7 On Your Side: What to do if your car was damaged by Ida's flooding

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Thousands of cars were submerged during Ida, and many vehicles owners are wondering what to do next.

Water can affect your car even if it was just up to the floorboards because electrical components are underneath.

A lot of people have not gotten around to their cars yet because they're still dealing with their basements and homes.

Your homeowner's insurance will not cover damage to your car, even if it was parked in your garage or on your property.

So, you'll need to file a claim with your auto insurance company.

First, check your coverage. If you have comprehensive, you're covered for flood damage.

Liability, which everyone has, does not cover flood damage,

Then, before you file, find out your deductible.

That's the amount your insurance doesn't cover.

If the repairs are around the same as your deductible or even double the cost, consider not putting in a claim, because it may wind up costing you more in increased insurance rates.

If you lease or have a car loan, you likely have comprehensive insurance because lenders require it.

You're also in better shape if you took out gap insurance.

That will fill in any difference between what your car is worth and how much your regular insurance policy is going to give you.

Next, arrange for an insurance adjuster to come examine your car and estimate the damage.

There is a backlog to inspect all of the waterlogged vehicles in our area.

Since many insurance companies stopped doing in-person damage inspections during COVID, you may have to upload damage photos online.

Remember with pictures, more is better. Show the interior and exterior, engine and trunk, and make sure all pictures are in focus.

If the water was over the steering wheel, there's a good chance the car will be declared a total loss because of engine damage.

If the water only reached the seats, bring the car to a mechanic and get a repair estimate.

Will FEMA help pay for damage to flood cars? While they helped in the past, so far that hasn't happened in our area.

FEMA always wants you to go through your auto insurer first. If you don't get coverage, go ahead and register for disaster relief through FEMA. Submit photos and repair receipts, proving flood damage.

The SBA may also be able to help with a grant or a disaster loan if the damaged vehicle was used for your business.

MORE NEWS: Beware of Ida price gouging
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Cleaning up from flooding from Ida? 7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda has tips to help you avoid getting price gouged on the essentials.



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