Does Car Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

Adding comprehensive coverage to your policy could come in handy if your car gets damaged from a flood.

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Car insurance can protect your car against flood damage, depending on the type of coverages you include on your policy. 

Without comprehensive coverage, your insurance provider can’t help cover the costs to repair or replace your car if a flash flood overtakes the street where your car is parked, leading to severe water damage.

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Let’s dive deeper into the specifics of how car insurance can protect your ride against these unpredictable forces of nature.

Here’s what we’ll discuss:

Does car insurance cover water damage from flooding?

Yes, if you include comprehensive coverage on your policy. Comprehensive car insurance helps pay to fix damage to your car, or possibly replace it, if there are damages from an incident that wasn’t a car accident (like a natural disaster). 

Bare bones car insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, you need to add comprehensive coverage for that. You might not be legally required to include it, but it’s essential for protection against unexpected stuff like flood water damaging your car.

If the cost of a major repair, or fully replacing your car, is too much to pay out-of-pocket, you’ll definitely want to consider including comprehensive coverage on your policy.

Don’t forget that if you lease or take out a loan on your car, your lender or leasing company will likely require that you get comprehensive coverage with your car insurance policy.

What about water damage to an engine, transmission, or electrical system?

In most cases, comprehensive car insurance will also cover flood damage to critical components in your car—like the engine, transmission, or electrical systems. But there are some exceptions.

You can learn more about what your car insurance policy might not cover—like intentional damage—but it’s always important to check the details of your policy to get the best idea of what you can expect. 

What if my car was damaged while driving through a flood?

does car insurance cover damage from driving through a flood

It depends. If you drive through a flood and your car gets damaged, either comprehensive coverage or collision coverage could help cover the costs to repair or replace your ride. (BTW, comprehensive and collision coverage are separate coverages, you can brush up on the differences here.)

But driving through flood water puts you and others on the road in danger. So you should always exercise caution and avoid driving through flooded areas.

How much water is considered a flood?

Any rising water level that causes damage to your car could be considered an “Act of God”, aka damage caused by something that’s beyond human control—like a flash flood. 

Most insurance policies won’t specifically use the term “Act of God” in the policy, but they will describe specific natural disasters that either are or aren’t covered. Car insurance typically covers these types of events under comprehensive coverage.

Will my homeowners flood insurance cover water damage to my car?

No. Homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or a flood insurance policy typically won’t cover water damage to your car, or to your personal belongings that are inside the car, from a flood. 

You need comprehensive coverage on a car insurance policy, which is specifically designed to cover your ride against these damages.

However, homeowners and renters insurance can provide valuable protection for your personal property (that isn’t your car) from other types of water damage—involving things like broken pipes, roof leaks, and overflow from appliances. 

Plus, when you bundle Lemonade Car with a Lemonade homeowners or renters insurance policy, you could be eligible for discounts on both policies, offering a more comprehensive and cost-effective approach to safeguarding your assets against various risks, including floods and other types of water damage.

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And if you live in a flood zone, having flood insurance for your home should be a priority.

What happens if my car gets destroyed in a flood?

what happens if car destroyed in flood

If the cost to repair your car’s flood damage is greater than the cost to replace it, or it’s not safe to repair it, it will usually be declared a total loss by your insurance company.

In some cases a vehicle might be declared a total loss, even if it doesn’t reach the car’s actual cash value—including flood damage.

Your insurance company will typically reimburse you the actual cash value of your totaled car, minus any deductible, for eligible claims. 

What’s the best way to protect my car from flood damage? 

You’re probably already aware of the best ways to prevent flood damage to your car. Stay up to date on extreme weather conditions to make smart choices about when you should move your car to higher ground and when you should avoid driving.

Aside from that, make sure your car has good seals and weatherstripping when you take it in for routine preventative car maintenance.

If you have a garage, the best option is to park your car inside and consider doing the following: 

  • Install flood barriers or use sandbags around your garage to prevent water intrusion
  • Seal any cracks or openings in your garage to minimize water entry
  • It may pay off to install a sump pump in your garage that removes water during flooding, which on average costs roughly $1,400, not including installation costs
  • Regularly clear gutters and drains near your garage to ensure proper water runoff during heavy rains

What other natural disasters does comprehensive car insurance cover?

In addition to flooding, comprehensive car insurance often covers other natural disasters, such as:

  • Windstorms
  • Hail
  • Wildfires
  • Tornadoes 
  • Earthquakes
  • Hurricanes
  • Damage from falling objects

Before we go…

Even with the best preventive measures in place, the unpredictability of nature makes comprehensive insurance coverage an essential safeguard for every driver. 

When you drive with Lemonade car insurance, it’s easy to customize your policy’s coverages on the Lemonade app—like adding comprehensive coverage—both when you buy a policy, and at any time during your policy term. 

Click below to start your free quote.

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A few quick words, because we <3 our lawyers: This post is general in nature, and any statement in it doesn’t alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. You’re encouraged to discuss your specific circumstances with your own professional advisors. The purpose of this post is merely to provide you with info and insights you can use to make such discussions more productive! Naturally, all comments by, or references to, third parties represent their own views, and Lemonade assumes no responsibility for them. Coverage and discounts may not be available in all states.

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Please note: Lemonade articles and other editorial content are meant for educational purposes only, and should not be relied upon instead of professional legal, insurance or financial advice. The content of these educational articles does not alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. While we regularly review previously published content to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, there may be instances in which legal conditions or policy details have changed since publication. Any hypothetical examples used in Lemonade editorial content are purely expositional. Hypothetical examples do not alter or bind Lemonade to any application of your insurance policy to the particular facts and circumstances of any actual claim.