Does car insurance cover water damage?
Last updated: July 2023
The comprehensive coverage on a car insurance policy helps cover certain types of sudden and accidental water damage to your vehicle, depending on the cause. Comprehensive coverage may help pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it's damaged by hail or flooding, for example. It does not cover water damage due to a maintenance issue, like a slow leak or leaving your window open during a rainstorm.
Comprehensive coverage is generally optional, although your lender may require it if you have an auto loan. Here's a look at some potential causes of water damage and how insurance might help.
Is water damage from hailstorms covered by comprehensive insurance?
Hailstorms can lead to water damage if hailstones break your windshield or windows, letting rain and hail into your vehicle. If your vehicle sustains water damage during a hailstorm, comprehensive coverage may help pay to repair your vehicle.
Is flooding covered by comprehensive insurance?
During a flood, rising water levels caused by heavy rains may get into your vehicle's engine and interior, potentially causing a lot of damage. Comprehensive coverage typically helps protect your vehicle against flood damage.
Are leaks after heavy rains covered by car insurance?
If rains are heavy, it's possible for water to get into your car even if everything is closed. Imperfect sealing around windows, doors and sunroofs can let water into your car during heavy rains, explains Popular Mechanics magazine.
It's your responsibility to keep your vehicle in good condition, and make sure proper repairs are carried out, says the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). So if your car is damaged in a single event like a sudden, heavy rainstorm, comprehensive coverage may help cover the damage to your vehicle. But if water slowly leaks into the car because of poor maintenance and causes damage over time, water damage likely won't be covered.
Will water damage be covered by insurance if the windows are left open?
Comprehensive helps cover damage not related to a collision, for events that are out of your control. Comprehensive doesn't cover damage resulting from lack of maintenance or negligence. So if your car's windows were left down, or the sunroof was left open, and rain gets in as a result, any water damage caused by the rain is unlikely to be covered.
Other things to remember
Comprehensive coverage typically doesn't cover water damage to equipment that's not permanently installed in your car, such as removable sound equipment or removable navigation systems.
Comprehensive coverage has a deductible, which is the amount you pay out of pocket toward a covered claim. Also, comprehensive coverage has a limit, which is the maximum amount your policy will pay for a covered claim. If your vehicle is totaled by water damage, comprehensive coverage helps pay to replace your vehicle, up to its depreciated value (called "actual cash value").
Water damage can be frustrating for any car owner but having comprehensive coverage may help reimburse you if your vehicle is damaged by hail or flooding. Your insurance provider can help you understand your coverage and help you find the policy that's right for you.