Car insurance covers flood damage if the policy includes comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is typically required for financed and leased cars, but optional for drivers who own their cars. However, many drivers choose to carry comprehensive coverage to protect themselves from non-collision damage, like flooding. That’s because state laws only require liability insurance, which covers damage that results from your car hitting someone or something. If you stick with the minimum insurance requirements, your car is not protected from flood damage.
Flood damage can be catastrophic
Comprehensive coverage handles any destruction that's not caused by another car, such as damage from wildlife, falling tree branches, or vandalism. Floods fall in this category, and with good reason. Even relatively shallow water can destroy important parts of your car. Water that only reaches the top of your tires can impact everything from your airbags to your electrical system. These issues make your vehicle unsafe and affect its resale value.
Comprehensive coverage limits the amount you pay to repair flood damage. Just choose a deductible you're comfortable with, and your insurance company will pick up the rest of the bill in the event of a flood.
Comprehensive damage doesn’t cover everything
It’s important to remember that comprehensive coverage is for one-time events that damage your car, like a storm. Comprehensive insurance doesn’t cover damage accumulated slowly over time. If your car doors leak when it rains, for example, your insurance will not pay for the resulting damage after a year of leaking. That’s because your insurance company considers you responsible for maintaining your car.
To sum up, your policy doesn’t necessarily cover flood damage – but it can if you want it to. If you aren't sure whether you already carry comprehensive coverage, check with your insurance company. You can always add coverage to your current policy if you don’t already carry it. Comprehensive insurance costs about $150 per year on average, and the deductible you choose is the biggest factor in how much it costs.