Many of us saw in chilling detail, the aftermath of the recent floods on our television screens – the destruction of homes, properties and vehicles were phenomenal. Whether it’s Kerala, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and several other parts of the country, time and again we have seen the destructive power of floods. Flood water can be especially damaging to cars as it can totally wreck the electrical system. If the vehicle is submerged for a longer duration it can also damage the engine, transmission and cooling systems, and of course the carpet, upholstery and interiors.
According to reports, the 2018 Kerala flood damaged new car inventory worth more than Rs.1,000 crore and used cars worth thousands of crores. If that was the magnitude of car damage in showrooms, we can imagine the fate of other millions of cars parked outside homes, offices and inside parking lots. In such a situation, as a private car owner, your only saving grace is the right type of car insurance policy.
Does my car insurance policy cover flood damage?
Well, it depends upon the type of car policy you have. If you only have third party insurance coverage, it doesn’t cover flood damage. But if you have a comprehensive own damage car insurance, you get flood damage coverage, provided you have been paying your insurance premium regularly. Even then, it shouldn’t be a consequential loss. But what’s a consequential loss? We’ll explain that in a while below.
If your car insurance policy is due for renewal, don’t delay, especially in monsoon. Consider buying a comprehensive policy to protect your car against road-accidents, natural calamities and man-made disasters. With a car insurance available on our platform you can take advantage of cashless claims across 4000+ garages in India and enjoy up to 50% no claim bonus.
If you already have a comprehensive insurance policy, here’s what you need to do if your car is stuck in a flood.
Checklist for flood-damaged cars
When your car is partially submerged in water, you should never make the mistake of turning on the ignition. Doing so will short-circuit your car’s entire electrical system or lead to engine seizure.
Another big problem with turning on the ignition when the car is waterlogged is that the damage caused by this action is termed as consequential loss. Such damages are not covered by your regular comprehensive car insurance policy unless you have bought engine protection cover which comes with extra insurance premium. Consequential losses, whether intentional or by accident, resulting from an action by the policyholder or a third-party are not covered under a regular vehicle insurance policy.
Do the following if your car is submerged in water:
- Check how deep the car is submerged in water. If the water has not risen above the car doors, your vehicle should be fine.
- If you are in doubt, don’t turn on the ignition or push start the car. Take it to the nearest garage.
- Your car is probably totalled (damaged beyond repair) if the water has reached the bottom of the dashboard.
- If you can, try to dry the interiors with a dry cloth or blower to prevent mold growth.
- Check the air cleaner and engine oil. If there are droplets of water in the oil or the oil level is high, it’s a cause for concern. Also, if you see water on the air filter, don’t turn on the ignition. Get your car towed to the mechanic without delay.
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible after assessing the damage.
How to register an insurance claim for a flood-damaged car
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to claim car insurance online.
- Call the toll free number on your insurance policy to inform the insurance company first and provide relevant details. With the help of your car insurance policy , you can file the claim online as well.
- Provide all the accurate information to the insurance company. They will ask for basic information such as how long the car was submerged, where it was parked, etc.
- After you have filed a claim, you’ll be given a claim registration number that you should note down in a safe place for easy reference later.
- You can get your vehicle towed or the insurance policy will arrange a pick up.
- The insurance company will assign a surveyor to assess the damage to your vehicle.
- Then, the surveyor in consultation with the repair team will provide you the total cost of the repair borne by the insurer and the amount you have to contribute to the repair.
- If you agree with both the amounts, you can approve the final amount and it’s done.
Don’t delay while filing a claim for your flood-damaged car because there will be many people filing insurance claims during a flood. If you stay in a flood prone area and are ready to shell out a little extra premium, buy engine protection cover so that you don’t have to deal with claim rejection arising out of consequential loss. Go for an insurer with a high claim settlement ratio such as Bajaj Allianz car insurance available on Finserv MARKETS. With in-house settlement, round-the-clock assistance, and fast and easy settlements, a policy trusted by millions of customers in India.
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