Cover for flood damage on car insurance

You’ll need a comprehensive car insurance policy if you’re looking for flood cover - third-party policies usually exclude it.

Alice Morgan

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Does car insurance cover flood damage?

It depends on what level of cover you have for your car insurance.

You’ll need a fully comprehensive policy to be able to claim for flood damage and even then, you’ll need to check your terms and conditions to see if you’re covered.

Flood damage insurance will typically cover repairs to your car, including your stereo, upholstery and carpets.

Your other belongings in the car might be covered. If they’re not, check your home insurance policy - they could be part of your personal possessions cover.

You won’t find flood damage cover on a third party, fire and theft policy.

Key points

  • Only comprehensive policies will offer flood damage cover
  • Never drive through flood water as your engine may cut out
  • If your vehicle’s flooded, call your insurer as soon as possible

Avoidable and unavoidable flood damage

These are two types of flood damage insurance; avoidable and unavoidable.

Avoidable flood damage applies to things like deliberately driving through a large body of water.

An insurer might decide not to pay out for this as it’s considered reckless behaviour.

Unavoidable flood damage could cover your car being damaged by flood water while it’s parked at home.

In this case, your insurer would be more likely to consider your claim as you had no control over the situation.

“Drivers might be swayed by cheaper, third-party policies but it’s vital they understand what’s included in their cover, especially if they’re at risk of flood damage.”
Matt Oliver, motoring expert at GoCompare

How to protect your car from flood damage

  • Move your car to higher ground if you live in an area at risk of flooding and there’s a flood warning
  • Never attempt to drive through flood water - you won’t be able to see anything below the waterline and your engine could stall, leaving you stranded
  • Turbo-charged and diesel engines are the most vulnerable to flood damage so take extra care with these types of cars

What to do if your vehicle’s flooded

Call your insurer as soon as you can and follow its advice on what to do next.

If your car’s submerged in flood water, don’t try to start it. Drain the water if you can and allow the vehicle to dry out.

If you need to have your car towed, or you need to get temporary repairs, save all your receipts and try to protect your car from any further damage.

A flooded vehicle isn’t automatically a write-off.

It depends on how much water has got into the engine, and sometimes a car will dry out without leaving any lasting damage.

If water has got into the engine, your insurer will get an engineer to assess the damage and tell you whether it’s a write-off or not.

Check whether your area is at risk of flooding with the Environment Agency or Met Office

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