Floods have caused devastation in Australia, Brazil and even South Africa. Nowhere has the impact been more visible as in the video shared on this blog and titled “Video captures scene as vehicles are swept away by floods in Australia”
Watching this video we are all confronted with the question – how big is the loss to the vehicle owners? Do they have car insurance and are they covered by their insurance for this damage?
We would like to consider these questions in more detail in this blog post and provide some advice to vehicle owners.
Despite several warnings from financial advisers and the car insurance industry, many still risk driving vehicles that are uninsured. Car insurance is not compulsory in some countries – and in South Africa it is estimated that only 30% of the vehicles are insured.
Without car insurance you are facing all the risks – you will suffer the consequences of your failure to go without insurance! It will not be only your vehicle that is swept away – but also your financial well-being!
You may however also be at risk with car insurance, as not every car insurance policy will cover flood damage!
What does the Car Insurance Policy stipulate?
As a starting point we always have to revert back to our car insurance policy and read the terms and conditions of the policy. It is important to differentiate between 2 types of car insurance policies
It is also important to consider what amounts to flood damage – and that this is not merely water damage to the engine caused by the negligence of the driver! Whether the incident is treated as an “at fault” claim varies between insurers. The Ombudsman for short term insurance in South Africa has warned that car insurance will not cover engine damage caused by driving through deep water.
Flood damage should be regarded as the result of flooding rains and huge seas: cars swept off causeways, flooded bridges, vehicles engulfed as giant waves crash over sea walls.
What do I need to know when my vehicle has suffered flood damage?
You need to approach driving in heavy rain with caution! On the Arrive Alive website there is information on this topic and we would like to urge motorists to view the following sections on the Arrive Alive website:
Safe Driving in Heavy rains Escape and safety from a vehicle submerged under water 4×4 Vehicles and water crossings
A few of the most important suggestions include:
We would like to urge vehicle owners to be alert and vigilant at times. Remember that your vehicle can be replaced –you and your family member cannot! Rather stay clear of flooded waters and adhere to the warnings, alerts and directions provided by safety and emergency officials!!
What is Household insurance and does it cover water and flood damage?