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Does auto insurance cover flooding?

 

Car insurance does cover flood damage — as long as you carry comprehensive coverage. This should be the case, no matter which auto insurance company you choose: GEICO, Allstate, Progressive, and others will provide coverage after a flood. The primary caveat here is that you need to hold comprehensive coverage before your vehicle sustains water damage.

Key Takeaways:

  • Flood coverage falls under comprehensive coverage - so if you only carry liability insurance, your vehicle would not be covered
  • Comprehensive coverage is usually paired with collision to cover you for things such as vandalism, hail, animal damage or lightning
  • Binding restrictions may keep you from obtaining additional coverage right before a storm hits
  • Floods often affect a significant number of people at a time, so filing a claim can be more extensive than it might be for another type of incident

What does comprehensive auto insurance cover?

Comprehensive insurance, usually paired with collision coverage, is an optional coverage designed to protect your vehicle. Unlike your liability coverage, which provides protection for damage you cause to other drivers and vehicles, comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle from:
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Damage caused by animals
  • Hail
  • Lightning
  • Water and flood damage*
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*Flood protection falls within the "water and flood damage" category, which includes losses caused by hurricanes and flash floods.

Comprehensive coverage comes with a deductible, which is your financial responsibility after a claim. While deductible costs vary, they typically run $500-$1,000.


When can you add comprehensive coverage before a flood?

 

Many auto insurance companies enact “binding restrictions” as a major weather event approaches. If a storm is on its way, insurers restrict new lines of business — or changes to existing policies — in that geographic area. Insurance companies restrict policy-buying to limit their exposure to the costly claims payouts that can occur as a result of violent storms.

Binding restrictions may prevent you from adding comprehensive auto coverage prior to a storm, but if you carry comprehensive coverage before the restriction is enacted, you should be covered.

***Bear in mind, when a car insurance company lifts their binding restrictions will depend on them. Your best bet for adding coverage after a flood is to call your insurance company and ask them specifically when/if the binding restriction has been lifted.

If a storm is on the way, insurers will restrict new lines of business — or changes to existing policies — in that geographical area.

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How much does comprehensive coverage cost?

Because collision and comprehensive coverage correlate to the value of your vehicle, this is an impossible question to answer. The more valuable your vehicle, the more expensive it will be for your insurance company to replace it, resulting in a more costly premium. Below are estimates of the average cost of comprehensive coverage for popular vehicles.

The tables below shows the average rates for full coverage auto insurance, with both a $500 deductible and a $1,000 deductible.

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Full Coverage with a $1,000 Deductible
Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $1,189
Nationwide $1,343
GEICO $1,348
State Farm $1,457
Farmers $1,616
Progressive $1,668
Allstate $2,118
Updated: 12/08/22.
Full Coverage with a $500 Deductible
Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $1,365
Nationwide $1,476
GEICO $1,542
State Farm $1,569
Farmers $1,786
Progressive $1,886
Allstate $2,413
Updated: 12/08/22.

We included collision and comprehensive because they tend to be grouped together. Carrying both collision and comprehensive coverage would double the annual premium for a 2012 Honda Accord. Given the price of this combination, consider carefully whether this coverage level is necessary.

Dynamic auto insurance data methodology

Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.


Do you need comprehensive coverage?

 

Collision and comprehensive coverage are usually required if you’re leasing or financing a vehicle. This allows the leasing company or lien holder to protect their investment. If you own your vehicle outright, collision and comprehensive coverage are recommended if your car is worth more than $4,000. If you don't carry comprehensive and collision coverages, you won't receive a claim payout if your car is damaged or totaled.

When comprehensive coverage is a good idea:

  • If you have a loan on the vehicle
  • If you are leasing a vehicle
  • If you own a vehicle worth more than $4,000

Your location is another determinant of the need for comprehensive coverage. If you live in a coastal region or a flood-prone area, consider opting for comprehensive car insurance.

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How to file a car insurance claim after flooding

 

Flood claims can be significantly different than other auto insurance claims for two reasons.

  • A vehicle is commonly deemed a total loss after a flood.
  • Floods often impact a large number of an insurer's clients at once, leading to financial and logistical strain.

Be sure to check out our more in-depth guide to the claims process, but first remember to call your insurance company and take pictures of your vehicle (if applicable). An adjuster will contact you for further information, determine the value of the repairs, and send you a check for the resulting damage after you pay your deductible. While this process might take longer than you’d like, as long as you have your comprehensive coverage you should be able to recover a vehicle damaged by flooding.

If your location is not currently experiencing any binding restrictions, you can call your current provider and add this coverage to your existing policy. If you're in the market for a new quote with flood coverage added, enter your zip code below to see quotes from hundreds of national and local providers.

Flood claims often impact a large number of a company's clients at once - this can lead to financial and logistical strain during the claims process.


Use our claims calculator to determine whether you should file after a flood.


RECENT QUESTIONS

Am I covered while I'm moving to a new state?

I'm so sorry to hear about your accident during such a transitional and inconvenient time! I would contact your insurance company in Oregon and talk to the claims department to see if this will be covered. Many companies provide a grace period for you to obtain other insurance while you are moving to another state.
Jul 22, 2022 Atlanta, GA

What covers my flood damaged car?

Comprehensive coverage is insurance that specifically covers your vehicle against damage due to weather events like flooding and basically anything other than an accident. As long as the damage is more than your comprehensive deductible then your vehicle will be repaired by your insurance company once you have paid your deductible.
Mar 6, 2016 Mobile, AL

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.