What to do about your flooded car

Diane Wilson Image
Thursday, October 20, 2016
What to do about your flooded car
One of the hundreds of vehicles flooded by Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Hurricane Matthew has passed but many are still coping with the damage left behind. There were thousands of vehicles flooded as a result of the storm and if Hurricane Matthew left your vehicle damaged, you have some options.

Many cars were submerged for days causing potential mechanical and electrical problems. If you were affected, contact your insurance company immediately to find out if your comprehensive auto policy covers the damage. If it doesn't, it is still important to have a mechanic look at the car before you try to drive it.

If your insurance policy doesn't cover the damage, you might be eligible for federal assistance. Here's what to do to find out if you're eligible for compensation from FEMA:

  • The damaged vehicle must have complied with state laws (title, registration, insurance, etc.) at the time of the damage.
  • Drivers must have liability insurance to be considered.
  • If you have a comprehensive insurance policy you must file a claim with your company first.
  • Apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration disaster-loan.
  • Submit documentation showing the damage to the car was storm-related and a receipt, estimate or verifiable bill of the repair or replacement costs.

With so many cars damaged, there are many on the market, despite the damage. It is crucial know the facts if you are looking for a new vehicle in a flood affected area. If a vehicle has been partially or totally submerged in water it must be disclosed in writing before the car is sold. Submersion could result in body, engine, or transmission damage but sometimes title paperwork is altered to remove information about the flood damage. Here's some tips to avoid buying a flood damaged car:

  • Get a complete history report using a service such as Carfax.
  • Look at the title of the vehicle to see if it says flood damaged.
  • Take the vehicle for a test drive and have your own mechanic check out the car before signing anything or putting down any money.

For questions regarding insurance claims visit www.nchurriclaims.com or call (855) 408-1212. For more information on how you can avoid purchasing a flood damaged car, visit http://abc11.tv/2etgRqP

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