The floods that we have seen in the UK recently have reached shocking proportions; in Somerset they’ve even had the military drafted in to help build up flood defences. January even broke rain records being the wettest on record for 100 years, according to the BBC.
However, the weather is unpredictable, powerful and unfortunately something that is completely out of our control. And it’s expected to only get worse, with high winds and even snow expected in some parts of the UK.
So it’s a good idea to make sure that your insurance policy covers you for flooding. Many people only opt for third party cover, or third party fire and theft only; however, comprehensive can even work out cheaper by some insurers who view those willing to take it out as more concerned about their vehicle.
Here are some tips to look after your car after a flood, and also some instances where having comprehensive cover can come in handy:
First of all, don’t start the car
If there’s water in the engine you could do further damage. Also, water droplets on the dipstick or a high oil level or water in the air filter will require a mechanic to clear it out and change the fluids.
You should also check for fluids in brake, clutch, power steering and coolant reservoirs.
Check the electrics
Then, and only then, if the engine looks okay to start after checking all of these points, then next check the electrics to make doubly sure. Headlights, turn signals, air conditioning, stereo, power locks, windows and seats, and interior lights.
If anything doesn’t look quite right, you aren’t sure or it’s not running properly then it could be a sign of some electrical damage. This could also be covered within your comprehensive insurance policy, so you take it to a mechanic straightaway.
Also, check under wheels and tyres for any debris lodged around them – particularly near the brakes and underbody.
Check for a waterline
This indicates how far the car was submerged, inside and out. If the water reaches the bottom of the dashboard most insurance companies will consider it damaged beyond repair.
Notify your insurer straightaway
Flood damage is generally covered by a comprehensive policy, and you should be covered for repairs. If it is a widespread problem where you live, then you’re best option is to ring your insurer as soon as possible as they’re likely to get a lot of similar calls in a small amount of time.
Dry inside your car or mould will grow fast
Open doors and windows, and put towels down on any damp patches. Comprehensive insurance should cover your repairs here too.
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Be vigilant in coming months
Continue to assess your car months and even years after the event, as there can still be signs of damage which can appear even after this length of time.
If your car shows any problems, it might be worth pursuing asking your insurance company whether they consider it to be a write off; as although it will need replacing, this is probably going to be more straightforward and also less expensive and less dangerous than running into more problems in the future.
Another good point to be aware of too is to make sure you don’t get another flood damaged car as a replacement. Some companies clean up these cars and simply sell them on – check the title and get a comprehensive history.
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