Engine seizure is among the common claims during rains or heavy rains which recently flooded Mumbai or even in rest of India whether Flooding was seen .  It’s also one of the most disputed, as insurers outright reject all cases where the water enters the engine and damages it. But if you take adequate caution .

Condition 1 

When driving through a flooded area, water can enter the engine from the air intake system, seizing it  also termed  as the  Hydrostatic lock  It usually happens when a driver tries to restart the car multiple times after the water has entered the engine. But in certain cases, it can also happen when the car is moving through a water logged area. Insurers, however, reject all claims pertaining to  Hydrostatic locks citing that the customer was negligent and damaged the engine trying to restart it.

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“If the seizure happens when driving through a water logged area, it’s an accident. Insurers need to reimburse the cost of repair. But if it happens because the customer tried to start the car multiple times, it’s negligence. But it’s not possible to establish whether the  lock is an accident or negligence . 

Due to the heavy monsoon, cities are flooded; cars, automobiles are damaged along with land properties and houses. Can you claim damage done to your car and property through insurance? In the aftermath of any unforeseen circumstances, for instance, flood or flood like situations, there is typically damage to car body, engine or the windshield; damaged houses are also often seen after any natural disaster. One can claim insurance for the damages of their home and vehicle, if they have a comprehensive motor and home insurance cover in place. In such unforeseen circumstances, here is a quick guide on claiming from your insurance policies.

Motor insurance policy

What is covered?
The insurance companies claim to offer coverage for any loss or damage done to the vehicle insured by them but there are only a list of calamities that are covered by the insurance companies. Cases of natural calamities for which the loss and damage of the vehicle is covered by most of the insurance companies are:
a.   Fire, explosion, self-ignition or lightning
b.   Earthquake
c.   Flood, typhoon, hurricane, storm, tempest, inundation, cyclone, hailstorm, frost
d.   Burglary, housebreaking or theft
e.   Landslide and rockslide
f.   Riot and strike
g.    Accident by external means
h.    Terrorist activity
i.    Whilst in transit by road, rail, inland-waterway, lift, elevator or air

For circumstances like the recent flood that has affected so many places in India, one can file a claim under motor insurance for the car getting washed away or damage to the engine due to heavy floods, or serious damage to the car body mostly due to tree fall etc. or damage to windshield due to some other object strike in case of earthquake, floods, arson/riots etc. (unless the person is part of mob which has created the riots/arson).

Procedure of claiming the insurance policy
In case of natural disasters such as floods, earthquake, heavy rain fall etc, the insured should immediately inform the insurance company about the incident and damage that has happened. The insurance company inspects the damages and estimates the cost of repair. “In case, you get your car repaired after an unforeseen event on your own and without informing insurer, your claim might get rejected.

Whats being excluded in the Policy
The insurance companies normally mention about their exclusions and exceptions in their terms and conditions. There are certain cases in which the insurance companies refuse to give a helping hand even though you might have your car insured from them. Mostly these cases are quite common for all the insurance providers.
1. The insured has to prove that the loss or damage of the vehicle happened independently and was in no way occasionally done, but if the insurance company finds it otherwise, the company will not make any payments for such a claim.
2.  Damage to engine when driving through water logged area. A recent example is the scenario of the heavy rain fall in Mumbai, but if the person has taken an engine protector as an add-on, in that case it will be covered.
3.   Depreciation on plastic parts, tyre /rubber parts etc. will not be covered by the insurance company but if the insured has purchased a zero-depreciation add-on, which covers such damages, then the insurance company will pay.
4.   Damage to electrical accessories in the vehicle will not be covered unless electrical accessories value has been added to the coverage while taking the policy.
5.    Features like assistance on the spot of the vehicle will not be provided unless the policy has roadside assistance as part of the coverage.

Insuring your car against third-party liabilities is mandatory in India. The comprehensive policies offer to pay up for the damage caused due to flood. “If your car is less than five years old opt for a zero depreciation cover. This ensures that you get full reimbursement of your repair bills .

“If you are worried about engine failures, especially when you have high-end cars, opt for engine protect add-on covers.” Many insurance companies offer to cover both engine-failures and electronic circuits without any conditions if you are willing to pay a bit extra premium. Whenever you are buying an auto insurance policy or renewing it please do check if the insurer has put flood in the exclusions list. Avoid going for such policies.

Most insurance companies issue car usage advisory before monsoon. Please run through it. It gives useful tips on things to do or things to avoid in case of flooding. It also advises you on the course of action just in case the car is damaged due to flood.

Buy the right products after checking the exclusions and conditions. And it will help you to reduce your stress in such extreme situations.

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