Insuring your car against flood damage

A flood can cause serious damage. If flood water gets into your car it can affect important equipment like the brakes, electrics and airbags.

Any vehicle caught in a flood is likely to need significant work to make it drivable again, so it’s a good idea to check that your car or vehicle is protected.

How do I know if I’m protected against flood damage?

The good news for those with fully comprehensive car insurance is that most policies will include cover for flood insurance, though you will likely have to pay an excess if your vehicle is damaged or destroyed. 

Unfortunately, drivers with third party, or third party, fire and theft cover are unlikely to be insured against flood damage. 

If you are unsure whether your policy includes cover against flood damage or not, it’s a good idea to contact your insurer to check, especially if you live in a high-risk flood area.

Why you need to know about avoidable and unavoidable flood damage

Some insurers make a distinction between avoidable and unavoidable flood damage, and may not pay out for damage that they consider was avoidable. For example, if a vehicle is damaged when it is driven through flood water, this could be considered avoidable damage, and you may not be insured.

A claim could even fail if you try to start a vehicle that is fully or partly submerged in flood water, as some insurers will class this as an avoidable act.

While it’s advisable to move your car to higher ground if you believe a flood is on its way, if your car suffers flood damage while parked in its usual spot, it’s most likely to be classed as unavoidable damage, and you should be covered.

As ever, check the fine print of your car insurance policy if you are unsure.

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