Floods are among the most frequent weather-related natural catastrophes. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association, flooding causes more property and life loss than any other hazard or severe weather. Flooding is an issue in every state of the United States, even those that are normally dry. You could end up paying a lot of money for auto repairs or worse, losing your vehicle completely if you don’t have flood insurance. Here are some facts about insurance, floods, and cars:
What should I do if my car is caught in a flood?
Avoid flooding areas. Turn around if you see water. It may be deeper than you think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many of flood deaths occur when cars are driven into the flood water. Because of their speed and destructive power, flash floods are the most dangerous kind of flood. These floods can occur within minutes of rain and without warning. Flash floods are more likely in densely populated areas. This is because of the possibility that buildings, driveways, and roadways can cause water runoff. Flooding of nearby roads can be caused by storm drains or sewers that become blocked or overwhelmed.
You can lose control of your vehicle even if it’s just 6 inches of water. Higher levels of water are even more dangerous. Because your tires can act like a flotation device when you are in shallow water. A car weighing 3,000 pounds can be floated in two feet of water. A 2021 Honda Civic sedan is less than 3,000 lbs. Here are some tips to help your car if it is submerged in water
Get out of your car and get to higher ground.
Do not panic if your car is submerged in the water. Keep calm and wait for your car to fill up with water. You will be able open the door once your car is filled. To open the door, the water pressure must be equal between the inside and outside of the car. Keep your breath and swim to safety.
When you’re not driving, you can point your feet downstream if you get swept away by floodwater. Never go under obstacles like tree branches or in the water. You should go over them. If you find yourself stranded in a tree or any other object above floodwaters, you should stay put and wait for rescue. Avoid getting in the floodwater. Be calm when help arrives and follow the instructions of the rescue team.
What should I do with my car after a flood?
Only attempt to reach your car after the flood waters recede and it is safe to. Your car can be towable to higher ground if necessary. These are some tips for handling a car in the water. You should not attempt to start a car that was flooded. You could do more damage if there is still water in the engine. Go to your nearest auto repair shop for help.
- To remove standing water, use a dry/wet vacuum.
- To absorb any water that has gotten into the cushions or seats, use towels.
- If possible, use fans and dehumidifiers.
- Make a claim to your auto insurance company.
Can a car be fixed after being submerged?
Auto repair is still possible for a submerged vehicle. However, this depends on how severe the damage was. A minor flood may not cause significant damage, and the vehicle could be repaired.
An insurance company might declare a vehicle a complete loss if it has been sitting in the water for more than a few days. Water damage can cause expensive and complicated problems, as well as electronic damage.
After the auto repairs are complete, a vehicle should be insured. However, the vehicle’s history report will show the flooding incident.
You may be allowed to keep your vehicle as an owner-retained salvage even if it is totaled. If you wish to drive the car again, you will be issued a salvage title, and make sure that it’s legally roadworthy as per the standards of your state if you wish to use it again. A rebuilt title will be given if the car passes inspection by the state.
A rebuilt title allows you to drive your vehicle, but you might have difficulty finding car insurance. Insurance companies often consider cars with a rebuilt title riskier than other vehicles. They might not offer insurance, or decline to provide you with optional coverage such as collision and comprehensive insurance.
Which type of car insurance do I need for flood damage?
Comprehensive auto insurance covers flood damage repairs and the cost of totaling the vehicle. Comprehensive insurance can also cover other problems such as hail, vandalism, and theft, as well as collisions with animals and riots.
Comprehensive claims require a deductible. This is the amount that is deducted from your insurance check. The deductible will be listed on your auto insurance policy’s declarations. The amount can be changed. The deductible is usually the highest, meaning that the cost of car insurance will be lower.
According to the latest data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average cost of comprehensive insurance is $168 annually. Gap insurance is a good option if you have a large car loan. Gap insurance covers the difference between the car’s value and the amount you owe on a loan, lease, or other financial obligation. You may be eligible to purchase new car replacement insurance if you have recently bought a car. A new car replacement policy will cover a similar make and model car (less your deductible) rather than paying the car’s depreciated cost.
Will FEMA Cover the Expenses for Car Damage from Flooding?
FEMA has helped car owners in flood damage cases in the past through low-interest loans through Small Business Administration (SBA), or through Other Needs Assistance(ONA). But you must not depend on FEMA to help you with flood-related damage to your car. This is because FEMA doesn’t guarantee assistance and may limit it to some counties that have been affected by severe storms or flooding. Most likely, you won’t qualify for an SBA loan or ONA assistance for a flash flood problem. This is a very common situation in the country. Remember that you will have to repay an SBA loan and that assistance from ONA may be limited.
Call now if you need help in repairing a flooded car.
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