See if this sounds familiar: A storm unexpectedly blew in and dumped a bit of rain. And you forgot to put the top back up in your convertible. So, will your insurance cover the damage?
The answer is… maybe?
As with all things insurance, whether or not a specific hazard is covered depends on the type of coverage that you have for your automobile and the circumstances under which the damage was sustained. Let’s look at the types of auto insurance in Florida to help determine if water damage is covered by car insurance.
Understanding the Florida Car Insurance System
The Florida insurance system for vehicles was for years a no-fault system. However, the Florida house recently voted (88 for to 15 against) to repeal the no-fault system after years of rate hikes and repeated abuses – with one ringleader sentenced in April 2018 to a term in prison. The proponents of repeal of these examples and the contention that the costs of an accident are imposed on victims in the population at large, while the bad actors go without penalty. The bill was then left for dead by the Senate when they adjourned in March. No fault remains in place for the time being.
l Basic Insurance: This is the bare minimum under which a car may be insured state of Florida, consisting of a $10,000 minimum in personal injury protection and $10,000 in property damage liability. Personal injury protection covers you, your household members, the property and any passengers riding in your vehicle at the time of an accident who do not have their own PIP policy. It doesn’t cover anything else.
l Comprehensive Insurance: Comprehensive insurance is something of a misnomer. Comprehensive is not… er… comprehensive. Comprehensive coverage typically covers hazards such as falling objects, fire, theft, vandalism, damage to windshields or windows, and the damage that results from flooding. It does not cover collision with another car or with an object, medical expenses, legal expenses or the theft of property from inside the car.
However, the all-important flood insurance is included in comprehensive insurance, so in the sense of flood waters damaging your vehicle, water damage is covered by car insurance. Now here is the kicker: If your car sustains water damage due to a maintenance issue such as a faulty seal around the sunroof or neglect such as leaving the window open during a violent rainstorm, then insurance might not cover the costs. Car owners are supposed to attend promptly to maintenance issues and make sure that their car is secured and safe.
Avoid Water Damage
The best way to avoid water damage to your car is to park it on high ground when flash flood or storm surge warnings are issued. Any issues with sunroof or window seals should be to immediately to stop the intrusion of water into the passenger compartment. In the event of water damage inside the compartment, it is best to take the car to a professional where it can be dried out and restored to the previous condition. As noted above, this is not covered by insurance but instead will be an out of pocket expense. Talk to the independent insurance agent today about the best kind of coverage for your car, home, and your business.