Does Comprehensive Insurance Cover Water Damage in a Vehicle?

by Mary Jane Freeman
Water damage from a flood may be covered by comprehensive insurance.

Insurance companies provide comprehensive coverage for damages that arise from a variety of events, from vandalism and theft to flood and fire. It's for the unexpected; when your car is damaged by something other than an accident. Typically, water damage falls into this category; however, insurance carriers sometimes limit this protection to water damage caused by a natural disaster.

Coverage for Non-accidents

When your car is damaged by means other than an accident, such as theft, vandalism and severe weather conditions, comprehensive insurance often provides the necessary protection. However, it is not an all-encompassing policy, meaning that insurance companies typically place limits on what comprehensive coverage will cover, so shopping around is always advisable. Water damage may be covered, but usually under limited circumstances.

When Water Damage is Covered

In many instances, an insurance company will cover water damage if it is the result of Mother Nature, such as a flood, hurricane or rainstorm. However, protection will only be provided up to the current value of the vehicle. This means that regardless of the amount of damage, an insurance carrier will not pay you more than the car's fair market value. Even if your car appears to be in good working order, the insurance company may still consider it a total loss if long-term deterioration is likely to occur, such as when a car has been exposed to salt water. In this instance, the car may be designated a salvage vehicle.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

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