How to Handle Water Damage to a Car
Water damage inside a vehicle can be devastating. When it occurs, it can become hard to remove. The seats may develop mold over time. The carpeting or leather may warp. It can also cause significant damage to the engine and electronics. In this situation, your first step is to call your auto insurance company. Find out if you can file a claim. Many times, this damage has coverage. However, there are a few things to consider first.
When Does Car Insurance Cover Water Damage?
The cause of the water damage matters. Car insurance companies do not cover damage to a vehicle due to normal wear and tear. It also does not cover damage brought on by mistakes of the driver. For example, if you failed to repair the skylight of the car and a leak formed, your policy is not likely to provide coverage for the losses.
It does cover instances when actions of Mother Nature occur. For example, a thunderstorm or flood causes damage. This does not mean it will always provide coverage, however. If you did not take the steps necessary to protect your car – and you could have – your policy may not reflect coverage.
What to Do with a Water-Damaged Car
If your car suffers water damage for any reason, contact your auto insurance company. Ask the company what your options are. In many cases, the insurer will provide steps for you to take. This may include having an inspection of the car completed. This will provide insight into:
- What caused the damage
- Why the damage occurred
- What amount of damage is present
- What long-term consequences are possible
- Can the company repair the vehicle
In some cases, a significant amount of damage may warrant totaling the car. If the cost to make repairs is too high, the car insurance company can recommend this. If the damage is within the scope of the policy, the agent will provide instructions on the next steps. This includes telling you how much coverage is available for the repairs. You may have to pay a deductible as well.
Water damage on cars can be dangerous. Do not put off getting these repairs cared for by a trained and trusted technician. Let your auto insurance company provide insight into what your options are for making repairs. You may be able to get the work done quickly.