What to Do If Your Car Gets Caught in a Flood
It seems that every time you turn on the TV there’s flooding going on somewhere in the United States. Please know that we aren’t making a joke about this. It’s a horrible situation for those that are involved with many people losing everything they have.
With the assistance of Speedway Chrysler of Lansing, KS we will look at some of the options you have regarding your vehicle if you do get hit with flooding.
Types of insurance policies
The first concept you need to know is that there are different types of insurance coverage that cover you for losses. The most basic coverage is “Liability” insurance. Liability insurance only covers you when you damage or injure another party. It does not cover anything that happens to you or anything you own, such as your car. The other category of insurance is called “Comprehensive.” This is because comprehensive policies cover everyone and everything that is involved when an accident occurs. As you probably know, comprehensive policies are more expensive than standard liability policies.
What to do if you have comprehensive insurance and you get hit by flooding
Since you have a comprehensive policy, you should find most, if not all, of your losses should be covered. Here are a few of the things you can do to speed up the claims process.
Take pictures: Grab your camera and begin snapping photos of your car. The more visual evidence the better. Take pictures from different angles and be sure to get close-ups of water line residue left on the doors or dashboard of your car. And don’t forget about photos of the engine and trunk.
Contact your insurance agent: After snapping the photos, call your car insurance agent. Chances are you’re not the first to call and it may take a while to get through. You may find its weeks, for a claims adjustor to inspect your vehicle.
During your waiting period: Perhaps you’ll want to replace your old vehicle, or maybe the damage isn’t too extensive for an auto mechanic or body shop. Call around to local repair shops to see how backed up they are and begin strategizing your next move. That way when your claims adjustor gets back in touch with you, you can quickly act.
If your vehicle is deemed a total loss, the claims adjustor will instruct you to sign the title over to the car insurance company. You will then be issued a check based on the vehicle’s current market value.
What to do if you don’t have comprehensive insurance
If you did not purchase comprehensive auto insurance coverage before your vehicle sustained flood damage, you still have some options for reimbursement. They include:
- Homeowners insurance: Depending on your homeowner’s coverage plan, your flooded car might be protected under this policy–especially if the damage occurred while your vehicle was parked on your property.
- FEMA: Contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Depending on the circumstances, FEMA might then compensate you for your damages or with financial assistance.
- Disaster loans: Apply for a disaster loan with the Small Business Association (SBA). This agency provides low-interest loans to homeowners and renters who lose personal property in a declared disaster.