What To Do With Your Flood-Damaged Vehicles

by Barney Ruch - Date: 2008-09-24 - Word Count: 506 Share This!

A flood has come through your neighborhood and now you are left with flood damage - a flood-damaged house, household items, clothing, and of course, your car. Since the car is an outside item, it usually gets the bulk of the flood damage. Before you get completely devastated and allow garbage collectors to pull it out of your garage, consider other options first.

There are many things to do with a vehicle that went through flood damage, but depending on your situation, some are better than others.

The first thing to do is to see if flood damage is covered in your insurance policy in either the automotive section or the personal property. In places where floods take over a large area, sometimes the insurance assessors will blanket all of the vehicles in the area as "totaled". When there are many cars, such as in Hurricane Katrina, this is a lot easier than going out to each individual car. If you are granted compensation for the loss, then you are done. Go ahead and buy a new car.

However, if you are not fortunate to be granted a write off for flood damage, then there are other options for that extra piece of machinery sitting outside. One of these is to fix the damages yourself. Handy people may choose to fix the damages themselves if repairs are minor or they feel equipped to do the task.

Another way to get it fixed is to take it to a qualified mechanic. This can be very costly, especially when the flood-damaged vehicle needs a lot of work to be done but worth every cent if you have an irreplaceable classic car or one with sentimental value. Usually, the damage extends to mechanical parts and the interior. Additionally, any surface that is soft and porous can hold water and grow molds which can lead to health problems. If it is difficult to get the car back after the flood, such as those that have been displaced from homes, rust must have set in and chances are, it will be much harder to fix.

Another option is to take the car to a salvage yard. Yards usually take in damaged vehicles. It may not pay much, but it's definitely better than let the car rust in your garage because of flood damage. The salvage yard can take the usable parts or sell them as is. Notably, there are people that buy water-damaged vehicles because they are immensely cheap and some cars aren't as damaged as they seem.

You can sell the flood-damaged car on your own too, to make more money. Make sure that you state to the buyer that the car has been damaged by flood to avoid any argument later on. This transaction is quite complex and not recommended for cars that are still bank-owned and with pending amortizations.

Good news is that flood-damaged cars are a lot cheaper to replace than severely damaged houses. If you live in a flood prone area, the best move is to get an insurance coverage against flood.

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