How Does Car Insurance Keep You Afloat During a Flood?

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Photos of cars submerged in the flood waters of Chennai is a haunting sight for every car owner. The general insurance sector is anticipating claims of at least Rs 500 crores after the incessant rains that caused heavy flooding in Chennai. Of this amount, motor insurance is expected to account for one of the highest number of claims.

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      Floods can wreak havoc with a car, damage engines and electrical systems, making car insurance a must-have.  Let’s look at how car insurance can aid you during such calamities.

      How can car insurance help you?

      Comprehensive car insurance covers losses or damages caused by natural calamities, such as floods, cyclones and hailstorms.   

      There are two types of damages caused by flood to your car - engine damage and accessories damage. A car submerged in water can have a  partially or completely damaged engine. Full engine replacement in a car could cost you between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakhs. Similarly, the cost of repairing accessories would also cost quite a lot.  Here, insurance company comes to your rescue, as it will cover both engine and upholstery damage. 

      However, the policy comes with exclusions as well. Insurance companies would only cover unforeseen events. For example, damage caused to the engine while attempting to start a submerged car would not be accepted as a consequence of the flood and therefore would not be covered. Therefore, in such a situation, call your insurer who will take the necessary steps to repair your car.

      Ad-ons to consider

      There are various riders that you can add on to your current policy for extra protection for flood. They do not have any waiting period clause and you can use them when the need arises. Let’s take a look at each one of them:-

      • Zero Depreciation:- Even a comprehensive car insurance policy doesn’t pay the full amount. The insurer factors in depreciation before paying the claim amount. Therefore, you should opt for zero depreciation cover where your insurer will pay the full coverage amount without considering depreciation as a factor.
      • Engine Protector and Electronic Circuit Cover:- Driving or even parking your car in a water-logged area can cause massive damages to the engine. The engine protector covers damages caused to the engine on account of water and is very useful in areas of heavy rainfall.
      • Quick Roadside Assistance:- Driving through a flood-affected area and getting stranded due to a flat tyre or engine damage can be gruesome experience. Roadside assistance cover offers various services such as repairing of on-road damages, changing flat tyre and towing your vehicle to the nearest garage.

      Safety measures to follow

      Here are some safety tips to keep in mind while driving through a flooded area:-

      • Drive the vehicle in either 1st or 2nd gear and increase the revolutions per minute (RPM) of the engine without using the clutch.
      • If stuck in water, do not start the engine even when the water recedes. You should disconnect the battery and tow it to a workshop.
      • If the water enters the passenger compartment, do not switch on the ignition as it could lead to short circuit in the electrical system which may cause further damage to both you and the vehicle.
      • Test your car brakes after leaving the flooded area. 

      Keep a hammer or any other heavy instrument ready to break the window glasses in case the door locks of your car gets jammed due to the water.

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