HOUSTON — Every time we get heavy rain in the Houston area, the photos and videos of cars stalled in flooded streets start popping up on social media. For those drivers impacted, their first question is likely "Will insurance cover this?"
The answer depends on what kind of insurance you have. If you carry a comprehensive policy for your car, flood damage is covered.
You will need to call your insurance company and document the damage done to your car. An adjuster will take a look and decide if your car’s worth enough to fix it or if it should be totaled.
If it’s a total loss, insurance will issue you a check for the car’s value. That might be less than you owe on the car and that’s where a gap policy comes in. It pays the difference. If you don’t have a gap policy, you will still owe the rest of the loan.
If you don't have comprehensive insurance, you still need to call your insurance company and an adjuster still needs to take a look. The difference here is that you can’t expect a payout for repairs or if your car’s a total loss.
In both these scenarios, you can opt to keep and fix your car even if it’s totaled. Per the Texas Department of Insurance, you need to notify your insurance company, which will subtract the car’s salvage value from the amount -- if any -- it planned to pay you. You might also have to get a salvage title.
Find your car
If you had to abandon your car in the floodwaters, you'll need to find out where it got towed.
The Houston Police Dept. offers a website: FindMyTowedCar.com
If you left it in any other county, here are the numbers you’ll want to call:
Harris Co. - 713-308-8500
Fort Bend Co. - 281-341-4665
Montgomery Co. - 936-760-5871