Does Auto Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

| Auto insurance, Auto Safety Tips, Flood Insurance, Insurance education.

We’ve had a wild monsoon season in Las Vegas this year.   September 11th was another record setting day with over 1.18 falling in a short time and some parts of the valley receiving over 2 inches!  As always, that kind of heavy downpour creates causing flooding on our streets and, inevitably, motorists drive sustain damage to their vehicles from driving into water that is much deeper than they anticipated.   Yesterday was no exception and our office received 3 calls from customer that had suffered severe flood damage to their vehicles.

Most consumers are aware that standard property insurance (home, condo, renters, and commercial) does NOT cover damage caused by flooding.  Hopefully, you’ve read some of our numerous blog postings or noticed the big red sticker we put on your policy that warns flood damage is not covered.   But what about your cars – does auto insurance cover flood damage?  Thankfully, the answer is yes, flood damage is covered by your auto insurance under comprehensive or “other than collision”.

Auto insurance policies are typically comprised of two types of coverage.  The first, liability coverage, provides coverage for 3rd party liability meaning the property damage or bodily injury you cause to another party.  The second is physical damage which covers loss or damage to the vehicles listed on the policy.   Physical damage is generally divided into two parts – collision and comprehensive (also known as “other than collision”).    The verbiage of this coverage will vary from one insurance carrier to the next, but in general will read like the ISO 2005 policy:

Loss caused by the following is considered other than “collision”:

  1. Missiles or falling objects;
  2. Fire;
  3. Theft or larceny;
  4. Explosion or earthquake;
  5. Windstorm;
  6. Hail, water or flood;
  7. Malicious mischief or vandalism;
  8. Riot or civil commotion;
  9. Contact with bird or animal; or
  10. Breakage of glass.

Notice that both water damage and flood are listed as covered perils.  The personal auto policy is actually quite generous when it comes to damage caused by flood or water intrusion.  There is generally no exclusion for damage caused by operator error, such as driving into a flooded intersection and the vehicle would also be covered if was damaged by water if sitting stationary.   The covered damage could be the vehicle interior or drivetrain components, or both.

Obviously we want you drive safely and avoid the danger of flooded intersections or roadways. However, if flood waters rise and your vehicle is caught in the storm, know that your personal auto insurance policy does provide coverage for water and flood damage.

If you have questions on flood or auto insurance, contact us today!