Is my car covered for floods?

Red car driving through flooded area

It can happen at short notice: the thunderclaps start, the heavens open and a few months’ rain hammers down in hours. Flooding is on the increase in the UK, as climate change progresses.

Have you taken the time to consider whether you would be covered if your car was damaged by floodwater?

How flood damage occurs to cars

There are two main types of flood damage to cars: avoidable and unavoidable. Unavoidable damage occurs when your vehicle is left in its usual place as the floodwaters rise.

Avoidable damage is when you drive your car through floodwater. What looks like a big puddle can be much deeper than it appears, and as little as 12 inches (30cm) of water can cause cars to float. Two feet of moving water (60cm) can sweep away vehicles, even 4x4s.

Entering water can also cause internal damage to engines, particularly if they are diesel or turbo-charged.

Only comprehensive insurance provides cover

If you have third party only or third party, fire and theft insurance then it is unlikely you will be covered for flood damage. Fully comprehensive policies usually provide cover for flood damage. Some restrictions will apply to comprehensive cover so you should check the policy carefully before purchasing.

Don’t be tempted to think you could upgrade to fully-comprehensive insurance once the flood warnings are issued. For a start, floods sometimes happen at very short notice. Secondly, insurance companies are sometimes inundated with requests before a forecast flood, leading them to suspend availability for affected regions. It’s best to purchase a policy well in advance. Take a look at what to do if your car is flooded...

Cars stranded in flood

What to do if your car is flooded

In the event of a flood, the primary concern must always be for your personal safety. Follow official advice and don’t try to move your car as the water advances – you could get caught in the floods, and you will likely be safer at home.

If your car is flooded, the first step is to contact your insurer and inform them of the incident. Do this as soon as possible to help your claim progress smoothly. Your insurer will also be able to provide you with advice about what steps to take.

Flooding does not always mean a vehicle is written off. Allowing a car to dry out can be a big help. Your insurer may wish to arrange professional assistance with the drying process. If your engine has been under water, your insurer might arrange an inspection by an engineer to see whether the engine has been damaged beyond repair.

If you needed to move your car out of water in a hurry and used a garage  for this, remember to keep all receipts so you can claim back the cost.

Vehicle contents

If your insurance provides cover for flood damage, it is likely you will be covered for damage to property stored inside the car too.

This might include stereos, sat navs and personal belongings. Your upholstery and carpets should also be covered.

It’s a good idea to take photographs of the damaged property inside the car as soon as you locate it, to help support your claim.

Would you be left high and dry if your car was damaged by flooding? Call Computerquote today to discuss your car insurance options.

0800 389 9949

023 9224 7870

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