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Insure your Car: Protect it Against Floods

The Indian landscape is widely prone to floods. In addition to structural damage, they also affect automobiles. Here’s how insurance can help.

  • 31 May 2016
  • min read

In India, about 75% of the annual rainfall is concentrated in 3-4 months of the monsoon season. This results in heavy discharge from rivers causing widespread floods during this period. Floods are also the most commonly occurring disaster amongst natural calamities in India.

Floods in India

The Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basins carry 60% of the total river flow of the country and are responsible for major floods. The National Flood Commission states that about 40 million hectares of land area in India is prone to floods. On an average, about 8 million hectares of area are affected by floods yearly.

The major flood-prone regions in India include West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. In recent times, the central portion of the country has also become habitual to the dense rains and flash flood events.

One recent example of such havoc is the Chennai floods that occurred in 2015. Chennai, which happens to be India’s fourth-largest city, witnessed a monolithic devastation due to flooding caused by record-breaking rainfall. Reported to be the heaviest rainfall in more than a hundred years, it cut off more than 3 million people from basic services for days. The disaster is marked as the eighth-most expensive natural disaster of the year, causing losses of about ₹ 20,034 crores.

Losses That Could Occur Due To Flood Damage

It is crucial to know the possible losses to automobiles in order to estimate the proper reimbursement that you can claim under car insurance. Conditions for loss can be classified as claimable and non-claimable cases.

Claimable Conditions

  • Car engine
    The car's engine is its heart. Waterlogging in vehicles during floods could lead to severe damage of its engine, the replacement or repair of which is a costly affair. Insuring your car can save you from this loss by providing proper coverage against engine damage.

  • Interiors of the car
    Apart from the engine, floods can also affect upholstery and other car interiors. In case of cleaning required, you can be covered for the same under car insurance. You can also avail of coverage on replaced parts with zero deduction. However, in case of replacements, the value will be associated with the replacement value as per the report of the surveyor.

Also read:

Non-Claimable Conditions

  • Damage of fittings
    Floods can cause damage to air-conditioning and other fittings such as CNG kit and music system, which would then need to be replaced. These components are usually not covered by an insurance plan. In addition, damages of consumables like nuts, bolts, lubricants clip, washers, screws, grease, brake oil and fuel filter are covered only in special cases, as specified by the policy.

How Can Car Insurance Reduce Your Losses During Floods?

There a two types of car insurance plans available in India, namely third party liability and comprehensive cover. The third party liability plan is mandatory, covering the car owner for damage, accidental injury or death caused by a third party.

The comprehensive cover is an optional insurance plan that lends the car owner financial security against damage caused by unexpected risks like floods, earthquakes and other natural as well as manmade calamities. Almost all the consequential losses to the insured automobile caused by flood are covered in this plan.

Amongst the two plans, a comprehensive motor cover plan is always advisable to opt for as it encompasses protection against all the major risks like:

  • General ageing of the vehicle
  • Wear and tear services
  • Major losses and depreciation
  • Mechanical and electrical breakdown
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