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My car is waterlogged, now what?

5 insurance tips to get your car water damage claim handled after the metro Detroit floods

Detroit Flooded Car

My view of Mound Road and I-696 in Warren last night, after the torrential downpour.

In the wake of the apocalyptic-like flooding on most major roads and highways in metro Detroit last night, I’d like to share some insurance tips for those unlucky drivers who got stuck in the torrential storm and sustained water damage to their vehicles.

I had the surreal experience of leaving a friend’s house at 13 Mile and Van Dyke around 8 p.m. and seeing about 50 submerged cars on Van Dyke, which was blocked off by large sandbags. After I took Mound Road up (it took me a couple of hours of careful maneuvering through several feet of water drenching the road, and waiting patiently in a parking lot for the water to slowly go down to where it wouldn’t submerge my exhaust pipes), I was able to make it home safely.

But others were not so lucky. There were countless stalled cars, commercial trucks and even vehicles with trailers submerged in the standing water, and many cars that did make it out were water logged.

Hope these tips, compliments of our insurance attorneys, help:

  1. Make a claim: Call your local insurance agent as soon as possible to make a claim for flood damage to your car. There are hundreds of people with such damage, so you want to be at the top of the list. After you make your claim, the insurance company will send out an adjuster to inspect the damage.
  2. Comprehensive insurance coverage: If you have comprehensive insurance as part of your auto policy, water damage from the flood should be covered. Note, comprehensive coverage from most major car insurance companies includes fire, theft, wind, vandalism, hitting an animal or water damage.
  3. If your car is stalled: Wait until it’s safe to go back and check on it, then call a tow to the body shop. If your car has already been towed, contact your local law enforcement agencies or the Michigan State Police metro post at (248) 584-5740 to determine where their vehicles were towed.
  4. Make sure to get your car dried out:  Here’s an article from Popular Mechanics on how to get the water out of your flooded car. If you’re not savvy with automobiles, get a professional to help you.
  5. Beware of more water from the aftermath:Be extra cautious when venturing out for the first time to avoid becoming submerged in leftover standing water.

Authorities are telling drivers to stay off the roads today, as road crews clean up the major highways like I-75, I-696 and I-94, all closed as of this morning.

Related information:

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 – by N. Lombardo

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