3OYS: Will auto insurance cover flooded car repairs?

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Monsoon 2014 isn't even over yet but it's already left us with some unforgettable memories, like a flooded I-10 which looked more like a lake than a freeway.

I-17 wasn't as bad, but one of the underpasses certainly was. And it was enough to flood out Vicki Hudson’s car.

"It flooded out," says Vicki. The flooding left Vicki’s vehicle and others inoperable. "We’ll see what it did to the engine, that's going to be the story."

The result, no doubt, can be serious damage to your car engine. "Oil and water do not mix," says Frank Leutz with Desert Car Care Center over in the East Valley. "That engine is only supposed to suck up that air, and is now sucking up water into this housing and ultimately into engine oil."

And all this begs the question, will your auto insurance cover the repairs for your damaged car?  Leutz goes on to say: "It does depend on your insurance carrier and it also depends on your situation. If insurance companies can cover repair, they're going to do that. If they have to cover replacement that's where there could be big question marks."

So, we took those question marks to Nicole Farr with the Arizona Insurance Council. "Under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy, your vehicle will be covered by insurance in case of a flood or if you get caught in a flood or flooded roadway," she says.

That's great news, but remember, each insurance policy and carrier is a little different. So while it's very likely repairs to your car will be covered by insurance, you still need to check. Farr added: "Most people do have comprehensive, although it's not required by the state. So if you do have sort of your minimum coverage, you may not have comprehensive, so definitely contact your agent and check into that."