a flooded area:

Do not start the engine if you are stuck in a flooded area, even if the water has receded. It is advisable to disconnect the battery and take the car to the workshop.

If water enters the passenger compartment, do not turn on the ignition as it may short-circuit the electrical system which could cause further damage to you and the vehicle.

Test your brakes after leaving the flooded area.

Keep a hammer or other heavy tool ready to break window glass in case your car door locks break due to water.

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