If Your Car Is Affected By Flooding
The Colorado floods in recent weeks have brought the dangers of widespread flooding back into the public eye. We know that homes are damaged often by floods, and we are familiar with the steps that need to be taken to repair them, but what about our vehicles? We have published pieces before on how to avoid buying a flood-damaged car, but what about water-damaged vehicles that you already own?
You should first call your insurance agent and let them know that your car has been damaged, tell them how it happened, and then ask if the car is covered for flood damage. This is usually covered under comprehensive. Look also at towing and rental services, then have the car towed to a mechanic you trust to have repairs performed.
Make no attempt to start a flooded car, as this may actually cause additional damage if there is water in the transmission, file system, or engine. You don’t want to unnecessarily cause your repair bill to skyrocket.
Determine if the repairs to your flood-damaged car make financial sense. If the repairs are going to cost more than the car is worth taking any deductibles into consideration, you are better off putting those funds towards a new car. If the water level has risen above the level of the bottom edge of the doors, soaking the interior, then you may want to consider other options. The high water mark should be very visible within the car. It’s usually where the car ceases looking good and begins to look trashed as a result of being submerged. You also want to check for water stains inside the headlights, taillights, and interior surfaces.
While you do want an adjuster to look at your car, you do not have to wait for him in order to dry the car out. You can be proactive here and take photos or video of the damage, then try to remove as much water from the car as you can. This will avoid the threat of mold moving into your car and setting up shop. In the case of salt water, it eliminates the corrosive flood damage that can be done to metal by the salt.