Flood damage: What you need to know- What happens if my car gets flooded?
If you have comprehensive insurance as part of your auto policy, you’ll be covered. If you only have liability coverage, you won’t be so lucky.
What should I do if my car has been under water?
First, contact your insurance company. Next evaluate the height of the flood waters around your car. If floodwaters reached the mid-point of the tire or higher, do not start your car because that may cause more damage. Once the flood water subsides, get your car towed, and have it checked by a certified technician who can look for unseen damage. Your insurance company may have specific requirements on where to send your car so make sure to ask your agent.
• The sad truth is that most cars that have been in heavy floodwater will be declared write-offs, especially if the water has gone above bonnet height.
• Cars can be reconditioned after being in flood water, but it is an expensive and time-consuming process. It is also easier and cheaper on older cars with fewer electrical systems (such as motorized seat adjusters) in them;
• A flooded car will need to be decontaminated, as sewage will almost certainly have been mixed with water, and then silt and mud will need to be removed.
• This can only be done by taking out every part of the car that was covered in water, including carpets and under lays. Odor-fighting enzymes will be sprayed on interiors, everything must be pressure washed at 80 degrees centigrade or above and the inside of the car will then be misted with an atomizer, ensuring disinfectant gets into every part of the car such as the ventilation system;
• If your car is being repaired, check that the garage cleans up behind the door panels and in any nooks and crannys, silt and mud will have been carried into every extreme of the car.
• If the car was lifted up and floated away, it is likely to have panel damage from hitting other cars and obstacles on its journey.
• Electrics may work once they have dried out, but the damage usually means they need replacing;
• The drying process can be speeded up by use of a professional dehumidifier and air blower