Your car has been flooded. What now? Flooding is one of the most severe types of damage a car can experience, and often leads to the vehicle being totaled. You’re going to need to take action fast, and work closely with your automobile insurance to save your car.

Here’s what you do.

Don’t Start Your Car

You don’t want to start your vehicle after a flood; it could cause electrical damage. Empty the car and clean it up before starting it, and if you need to take it to a mechanics shop (after cleaning it up), get it taken to the mechanic with a tow truck instead.

Check the Level of the Damage

You can often assess the damage on the vehicle based on how far the water rose. If the water only rose to the bottom of the vehicle’s doors, you’re probably fine: there’s going to be some interior damage, but not necessarily any major electrical damage.

If the water rose up to the dashboard, you have problems. Water in the dashboard will almost always lead to a vehicle total. That’s because all the electrical components and the computer that runs the vehicle will have been damaged: it’ll cost too much to repair.

Additionally, you can check the oil in your car. If there are water drops on the dipstick, then the water got into the oil: that’s a bad sign. Otherwise, if it’s clean, you may have more of a chance of recovering the car.

Contact Your Insurance Company

You will need to check your insurance and contact your insurance company. Since it’s possible your car is going to be totaled, you’ll need to check on your gap insurance (if you still owe money on the vehicle) and the current value of your car.

When a vehicle is totaled, the insurance company cuts you a check for the value of your car, rather than even attempting to repair it. If the flood damage wasn’t significant, the insurance company may attempt repairs, but even minor flood damage is often expensive to repair.

Clean Out the Cabin, While Managing Mold and Odor

While your insurance company debates, you should dry out the car and clean it. If saltwater got into your vehicle, you’ll have some work ahead of you. The most important thing to do is open your car up, extract the water, and make sure it gets dry. Mold will keep coming back if it’s allowed to establish, and it can be very expensive and difficult.

A flood doesn’t mean that your car is going to be totaled. But often it will be. It’s important to consult with a professional as soon as possible if you hope to reclaim your car. Contact the experts at Thayer-Innes Insurance Agency and Freeman Bunting Insurance Agency to find out more.

About Thayer Innes and Freeman Bunting Insurance Agencies

At Thayer-Innes Insurance Agency and Freeman Bunting Insurance Agency, we strive to provide comprehensive insurance solutions to support Ann Arbor homeowners. Our homeowners’ policies can be tailored to meet your specific risk exposures and provides much more coverage than a traditional policy, giving you the peace of mind you deserve. For more information about our products, contact us today at (855) 395-6316.