Does my car insurance cover water leaks?
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UPDATED: Oct 19, 2021
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- Comprehensive insurance should cover a number of losses related to water leaks, but not every type of loss
- Common reasons for water leaks are connected to weather-related incidents comprehensive policies are intended, in part, to protect against
- Negligence and wear and tear won’t likely be covered by a comprehensive policy
- A basic liability policy won’t cover damages that fall under the spectrum of comprehensive
Cars suffer damage in all manner of unexpected and annoying ways. The annoyance comes not only from the inconvenience of being forced to take a car in for repairs but also from the cost of repair.
Getting hit by a driver who doesn’t stop at a stop sign absolutely aggravates drivers suffering serious damage to their cars. Such an insurance claim scenario is rather cut and dry. The negligent driver is at fault. A claim against his or her liability policy follows.
Not so straightforward would be damage due to water leaks. And water can do a lot of damage to a car.
- Electrical systems could be ruined.
- Interior upholstery could rot.
- The mechanical components could stop working.
Does an auto insurance policy cover losses related to water leaks? Water may leak into a vehicle in any number of ways. How the water leaked into the vehicle likely rests at the center of the answer.
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Will your comprehensive coverage pay for water leaks?
Water damage deriving from non-collision events would be protected by comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive coverage is available as an add-on policy, however, it may only cover certain situations that lead to water damage.
The role of negligence on the part of a driver may be closely scrutinized by the insurance company.
Examples of where a comprehensive claim would be valid include situations involving, say, vandalism. If the top of a convertible were slashed by a vandal or the window of a vehicle was broken and the rain came into the car, the damage would likely be covered.
Vandalism is at the core of the loss and vandalism is commonly covered by comprehensive insurance. The owner of the car did not contribute in any way to the loss. So, questions about the owner’s negligence are immaterial.
Had the owner left the top of the convertible or the windows down and a major storm rolled in, the scenario changes immensely. No matter how much damage the vehicle suffers, a comprehensive claim probably would be declined.
Negligence caused the damage.
Auto insurance companies are not prone to cover losses due to an owner’s improper care of his/her vehicle.
Losses related to totally unexpected or unpreventable situations could very well be covered. It’s always a good idea to consider what type and level of coverage you need before you’re subject to water damage or flood damage. Water damage can decrease the value of your vehicle, resulting in extensive repairs and sometimes even stopping your vehicle from functioning. With comprehensive coverage, you could significantly save a lot if your vehicle experiences this type of damage.
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Will comprehensive coverage protect you from vicious storm damage?
Storms can be truly vicious and cause massive damage to a vehicle. Usually, people think in terms of floods rising up and ruining the transmission or the engine. Truthfully, with the chaotic nature of storms, no one is able to fully predict what can happen when nature rages.
Brutal weather events such as tornados and hurricanes could send objects flying through the air.
If debris smashed a window leading to rain entering or heavy winds outright tore off the hood of a car leading to rainwater damage, filing a comprehensive claim makes sense. Weather damage falls under the covered perils of a comprehensive policy.
Comprehensive insurance, however, cannot be relied on to address wear and tear issues either.
What about wear and tear losses?
Cars do suffer wear and tear over time. When exposed to water, the troubles associated with wear and tear could lead to troubles.
If water is able to breach the interior of a vehicle due to wear and tear, do not look for an auto insurance company to cover the losses.
Generally, comprehensive insurance does pay for sudden and unexpected damage outside the fault of the driver. Wear and tear is usually gradual and, quite honestly, should be expected. Car parts do wear out sooner or later.
A driver might not think wear and tear are his/her fault. While not directly the driver’s fault, the driver does maintain a responsibility to care for the vehicle. Failure to do so would be negligent behavior. Once again, negligence does not assist the cause of filing an insurance claim.
The best advice possible is to stay on top of wear and tear issues. Fix any problems as early as possible. This way, further damage can be avoided meaning losses are not incurred.
What should you be aware of?
In a simple world, a covered incident occurs, an insurance claim is filed, and then a settlement is reached without much discourse. The world and insurance settlements are not always so simple.
Those holding insurance policies do need to be aware of potential issues they may face when filing a claim on a water leak.
A gray area may exist in terms of negligence. For example, leaving a car parked out on the street when warnings of horrific weather were reported could be considered negligent behavior on the part of the owner.
This situation could potentially lead to a claim being denied. Then again, what one insurance company may deny another may approve. Take this as a reason why effective comparison shopping for the best policy is recommended.
Even when the claim is accepted and a payout issued, the insured must understand that comprehensive insurance coverage requires the payment of a deductible.
A deductible refers to the out-of-pocket payments made by the insured before insurance coverage pays for a loss. Depending upon the extent of the damage, the insured may find little beyond the deductible is necessary to cover the loss.
The last point to make here is a driver must have a comprehensive insurance policy in place to receive any type of payment under its banner.
A basic policy that contains only liability coverage will not cover anything not involving being an at-fault driver who inflicts harm on another person or to property. Filing a claim for a water leak on the driver’s car simply is not covered by liability.
Many drivers opt to only purchase liability coverage, which is their prerogative. adding coverage is not too financially difficult in light of the fact that comparison shopping opens doors for great deals on added coverage such as the following:
- comprehensive coverage
- collision coverage
- uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Comprehensive coverage costs more than a liability policy, so it’s important to consider the value of your vehicle and how much will the repair cost be when determining whether you need it.
You might need this type of coverage if you have an auto loan, lease or if your vehicle is worth more. Your location and level of risk may also help you decide if you need protection from water damage
Maybe the time has arrived to perform some basic comparison shopping today. Enter your zip code below to begin.