Salvage Wire

Salvage Wire
Helping Automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry

Friday, 5 August 2011

Flood Damaged Vehicles

When it rains enough to flood everyone panics, especially people who don’t have flood insurance. Last month the Chicagoland area received over seven inches of rain in one night, not enough to trigger a widespread flood but enough to cause a lot of damage and some localized flooding. Fortunately automobile owners who had full coverage on their cars had flood coverage under their Comprehensive coverage.

Full coverage generally means comprehensive and collision coverages. Most people understand the collision part, when your car hits another car, or an object like a tree or a fence, or your car is hit by another car. The comprehensive coverage is the definition that is not as well understood. Comprehensive coverage pays for losses from events other than collision, for example, if your car is stolen, damaged by fire, or involved in a flood. If you have rental coverage your insurance company will pay to provide you with a loaner car right away so the insurance company can help you to decide if the car can be repaired or if it should be declared a total loss.

“Our customers were so happy when they found out they had flood coverage on their car as long as they purchased full coverage. Some streets flooded with several feet of water and the cars were almost submerged, especially the smaller cars that sit lower to the ground.” said Cynthia Garcia, Marketing Director for Active Insurance Agency.

If you are looking for a used car and are concerned about purchasing a car that was salvaged after being declared a loss due to flood be vigilant. Check for musty smells and for upholstery that does not match the rest of the car. Check for silt or dirt in the trunk, below the seats, in the glove compartment and under the dashboard. Have the car inspected by a mechanic. You can also run a search on to obtain a history of the car. All you need is the vehicle's 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which you can find on the dashboard. The cost is $34.99 for one car or $44.99 for five reports.

Many states including Illinois will title cars with a “salvage” and sometimes a “flood” designation for cars that have been transferred from other states for resale. The State Department of Motor Vehicles try hard to prevent clean title transfer for cars that have been flood damaged but sometimes even their best efforts fail to spot fraud, so be careful when purchasing a used car especially one with a relatively recently transferred title.

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