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How to prevent damage to your vehicle during a flood

By  AAMI

How Comprehensive Car Insurance can offer you flood cover   

"It was a stormy Friday afternoon, and my car was parked in an outdoor lot near where I work,” Steph tells us. “It wasn’t until a few hours into the storm that I realised my car could be in trouble".

A quick look outside said everything. "The whole street and parking lot had flooded. The floodwaters were knee-deep and there was no way I could get to my car". Rather than risk her safety, she decided it was best to take another route home.

On the next day, Steph noticed the floors of the car were damp. She checked under the car and bonnet, and couldn't find any immediate visible signs of flood damage to the engine.

After driving home and cleaning the car with dry towels, baking soda and air freshener, Steph called AAMI’s claims team for advice.  

As there was no need to actually make a claim at this point, Steph was advised to file an incident report. This helped her future proof any claims resulting from this incident. In other words, if her car started to show flood damage signs weeks after the event, she’s got solid ground to make a claim from the incident.

Inspect your car for flood damage

Once the storm has settled – you'll be itching to check your car for flood damage.

Here's a couple of things you can do:

Make sure it's safe

Never enter floodwater -- even 30 cm deep could sweep you off your feet. Rather, wait until the storm passes and conditions clear before checking your car for damage.  

Check for water damage  

Look where the water level has risen on your car (debris or mud may be visible surrounding the car). Open your bonnet and inspect for water in the engine or check underneath the car for debris that might have built up.

Water that has reached to the bottom of the dashboard can affect electrical systems and lead to erratic operation, or complete failure.

Clean your car

Get a towel or vaccum – and yes, even a blow dryer – to help prevent mould and get rid of the odour. You could also take it to the detailer for strong carpet cleaning.  

Don't start the car if you suspect engine or electrical damage

If there’s water in the car or bonnet then turning your key could further damage the engine. Get a mechanic to inspect your car or tow it to the nearest servicing centre.

Replace any contaminated oils and fluids

Before using the vehicle, drain, and replace all contaminated fuels, oils, and fluids to minimise damage.

It's probably best to get your car checked by a mechanic, even if you think you're okay. The full extent of damage and necessary repairs may only reveal themselves over time.

Check whether you're covered for storm and flood damage

If you have AAMI Comprehensive Car Insurance, like Steph does, your vehicle is insured for accidental loss or damage caused by a storm, including hail and flood damage. That’s a relief! Steph could have made a claim if the floodwater damaged her car.

However, if you have Third Party Car Insurance, with or without the optional Fire & Theft cover, you won’t be covered in the event of storm or flood damage. With that in mind, it might be a good time to consider upgrading your cover.

Explore AAMI Comprehensive Car Insurance

Lodging a claim for flood damage with AAMI is easy

Lodging a claim with AAMI is easy. All you need is:

  1. your policy number
  2. details about when the event took place and what happened, and
  3. any photos or documents related to your claim.

Use the Suncorp App

AAMI is conveniently a part of the Suncorp Network. Hooray! The Suncorp App for both Apple and Android devices allows you to upload accident details and photos via your phone. You can then follow the easy step-by-step checklist to include all necessary information.

Lodge the claim online

A similar checklist is set up via the AAMI website, where you can transfer photos from your phone then move forward with lodging the claim.

Give us a call

Talk to one of your friendly customer service representatives on 13 22 44. They'll be able to guide you through lodging your claim.

Top tips for protecting your car in a storm

Here a few tips to keep your car safe during a storm:

  • park undercover – if you live in a flood-prone area, park on higher ground if you're able to
  • don’t drive through floodwater, and
  • prepare to stay safe.

When a flood strikes, AAMI can help you every step of the way – find out more about our Comprehensive Car Insurance.

Read more:

Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as AAMI. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

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