Step-by-Step Guide to Claim Insurance for Your Flood-Damaged Car
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Let’s face it, some things are just out of our control and natural disasters like flash floods are one of them. This is evident with the recent news of cars and other motor vehicles, partially submerged in flood waters at a few roads in Singapore, due to the heavy monsoon rains this year.
Now, imagine your car – the one that you purchased after years of saving your hard-earned income – stuck in a flood. You’ll surely be heartbroken and concerned about the financial losses you’ll have to bear. Interior and exterior car damages caused by floods can certainly be expensive, and in some cases irreparable.
However, if you have insured your car with the right car insurance, then you don’t have to worry! Being prepared and proactive can be your saving grace during unforeseen incidents like this, and enable you to reduce the financial risk. DirectAsia’s comprehensive car insurance policy, automatically covers your car from natural disasters like floods, allowing you to make a claim for flood damage.
But do you know how to make a claim if your car gets damaged in a flood? To make it easy for you, we’ve listed out a step-by-step guide on how you can file an insurance claim for flood damage, should you ever need to (choy!)
What to Do Before Making a Flood-damage Insurance Claim
There are some do’s and don’ts you should follow immediately after you find yourself stuck in a flood, to prevent further damage to your car. Besides that, there are also some precautionary measures you should take, prior to making your flood-damage insurance claim, to ensure a smooth claims process.
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Check the severity of damages – this includes the functionality of your car’s engine, brakes, and electrical systems as well as the condition of the car’s fluids and interior. If you’re unsure of how to do the checks yourself, call a mechanic (preferably from your insurer’s authorised workshop) for help.
- Take evidential photos of your car as is, before it’s towed to the workshop.
- If you have to arrange for your car to be moved immediately, call your 24-hour breakdown assistance (by your insurer) to tow your car to an approved workshop.
- Once that’s done, you or the main policyholder of your car insurance, will need to lodge an accident report at one of the insurer’s authorised reporting centres within 1 working day from the time of the incident.
- Finally, check the market value of your vehicle at the time it was damaged by floodwater. You should be aware of this, because your cover limit is typically up to the market value of your car, if it can’t be repaired.
Steps to File an Insurance Claim for Your Flood-Damaged Car
Here’s how we do it at DirectAsia:
Call DirectAsia’s claims specialist at 6532 1818 and let your personal claims specialist know about your car’s flood-damage and provide all requested details, like your car registration and insurance policy numbers.You will also need to provide other documentation at this juncture, like the evidential photos of the incident.
Send your car for inspection at any one of DirectAsia’s authorised workshops and lodge the accident report at the same time. DirectAsia will receive the report directly from the centralised report system once it’s recorded by the workshop. You can move on to Step 3, if this was done immediately after the incident.
A claims surveyor assigned by DirectAsia will assess the damage. If the damage is repairable, the workshop will liaise directly with you and DirectAsia to ensure that the restoration and fixes are done in a timely manner. Bear in mind that you may have to pay an excess fee, depending on the terms and conditions of your car insurance policy. However, in the event of a total loss, your personal claims specialist will get in touch with you to discuss the next steps.
Once repairs are completed, you will be notified by the workshop and can arrange to pick up your car after paying the excess fee (if applicable). The claims amount payable for any major repair work, will be paid directly to the auto workshop by DirectAsia. However, if your car is not repairable, then take note of Step 5.
Your car will be considered as a total loss if it is beyond repair or not economical to repair. In this case, you’ll receive the current market value of your vehicle as compensation (subject to the terms and conditions of the policy). If your car is still under loan, the outstanding payment will be made directly to the financier and the balance will be paid to you.
Stuck in a Flood?
The single worst decision you can make during a heavy downpour is driving your vehicle into floodwaters of unknown depth. This puts you and other motorists in danger, as it may be difficult to gauge the road boundaries and kerbs. Plus, it can be very damaging to your car.
But, we understand that it may be unavoidable, especially when flood water levels rise without warning. If this happens, and you find yourself stuck, you should immediately switch off your car’s engine, turn on your hazard lights and evacuate your car before the water pressure outside shuts you in.
Then wait for the police to arrive, and for further instructions from the Singapore Public Utilities Board (PUB). In the meantime, don’t forget to take some photos and videos of the incident as evidential documentation for your car insurance claim.
Once the floodwaters subsides and it’s safe to approach your car, take all precautionary measures and follow the step-by-step guide above to file your car insurance claim within 24-hours.