Does car insurance cover flood water damage?

A flood street with parked cars.

Accidental flood water damage is covered with most comprehensive car insurance policies. That said, some insurance providers may deem driving into flood water a reckless act and as such may refuse a claim for flood water damage in some cases. 

Besides the possibility of not having a car insurance claim accepted, emergency services across the country advise against driving into a flooded area. In fact, VICSES (Victoria State Emergency Services) are currently running a campaign to raise awareness around just how dangerous driving into flood water can be.

‘15 to float’ campaign

According to VICSES it only takes water 15cm deep with a flow speed of around 3.6km/hour to float a small car. That’s the height of an average pen!

Meanwhile a medium sized car can be moved by water around 30cm deep and flood water around 45cm high can move a four wheel drive. Both when water is flowing at a speed of around 3.6km per hour. 

Now you might be thinking that that’s really not very deep and it certainly doesn’t seem like it. It’s easy to see how many motorists can misjudge the danger and wind up in a very dangerous situation. VICSES says since 2016, 10% of emergency requests in Victoria have been for assistance for vehicles caught in flood water. 

It also says that fatalities associated with four wheel drives and flood water have increased significantly over the past 15 years.

Flood water damage and car insurance

Typically cover for flood water damage is only available with comprehensive car insurance policies. Some third party car insurance plans may include cover for fire and theft, but are unlikely to offer cover for flood water.

Of course, that isn’t to say that comprehensive car insurance will provide cover for flood water damage in all instances. For this reason we recommend reading the PDS (product disclosure statement) that accompanies each individual policy thoroughly, before signing on the dotted line. That way you will know what is covered and what exclusions may apply.

Another thing to take note of is that a lot of insurance policies will come with a 72 hour waiting period for things like flooding, fires and storms. This means you might not be able to claim for any flood damage that happens within 72 hours of taking out the policy.

Keen to protect your wheels with a comprehensive car insurance policy? Check out the options below, or head to Mozo’s compare comprehensive car insurance page to review multiple options.

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