That sinking feeling! Auto and flood insurance: some tips for navigating murky waters

That Sinking Feeling Flood Auto Insurance Some Tips for Navigating Muddy Waters

That sinking feeling! Auto and flood insurance: some tips for navigating murky waters

Images of flooded homes and submerged cars from Bangalore appeared on millions of screens as India’s IT capital was overwhelmed by deluge last week. At least one person was killed and billions worth of property was destroyed.

Vehicles often top the list of casualties in the event of flash flooding or heavy rain. General insurance companies are witnessing an increase in inquiries and claims from flood victims after the Bangalore floods.
Natural disasters are particularly difficult to maneuver when it comes to insurance, particularly auto insurance.

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Are floods covered by car insurance?

That depends on the type of insurance plan you have. Flooding is only covered by a comprehensive auto insurance plan, which is optional and not required, unlike third party insurance. Comprehensive coverage insures your vehicle against natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, cyclones, and even man-made disasters like fire, man-made calamities, and theft.

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

A flood can damage the engine, gearbox, electronic control module (EMU), and upholstery.

Flood water can enter the car’s engine and cause partial or total damage to the unit, and this type of loss can cost the owner a few lakhs, depending on the model of the car.

The gearbox can easily fail due to water ingress. Electrical components, sensors, etc. they are especially vulnerable and can be short-circuited during a flood. If water passes over the dashboard, it can easily enter the interior of the vehicle and damage the upholstery.

It should be noted that comprehensive coverage covers damage to the engine or gearbox in the event of a flood. But you can buy the extra protection with extra trips, like engine protection cover, zero depreciation cover, consumables cover.

Also, any type of damage resulting from natural disasters is not covered by any basic comprehensive plan.

So what is pop damage and can you prevent 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 within your control. It is easy to understand consequential damage with the help of hydrostatic lock. Consider the scenario where your residential area was flooded, and in a desperate attempt to save your vehicle, you decide to drive it to a safer location. You go to the car, get in and press the ignition, but nothing happens. By starting the engine, you probably caused your car to go into a hydrostatic lock. This is emergent damage and would not be covered by a basic plan. However, an additional cover will cover the same.

PolicyBazaar recommends some safety tips to follow while driving through a flooded area:

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

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

Test your car’s brakes after leaving the flooded area.

Have a hammer or other heavy instrument ready to break window glass in case your car door locks get stuck due to water.

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