Does my car insurance cover flood damage?

Your car insurance covers flood damage if you have a comprehensive policy. Comprehensive auto insurance covers flood damage, fire damage, natural disasters, vandalism, and anything else that isn’t a collision or accident. Start comparing quotes for comprehensive insurance here for free with our comparison tool below.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

UPDATED: Oct 27, 2020

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Things to know...

  • Flood damage is generally covered under comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy
  • Comprehensive insurance also provides coverage for other natural events or disasters like fire, hurricanes or hail
  • It’s good to file your claim promptly because many people will be also filing claims at the same time
  • Dry your car out as soon as possible to help prevent further damage

There are a wide array of options available to drivers for auto insurance coverage. These options can depend on whether you own your car, lease it or are paying off a financed loan as well as state regulations in your area. In general, consumers can have a choice of insurance options that provide different types of coverage for flood damage to your vehicle.

Flood damage can be devastating to a vehicle, even leading to total damage. It can happen quickly with little time to plan ahead or move the vehicle. In fact, damage caused by flooding can happen while you are driving or while you’re parked outside your home. The extent to which you are protected depends on the type of insurance that you have purchased.

You can choose the car insurance options that meet your needs by comparing them online. Auto insurers can provide online quotes for differing coverage levels to help you find the best value and highest level of coverage for your vehicle.

Liability insurance is the most basic type of auto insurance available on the consumer market. This basic insurance only covers damages to other people, their cars or their property. Usually, it is only available to insure vehicles that you fully own and is mandatory under state law.

Collision insurance provides protection for your own vehicle if it is damaged in a collision with an object or with another vehicle. Other than damage caused by a collision that took place in a flood, this type of insurance would generally not apply.

What kind of car insurance will cover flood damage?


Comprehensive auto insurance regularly includes coverage for flood damage and other issues caused by weather and water. This coverage option, which you choose at the time when you choose your car insurance policy, covers incidents not caused by an auto accident, collision or crash.

Most comprehensive auto insurance policy options cover the damages caused by natural events and weather, including rain storms, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, hail and other damaging weather, including floods. In this case, your policy will provide coverage when your car has been damaged by flooding.

It’s important to speak directly with your auto insurer to determine exactly what is covered in your policy. There could also be advance time limitations requiring you to have the policy for a certain period of time before its protections kick in.

You can compare the types of comprehensive coverage and their pricing options by using online comparison sites. Shopping online for auto insurance can help you to compare quotes and estimates from major car insurers to find out how you can get the best value on auto insurance.

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What are the conditions for flood coverage in your insurance policy?

In general, most damages covered under your auto insurance policy also involve a deductible, an amount of money that you are responsible for paying before your insurance policy kicks in. You will need to pay the deductible amount before your insurance policy covers the remaining damages.

Your particular insurer may have special conditions related to coverage for flooding because floods tend to affect many vehicles in a specific area in a certain period of time.

There may be special guidelines to proceed with the settlement process and file your claim.

If you have severe damages to your car, it may be declared “totaled” or a total loss by the insurer. This would mean that the repair cost is higher than your car’s value. In this case, you will receive a check for the value of your car as assessed by the insurer minus the deductible amount.

When you’re looking for an auto insurance policy that suits your needs, it is a good idea to consider weather that may have an impact on your vehicle. You can choose a coverage option that provides the coverage necessary to protect your vehicle and meet your requirements for value by shopping online.

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How should you file a claim for flood damage with your auto insurance?

You may wish to consider whether it is in your best interest to file a claim for flood damages. This could depend on the extent of the damages, your policy coverage limits and the size of your deductible under your comprehensive option. Because you will need to pay the deductible first, it may not be worthwhile to file a claim for amounts that fall below or equal to the deductible amount.

You may be concerned that filing a claim can lead to a rate hike, even if you don’t receive a reimbursement because the amount was below the deductible amount.

However, in many states and among many insurers, your rate will not necessarily increase after filing a claim against your comprehensive policy because it was caused by a natural event and you are not at fault. Comprehensive claims are associated with very low premium hikes.

Before filing the claim, it is important to document the damages to your car, including taking photos of the flooding and its effects on your car. It can also be important to mitigate damages, although this can be difficult once flooding has begun.

However, do not try to start the car after it has been flooded because this can lead to more serious engine damages. Once you’re ready to file your claim, check in with your insurance provider to ensure you’re following the correct procedure to receive your insurance benefits.

What is different about flood insurance for cars and homes?


While the images of flooding shown on TV news can show cars floating down streets or water rising toward cars alongside the images of homes amid rising waters, flood insurance for homes and cars are quite different. In most cases, flood insurance for homes must be purchased separately from regular homeowners’ insurance, especially in flood-prone areas. The federal government offers a type of home insurance for people in such situations.

For cars, the insurance process is quite different. While you need to ensure that you have a comprehensive policy option that includes flood damages, this kind of coverage is normally offered by car insurers as part of a total policy package.

You can compare policy options online to see the prices and coverage options available to you for comprehensive coverage. Shopping around online can help you find the best value and fit for your vehicle and your needs.

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What should you do after your car has been damaged by a flood?

If you’re driving the car when it sustains flood damage, the most important step can be to evacuate the car and get to safer and higher ground. If, however, the car is parked or you’re away from your car, the next steps after the flood can get your claim in process as quickly as possible.

There may be a particular system set up by your insurer to handle claims for flooding due to a large number of claims at a specific period of time. You should contact your insurer right away to prepare to file the claim.

Have your documentation and the photos of the damages on hand. This can help get your claim on the list, especially with many people all working to get their claims filed at the same time.

It can help your vehicle to have it dried out as soon as possible, preferably using your insurance company’s body shop of choice during the drying out. When a car is dried out more quickly, it is less likely to be a total loss.

Opting for a preferred body shop for your insurer will help to see all of your damages covered, including electrical, engine and wiring issues that become apparent only after the flood. You can get more information about this from your auto insurer.

If you’re worried about flooding in the future causing damage to your car, make sure that you’re covered. Shop online and compare prices for free on auto insurance to ensure you have the comprehensive coverage that protects you in case of floods. You can see the various options available and choose the policy that’s best for you and provides the greatest value.

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