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Thread: HELP: Questions about flooding and car insurance

  1. #1
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    Default HELP: Questions about flooding and car insurance

    Hey guys

    I have searched and it seems that some of you have experience with having a vehicle flooded.

    Right now there is quite a bit of flooding in Southern Alberta (Canada) due to heavy rain.

    Last night my mum's car was sitting in the parking lot at her work and was flooded "up past the speakers on the doors" and that "the water was up past the wheels". She says the airbag light is on too. She shouldn't have, but she had it pushed out of the water and then she drove it home with no noticeable problems. I haven't seen the car myself because I am in the USA right now on business.

    The car is about 10 months old and I want to make sure that insurance doesn't try to screw her around. The car is not financed or leased (she owns it outright) and she has full insurance coverage. From reading around about similar situations, it sounds to me like the car should be declared a total loss because of possible hidden damage to the engine, power steering, braking, transmission components, electrical system etc etc etc.

    Does anyone have some info on what the procedure is for this type of situation? Any tips on how to make sure that the insurance company doesn't try to just clean the carpets and call it fixed?

    If the insurance company does decide to declare it a total loss, what will they end up giving my mum? A cash payout for the new price of the same car? Will they depreciate it? I've heard that there is some sort of clause in insurance policies about new cars that says that they do not depreciate them if they are under "x" months old (maybe 1 year?).

    Any info would be very much appreciated. My mum isn't wealthy at all and has just gone out on a limb at 55 years old by starting a business. Her brand new business (ladies clothing store) has also been ruined by the flooding and isn't covered by insurance. What's worse is that she just leased the building and did all sorts of renovations not more than 2 months ago (hardwood floors, new walls, baseboards, slate, etc). I want to make sure that I do everything I can to help her out and make sure that insurance pays her what is due. Thanks guys...

  2. #2
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    Well, I wouldn't call the car a total write-off just yet.
    First things first. Contact the insurance company. Take note of any and all noticeable problems, and notify them of as much of it as they will hear. They will reccomend somewhere that you/she takes it in to so they can look it over, and decide what all is damaged. Hopefully they are fair in this respect.

    In all fairness, an engine being half-buried in water may have done no damage at all, same with the transmission. They're pretty well sealed up. My biggest worry would be the electrics inside, and possible rusting problems.
    Originally posted by Vagabond142
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  3. #3
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    A friend of my lost his 1998 Pontiac Trans Am to the flooding here in Edmonton last year, same situation, with water up past the speakers.
    The insurance company was State Farm, and I know that the car was declared a write-off (you do NOT want to smell those carpets and seats in 5-6 days), and a fair market value price was paid out in cheque form. It wasn't the depreciated blue book value, I know he did some talking with the agent about the value of the car. It did take a while (2-3 weeks) to get everything processed, but overall, not too painful a process.

  4. #4
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    There are certain clauses that most insurance companies offer that give you the full value of your vehicle's purchase in the event that it is written off within one year of ownership. Seeing as how this car is less than 1 year old, your mom will likely receive the entire purchase price (and not a depreciated value).

    If the water has seeped inside of the vehicle to a serious extent, it should already start smelling horrible in the next coming days. Your mom should call the insurance company and file a claim for damages, and they will send out an adjustor to verify the claims and assess the damage. From there, you and the insurance company can figure out where to go from there.
    Original Post NAZI Moderated


    Originally posted by r3cc0s
    Felon or Mistermeiner

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