For many parts of South Africa, especially our coastal regions, winter is the wettest season of the year. We have however seen weather patterns changing as well and have also seen heavy rains during the spring/summer months..

While the rains are good news for farmers, the drought and dam levels, the floods that they cause can result in property damage – and vehicles are no exception.

If you’ve ever experienced serious flooding, you’ll know just how destructive a sudden wave of water can be. If your vehicle happens to be parked outside when a flood passes through, you could find yourself dealing with a waterlogged engine, chassis damage, rusting, and other costly problems.

If you’re unlucky enough to experience this, your first question will probably be “does my car insurance cover this?”. Let’s find out.

Do all car insurance policies cover you against flooding?

As you may know, there are several kinds of car insurance that you can choose from – and each one provides a different level of cover.

When it comes to water damage from flooding, a good option is comprehensive car insurance. This type of policy will cover your vehicle under the “natural disasters” category – and it will also be covered against falling objects, fire, theft and public violence like riots.

If you choose to take out a more basic car insurance policy (like third party insurance with theft and fire cover), you’ll need to weigh up your options carefully. You’ll save some money each month, but if your vehicle is damaged by a flood, you will end up having to pay for the repairs yourself.

What to do if your vehicle is flooded

Having the right type of car insurance is the first step in protecting your car against floods – but what should you do if a flood occurs? Here are some tips that will minimise damage to your vehicle.

  • Check the floodwater level – if the floodwater hasn’t risen past the top of your tyres, you may be able to start your vehicle and drive away when the water has drained away.
  • Never start a flooded engine – if the water level has risen high enough, your engine may be waterlogged. If so, you should have your vehicle towed to the nearest garage or dealership (especially if it’s still under warranty).
  • Don’t be in a rush to drive away – flooded roads are extremely difficult to drive on, and the chance of having an accident is higher than usual. Rather take no risks and wait for the water level to drop before you drive your car anywhere.

Winter rains and the floods they bring are unavoidable, but with the right car insurance you’ll be covered for anything that mother nature throws at you. If you’d like more information about our comprehensive car insurance policies, contact us today.