In the wake/Following the damages from Hurricane Harvey, trying to determine what your insurance policy covers and what it doesn’t can be confusing. A lot of Americans may probably be wondering how they can file a claim after a hurricane if homeowners insurance protects against floods, and how to go about filing an insurance claim following a flood.
In addition to extensive property damage, flooding and hurricanes wreck damage upon vehicles. Although our article may suggest that few vehicle owners might fare better with their homeowner’s insurance covering damages from flooding to vehicles, in reality, most times homeowners insurance doesn’t protect against vehicle damage. This isn’t excluding the fact a lot of Americans do not carry flood insurance because it can be very cost prohibitive and some assets including vehicles are not covered. According to a report by CNBC, only 20% of homeowners along the path of Hurricane Harvey have flood insurance coverage.
Luckily, there’s a comparatively economical way to cover your vehicle from flood damage: comprehensive insurance. In the U.S, in 2013, the average cost of comprehensive insurance was $143.45 per year. Comprehensive insurance is a discretionary coverage for events “other than collisions.”
If you have comprehensive insurance on your vehicle and have experienced damages from flooding, the subsequent information can help you in filing an insurance claim. First, if you suspect your automobile has been damaged by water, you’ll need to contact your provider to have an adjuster come out and evaluate the damage. If you aren’t sure if the car has sustained water damage, it does not hurt to check with an expert. Attempting to drive a car that sustained water damage could further break down the car.
State Farm gives the following advice:
Don’t try to operate your automobile–this will cause more damage if there is water in the engine.
Act swiftly. Submersion in salt water (which causes, even more, damages than fresh water) makes the probability of corrosion much higher. Begin by drying out your automobile as hastily as possible, and get in touch with a towing service to get the car to higher ground. Oil, transmission fluid and lube may require draining before a tow.
Inspect under the hood. This is where you will discover clues as to how extensive the flood damage may be. Unless you are an auto specialist, you may wish to partner with a mechanic for the subsequent tasks:
Look at the oil dipstick. Check for droplets of water, which possibly indicates there is water in your engine. If that is the case, the cylinders, which are supposed to compress air instead of water, will be damaged.
Remove cylinders damaged by water and check for corroded spots.
Change the oil and transmission fluid. You will need to repeat this after the vehicle is drivable and you have gone several hundred miles.
Clean the interior. If floodwaters were more than a few feet deep, water most likely made it to the inside of your vehicle. Here is what to do next:
Remove all moisture. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove standing water, and cloth towels to absorb water that has soaked into the carpet and seats. Remove seat cushions and seats if possible, and use dehumidifiers and fans to accelerate the drying process.
Check electrical components. Extensive flood damage could necessitate a trip to the mechanic shop to get it repaired or replaced.
Check the fuel tank and line. Get a store-bought siphon pump and use it to remove some fuel. If you find any water (which would obviously separate from the fuel), you will need to empty the tank entirely.
KHOU offers additional advice:
If your automobile floated away, make contact with the police department’s unclaimed autos department to verify if your car has been found.
If your vehicle is totaled and you think your vehicle is worth more than your insurance provider is prepared to pay you can research online for prices for similar automobile, take note of any special customizations or features your car may have had, and negotiate a settlement with your insurance provider.
If you have more debts on the car than the settlement offer, you should be covered if you purchased a gap policy. If you don’t have gap coverage, you will be responsible for what’s left of the loan.
If you require a copy of your title contact the Department of Motor Vehicles of your state. June 1 to November 30 is the Atlantic hurricane season. Preparation is key. If you live in an area that may be affected is being affected, you may want to contact your insurance provider now to make sure you have the proper coverages in place to best cover your assets.