We've broken down how to stay safe during a flood and what car insurance does and doesn't cover.
Does car insurance cover flood damage?
If you have a fully comprehensive car insurance policy, you may be able to claim for damage to your vehicle caused by flooding – as long as you’ve taken every precaution to safeguard your car.
You may not get cover if you decide to take a risk and drive your car in flood conditions.
Most insurers categorise flood damage as avoidable or unavoidable.
Avoidable damage could be classed as someone driving into flood water, as you never know how deep it is. For example, six inches of water is enough to reach the bottom of most cars, causing potential loss of control and stalling. Cars can float in just 12 inches of water, while two feet of water is enough to drag away most cars.
Unavoidable flood damage could be classed as your car getting damaged by floods when it’s parked at its usual spot, such as at home.
Car safety in flooding
Follow these tips from our Claims team to make sure you’re taking every precaution in a flood:
- keep an eye on the weather forecast for your area from places like local news outlets, the Met Office or the Environment Agency.
- if you live in an area that floods often, think about where you leave your car so you can access it if necessary.
- if weather reports predict floods, then try to move your car to higher ground.
- if the weather is bad, don't drive in areas that flood easily, like near rivers, storm drains or low-lying grounds.
- don't just follow the car in front of you through flooded areas, as you never know how deep it is or if you’ll be able to get out.
- don't start your engine if the area's flooded, recently flooded or your car's submerged.
- if your car was flooded but the water has subsided, you still shouldn't try to start the engine - you don't know how much water and mud is trapped in the engine and exhaust, and trying to start it up could cause more damage.
- call a mechanic to look at your car if you suspect flood damage.
Claiming for flood damage
The quickest and easiest way to make a claim is through MyAccount, where you can find your policy information and documents.
A flooded vehicle isn't an automatic write-off: it will depend on whether or not water got into the engine and how much.
If the engine is unaffected, the car may be able to dry out, which leaves no lasting damage.