My Car Flooded! What Should I Do?

By Nancy B
September 15, 2021



We pledge to provide straight talk from our NNINS Virginia insurance experts. Read the Northern Neck Insurance INTEGRITY PROMISE

Virginia is no stranger to flash flooding

On July 8, 2019 flash flooding ravaged Northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland. This historic deluge unloaded up to 4 inches of rain in some areas in 1 hour, causing historic flooding to major roads during the morning rush hour.


In September of 2021, a deluge of rain in central Virginia resulted in stunning flash flooding from the heart of downtown to I-95. Unfortunately, folks tend to take their chances and drive their cars through quickly flooding roadways. Never do this: turn around, don't drown!

Downtown Richmond flood


The truth is, car flooding can happen anytime in Virginia from any prolonged or heavy rain event or from a hurricane or tropical storm. With peak hurricane season in mid-September, it's smart to plan ahead to prevent your car from flooding.

Does car insurance cover flooding?

The good news is that comprehensive car insurance can cover this type of damage along with damage from things like hail, fire, theft, fallen trees, and deer collisions. Comprehensive car insurance is a separate coverage from collision and liability, so check with your independent agent to make sure you have it. You can also give us a call


What should you do if your car floods?

  • If you were driving and the engine failed after going through floodwater, resist the urge to restart it. Doing so may cause further damage to the engine. Even if your car did start, you might experience problems days or even weeks after the event.
  • If your car floods while parked, do not try and start it even after the floodwaters recede.
  • Take pictures and provide them to your insurance carrier.
  • If you have comprehensive coverage, you can call your insurance company and file a claim.
  • Have your car towed to a reputable mechanic. Have your electrical system, oil, transmission components, and cylinders inspected.
  • If your car's engine is repairable and water reaches your car's interior, it needs to be dried quickly to prevent mold growth. Speak to your mechanic about expediting this process.

     NNINS 24/7 Claims Hotline: 1- 877-968-7252


How does a car insurance flood claim work?

After you've begun the claims process and a mechanic has inspected your car, the extent of the flood damage will be determined and provided to your car insurance carrier. You may have a rental car to use during that time if you added that coverage to your policy.

Your insurance adjuster will weigh the costs to make repairs against the value of your vehicle and your coverage limits.  Unfortunately, this type of damage can sometimes result in a total loss depending on the type of car you have and how old it is. 

How can you prevent your car from flooding?

You can't always predict when something like this will happen, especially when it comes to sudden flooding. But you can avoid car flooding by parking your car on higher ground if heavy rain or hurricanes are forecasted. The best way to prevent car flooding is to avoid driving through any covered roadway, not only to prevent your car from getting damaged but, more importantly, for your safety. 

Learn more about car insurance in Virginia


THE NORTHERN NECK INSURANCE INTEGRITY PROMISE — We pledge to provide straight talk and good counsel from our NNINS Virginia insurance experts through our blog. While we hope you find this to be a helpful source of information, it does not replace the guidance of a licensed insurance professional, nor does it modify the terms of your Northern Neck Insurance policy in any way. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy.