Does Car Insurance Cover Flooding?

Written by Maggie Tiede
Written by Maggie Tiede

Maggie Tiede is a writer and blogger based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Maggie has worked as a freelance writer since 2013, when she began reporting on politics, local events, health, and human interest for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review.

paul martin Reviewed by Paul Martin
paul martin
Reviewed by Paul Martin

Paul Martin is the Director of Education and Development for Myron Steves, one of the largest, most respected insurance wholesalers in the southern U.S.



Does car insurance cover flood damage?
How do I know if my car insurance covers a flood?
How much flood damage does my car insurance cover?
If basic car insurance does not cover flooding, what will?
Expert(s) Found on this Page

Does car insurance cover flood damage?

What happens if my car gets caught in a flood? Will my car insurance cover the damage to my car?

Yes, but only if you have the right kind of car insurance. Comprehensive coverage, also called all but collision coverage, is the type of car insurance that covers flood damage to your car. It’s optional, so you may or may not have it.

How do I know if my car insurance covers a flood?

I live in a flood zone, and I’m worried about my car. How do I check if my car insurance includes coverage for floods?

It’s very easy to check whether you have comprehensive coverage, the kind that covers floods. There are three main car insurance coverage types: liability, collision, and comprehensive (a.k.a. all-but-collision). Each one covers different situations:

  • Liability: Covers damage you do to other people, vehicles or property.
  • Collision: (a.k.a. all but collision) Covers damage that other vehicles do to you in a collision. Also covers damage from collisions with inanimate objects, like mailboxes.
  • Comprehensive: Covers just about everything else, including damage from natural disasters like floods.

If you have car insurance, then you definitely have liability insurance, since it’s the legally required minimum. Whether you have comprehensive coverage as well should be clearly spelled out in your policy, either online or in the paper packet.

If you have comprehensive coverage, then breathe easy! You have flood coverage. If not, it’s easy to work with an independent insurance agent and add that coverage to your policy if you want it.

How much flood damage does my car insurance cover?

I've heard that flood damage is one of the worst things that can happen to a car. What if it’s totaled? How much damage will car insurance pay for?

It depends on the size of the deductible and limit of your car insurance policy. 

The deductible is the amount the insurance company requires you to pay before coverage kicks in. If the damage is $1,000 and your deductible is $500, then you'll pay $500 and your insurance will pay the other $500.

The limit is what it sounds like: the limit of what the insurance company will pay. For comprehensive policies, which cover flooding, the limit is almost always the actual cash value of your car.

Actual cash value isn’t what you paid for your car. It’s the replacement cost minus depreciation, a.k.a. the amount of value your car loses each year due to age and wear and tear.
So the answer to your question is that the insurance will cover the cost of repairs or replacement, minus the deductible, up to the limit.

If basic car insurance does not cover flooding, what will?

I recently bought a newer, nicer car. I want to upgrade my basic car insurance to something with better coverage, especially for floods, since I live in a flood zone. What kind of car insurance should I look for?  

If you want your insurance to cover floods and other natural disasters, then you need to buy comprehensive coverage. Liability insurance, the most basic type of car insurance, won’t cover it.

Luckily, adding comprehensive coverage usually costs only a few hundred dollars per year. Discounts can bring down that cost even more.

A quick call or email to an independent insurance agent will get the ball rolling. They can help you fill out paperwork, find discounts, and generally make the process as painless as possible.

Hopefully you’ll never have to use your comprehensive coverage, but you’re right to be thinking about it! If disaster strikes, you’ll be glad you took the time to get your car covered.

Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Facebook Share this page on LinkedIn