Flood Damage to Your Car - Does Your Insurance Cover It?
Updated: Nov 30, 2020
As a continuation to the previous blog on flash floods in Singapore, I will be discussing flood damage and car insurance in this article.
Singaporeans do not experience natural disasters (unless you are counting Covid-19) and the most severe that we experience would be the annual haze pollution or the rare aftershocks from earthquakes happening in other countries close enough.
We might not be even aware that flash floods are natural "disasters" and happen more frequently in Singapore than any other natural disasters. Although most flash floods happen on roads, as a driver myself, I have not paid much attention to the possibility until my recent blog on the issue.
The recent heavy rain has made it nice to sleep in but also caused me to worry quite a bit because my car is always parked outdoors and I recently have had the fear that my car could be taken by a flood and floated away.
Will your car insurance policy cover the cost of repairs when your car suffers from flood damage? I found an article from moneysmart that talks about this issue.
You will not receive flood damage cover if you don’t have comprehensive car insurance
It’s illegal to drive a car that isn’t covered by insurance. But just because everyone’s insured doesn’t mean everyone’s car is protected.
That’s because the only component that’s compulsory is third party insurance. If you only have third party insurance, that means that if you’re involved in an accident, your insurer can pay for the damage that you’ve caused to other people, but not to your own car. So if you tried to get away with buying the absolute cheapest insurance plan that’d be accepted by the authorities, it might be a third party only insurance plan.
In order to receive flood damage cover, you would need to buy a comprehensive car insurance policy. If you had to take out a loan to buy your car, it’s likely you’d have been required to take out a comprehensive policy.
This kind of plan will compensate you if your own car gets damaged. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that damage from floods will be covered.
Not all insurers cover flood damage
Unfortunately, if you think you can just get your insurer to save the soaked remains of your car, you’re wrong.
While the majority of insurers offer flood damage coverage, some still don’t, and this is not always linked to cost. This means that the only way to know if you’ll be covered for flood damage is to ask your insurer directly, or read through your insurance policy in detail.
If you’ve got a comprehensive car insurance policy from one of these companies, you’re in luck, as they do offer flood protection:
AIG, Aviva, AXA (only SmartDrive Flexi plans), BudgetDirect, China Taiping, DirectAsia, Ergo, Etiqa, HL Assurance, Liberty, MSIG, NTUC Income, Sompo, Tokio Marine, United Motor Insurance.
What happens if your car insurance plan doesn’t cover flood damage?
If you’ve discovered that your plan does not offer flood damage, you’ll then have to consider whether it’s worthwhile switching to a different insurance plan and possibly losing your No Claim Bonus to get flood coverage.
Here are some things you want to consider when deciding if it’s worthwhile changing plans:
Where is your car usually parked?
If your car spends much of its life parked in an indoor car park (eg. you live in a condo with an indoor carpark, and on weekdays your car is parked in your office building’s multi storey carpark), then it might not be worthwhile paying extra for flood damage coverage. However, if you usually park outdoors and/or your home or workplace are located in areas that have a history of flash floods, you have a higher chance of being affected.
How often do you use your car?
If you drive to work every single day without fail, your vehicle is more vulnerable than if you take public transport to work and only use the car on weekends or whenever you feel like it. Of course, that’s provided you have an indoor parking option when it’s not in use.
Did you miss my previous article on Flash Floods in Singapore and the list of flood prone areas in Singapore that you should avoid during heavy rain?