24 Jun 2020 Is Water Damage Covered by Car Insurance?
Of all the damage that could happen to our vehicles, we usually don’t expect it to be caused by water.
Well … it can happen. And we sure hope you didn’t come across this article because it happened to you. But if it did, don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Whether it’s flooding, hail, a slow leak, or an accidental window left open, At Berry Insurance, we’ve had plenty of clients ask us about water damage to their cars.
So what’s the answer then? Is it covered?
Well, it depends. Mainly, it depends on two factors: if you have the right type of coverage, and what caused water damage. Let’s get into it.
Do you have comprehensive coverage?
When someone asks us whether or not water damage to their vehicle is covered, the first thing we do is check if they have comprehensive coverage on their auto insurance policy.
Comprehensive insurance is an optional part of your Massachusetts auto insurance policy. It covers your vehicle from damages resulting from incidents other than collisions.
These situations include:
- Fallen objects (such as tree limbs)
- Pest infestation
- Collision with animals
Comprehensive also covers glass losses, and in MA, glass is covered with no deductible (unless some unscrupulous insurance agent includes a glass deductible on a policy).
Water damage caused by one of the above incidents is covered by comprehensive insurance. If it has another cause, it’s probably not covered, but we’ll get into that more below.
Comprehensive insurance is generally very affordable, ranging from $30 to $200 annually, so we always recommend our clients opt for it (car glass can be damaged easily, so it’s probably worth it for the glass coverage alone).
However, some people still do choose to exclude the coverage. If this is the case for you, you will not be covered for water damage.
What caused the damage?
Just because you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy doesn’t mean you are guaranteed coverage for every water damage situation. Let’s get into some specific scenarios and discuss whether or not they are covered.
What car water damage is covered:
As we already mentioned, water damage caused by situations outlined under comprehensive insurance are all covered. Some of these include:
If your car is parked in or driving through a flooded area, the water could cause significant damage to your car. If flood waters affect the mechanics or interior of your car, your auto insurance will pay for the damage.
Although we don’t see it very often around here, severe enough hail can greatly damage your vehicle. If hail breaks through your windshield and causes water damage within your car, that damage (as well as the glass damage from the hail) will be covered under comprehensive insurance.
Whether it be a tree branch, rock, scrap of metal, or any other object, damage from fallen objects is covered under comprehensive insurance. This includes any damage from water that entered the car due to the damage.
If your car is vandalized, the damage (including water damage) is covered.
This could either be from rain water entering the car through broken windows, or from intentional use of liquids by the vandals. Either way, you’re covered.
Keep in mind: before your car insurance pays the claim, you will have to pay your deductible. The insurance company will also only compensate up to your coverage limits.
What car water damage isn’t covered:
We know mistakes happen, but oftentimes in insurance, if you’re at fault, or if you neglected to keep up on routine maintenance, related issues are not covered. Some of these situations include:
Slow leaks caused by lack of maintenance are usually not covered by auto insurance.
Because the leak could have been easily fixed before it caused any damage, insurance companies will not pay for this type of claim.
Sometimes, rain can cause rusting to the body of your vehicle.
Unfortunately, this is considered natural wear and tear and is not covered by insurance.
Windows left open:
It’s happened to the best of us. We have a lot going on in our days and sometimes it’s easy to forget you left your car windows open.
Unfortunately, if this is the case, the damage won’t be covered by insurance.
Stay dry and protected:
We hope that you never encounter water damage in your car, but hey, if you do, there’s hope that your car can be returned to normal without a significant payment on your part.
In general, most accidental causes of water damage to vehicles are covered under comprehensive insurance.
While there are some situations when water damage won’t be covered by your car insurance, most of those can be avoided with preventative measures.
One of the most important steps is to ensure you have active comprehensive coverage. Reach out to your agent to make sure you are covered for water damage.
When it comes to car insurance, we know it can sometimes be difficult to assess which coverages you need and how much of each you should have. While we almost always recommend having comprehensive coverage, there are some other areas that aren’t as black and white. Check out this article: How Much Car Insurance Do I Need (And Why the State Minimum Isn’t Enough).