Does Car Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

If your car has been damaged in a flood, you may have some recourse via auto insurance.

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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.

Car insurance and flooding
  1. What is comprehensive coverage?
  2. When can you add comprehensive coverage before a flood?
  3. How much does comprehensive coverage cost?
  4. Do you need comprehensive coverage to cover water damage?
  5. How to file an auto insurance claim after a flood
  6. Additional resources and methodology

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*

*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 flood is to call your insurance company and ask them specifically when/if the binding restriction has been lifted.

Compare comprehensive coverage rates online today!

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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.

Coverage Level Average Annual Premium
Liability-Only $672
$500 Deductible $1,427
$1,000 Deductible $1,268

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.

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.

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.

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Between September and December 2017, The Zebra conducted comprehensive auto insurance pricing analysis using its proprietary quote engine, comprising data from insurance rating platforms and public rate filings. The Zebra examined nearly 53 million rates to explore trends for specific auto insurance rating factors across all United States zip codes, averaged by state, including Washington, DC.

Analysis used a consistent base profile for the insured driver: a 30-year-old single male driving a 2013 Honda Accord EX with a good driving history and coverage limits of $50,000 bodily injury liability per person/$100,000 bodily injury liability per accident/$50,000 property damage liability per accident with a $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision. For coverage level data, optional coverage (that must be rejected in writing) is included where applicable, including uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.

National property and casualty losses information is from the Insurance Information Institute and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters report.

For vehicle make and model data, analysis referenced the most popular vehicles in the U.S. by 2016 year-end sales according to’s automakers’ data.

Finally, some rate data may vary slightly throughout report based on rounding.



Am I covered under comprehensive if I tried to move my vehicle away from flood waters and it still sustained water damage?

It's very likely that the water damage to your car would be covered. Generally speaking, flood damage is usually considered a covered loss under comprehensive coverage. Your insurance company will make the final decision about covering your vehicle, though, so you would need to contact them to start the claims process.
Aug 5, 2017 Plant City, FL

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

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

Do I need to buy a flood insurance policy for my car?

While it is correct that your home will need a separate policy for flood coverage, you do not need it for your auto insurance as long as you have comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive covers things like fire, theft, vandalism, and flooding.
Feb 26, 2017 Biloxi, MS

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Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior analyst, providing insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts.

Ava’s insurance career began as an agent with Farmers Insurance. Over the years, she has become an authority in all things property and casualty insurance, helping her to write informative guides for shoppers.

Ava’s work has been cited in publications such as InvestopediaThe BalanceMoney.comLiberty Mutual, U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver and Yahoo! Finance.

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.