With the recent flooding that occurred in New York City, it’s no wonder the topic of floods is on the minds of many. Though Ontario has yet to experience a flood of that caliber, it raises many questions. We all know how home insurance can cover your basement or home damages due to a flood. However, what happens if my car gets water damage during a flood? Though it’s an unlikely scenario, it still is possible. This is especially the case in places such as parking garages. Let’s take a look at whether your car is covered in the event of severe flooding.

Car flooding and insurance

With climate change and heavy downpours causing more frequent flooding in communities, it’s important to know what you must do in case something happens. In fact, storms and floods are damaging more homes and cars every day. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) states that severe weather caused over $3.1 billion in insured damages in 2022. Thus, making it the third-worst year for insured damage in Canadian history! Though you can’t control whether or not natural disasters happen, you can control whether or not you are properly prepared.

According to the IBC, the most common cause of flooding in Ontario is due to overflowing rivers. This is due to heavy rainfall and leads to roads and vehicles submerging in water. Additionally, these types of weather scenarios can flood basements, back up sewers, and make roofs leak. If your vehicle experiences car flooding up to the dash, it is considered unrepairable and can no longer be driven on any roads in Canada.

What happens if my car floods in an underground parking lot?

A situation that is unfortunately quite common is the flooding of underground parking garages. These are generally attached to condos or apartments in which you reside. So, what happens if your car floods when you are not behind the wheel? Most condo or apartment corporations have insurance for the building and its common areas. Tenants will usually pay a part of the building insurance premium as part of their maintenance fees. These, on top of condo insurance or tenant insurance, will generally have you covered for your personal belongings in the event an accident occurs. However, does this count towards the building’s underground parking lot?

Unfortunately, the insurance policy of condo and apartment corporations usually doesn’t cover damage to or within the underground parking lot. This includes any vehicles that are parked in it. Though these places are considered a common area, they will rarely be responsible for your car in the event it is damaged in a flood.

Underground parking lot floods are another instance where your comprehensive insurance or all-perils coverage will come in handy. If a flood in an underground parking garage damages your car, you will have to file a claim with your insurance company when it comes to repairs. These policies will generally cover hail, water, wind, or anything else that is covered under your policy. Contact your isure broker to be sure of your coverage inclusions and exclusions.

How to avoid vehicle damage if you are caught in a flood

So, the unfortunate happens and you are caught in a flash flood while on the road. What should you do? There are many different things you can do to mitigate flood damage to your car. Overall, it is important to try your best to stay off the road during flood conditions. Even just 15 centimeters of water can cause your vehicle’s engine to stall, leading to significant damage. However, if you do find yourself on the road, here are some tips to follow:

  • Remain calm!
  • Try and find an alternative route
  • Do not restart your car if it is parked or the engine stalls
  • Be on the lookout for road damage, loose wires, or objects on the road
  • Avoid deep flooded areas and puddles, where possible
  • Try and drive as slowly as possible, especially if you are going through large puddles or water

Once you make it home safe and sound, it is important to also get your vehicle inspected afterward. This will ensure your vehicle is not damaged if you happen to drive through water.

Remember, no matter the weather situation, having adequate car insurance is super important to have before getting behind the wheel. Are you in the market for new insurance or a policy top-up? If so, check out isure. We have some of the best premiums in the province, as well as customer service that will always be there for you when you need it. Contact us or request a quote today!

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