17 Aug Car Insurance Water Damage – What’s Covered & What’s Not?
A picture on Ma3Routes Twitter page on 29th April 2016 showing the flooded basement of a popular mall in the city brought to the surface one of the key concerns that every motor vehicle owner in Kenya should think about (see below).
What types of flood damage are you covered against?
2019 has been at heart of the long rains in Kenya, and forecast is recording the greatest wet weather activity in coming months.
Do you know the types of water damage covered by your comprehensive policy?
The first type of water damage that you may be covered from is flood damage. This may result if rain water rises and submerges your car. Fortunately, these cases are not common in Nairobi because of the city’s topography. Flood damage may also occur if the place where you have parked your car floods.
This may be the case when there is a burst pipe in a basement parking, or if for some reason, storm water empties to a basement parking or a sunken parking. At times, flood damage may also occur in the event of flash floods.
You may have safely parked your car in a particular place, then without warning, flash floods arrive. Flash floods are frequent in the Northern parts of Kenya and are known to cause extensive damage.
Some types of water damage are a lot less dramatic but are nonetheless destructive to your car. Suppose you fail to fully cover your sun roof, and then it rains.
The rain water can damage your electricals as well as your seats and the car’s interior. This type of damage is not typical but can occur. Other types of water damage can result from driving in deep water, with the result being water seeping up your car covering the carpet.
A little water draining onto your car for long periods can also damage the car exteriors. This can occur if you park the car under a leaking roof for a long time.
Parking the car in humid environments may also lead to water damage as the water condenses and enters parts of the car that are not designed to handle moisture on an ongoing basis
Valid insurance for water damage
If you have comprehensive cover, you can almost certainly get compensation coverage for water damage if it resulted from flooding, whether inside a basement or in a parking outside.
The main condition is that the flooding should meet the criteria of an accidental and unpredictable event. Water damage resulting from your own negligence such as flooding in a basement parking because you forgot to turn off a tap, or where you forgot to close the car’s sunroof properly sadly don’t make the cut.
For your insurer to take liability for your loss, the damage must be demonstrated to be accidental. Therefore, remember to take reasonable measures to prevent water damage to your car.
It is not immediately clear how the basement ended up flooded, what is clear is that had it not been dealt with, then motorist who had parked their cars there would have faced massive losses.
— Ma3Route (@Ma3Route) April 29, 2016
Types of Water Damage not covered by your car Insurance policy in Kenya
Your comprehensive car insurance in Kenya covers you from a wide range of risks including damage due to flooding and may also pay for some types of water damage on your car.
However, not all types of water damage will attract compensation from your insurer.
As a car owner, it is important for you to note what water damage risks you can be covered for so as to inform how you handle your car.
Here are six water damage situations where a car insurance policy will not help you in any way
Damage caused by internal leaks
When your car suffers any type of water damage arising from internal leaks, you will not be liable for compensation.
Water inside your car may be the result of you or one of your passengers bringing water into the car, for whatever reason. Water also tends to get into cars in the car wash if the attendant is not keen enough.
You may also have water getting into your car if there is a leak on your car during wet weather, or if you drive in wet conditions.
If water gets into your car and it is not dried out quickly, you may have damage that includes malfunction of electrical parts such as switches and motors, the growth of mould and mildew, and degradation of car interiors.
Glued parts may come off if they get in contact with water. Internal leaks that are the direct result of someone introducing water into your cabin leading to damage void your car insurance Kenya, except if they do it out of malice.
Damage on the cars exterior from external leaks
Suppose you will not be using your car for a long time and then you park in under a leaking roof. Or in another case, suppose your usual parking has an overhead leak that drains water on the body of your car. These two situations may result in damage to your paintwork, because of the consistent action of water.
Depending on the mineral content of the water, a blemish composed of calcified minerals could form on your car’s body. Another way that your cars exteriors may suffer damage is if you regularly park your car in a pool of water and as a result the undercarriage and lower suspensions end up exposed to water for long periods.
Any of these damages resulting from your actions will be deemed as negligence and hence will void our car’s insurance. You must make all reasonable effort to ensure your car is not exposed to such elements.
Damage from consistent exposure to humidity
Another type of long term damage that may affect the strength of your claim is the consistent exposure of your car to high levels of humidity, leading to damage. Luckily, the general levels of humidity in Nairobi are low, hence there is little or no direct consequence for parking your car almost anywhere.
However consider whether your car is exposed to any type of humidity if you park it in an enclosed garage at your house, or where you park it when you are at work. There is little or no risk from short term exposure to humidity for your car. However, daily exposure to humid environments will result in some type of damage to the car.
Damage from humidity will include mold and mildew growing inside the cabin , damage to electrical sensors, corrosion of exposed metallic parts. Any type of damage that results from your direct action such as parking the car in a humid place will result in the voiding of your insurance.
Damage on undercarriage due to salt water corrosion
If you live at the coast or near any of the salt water lakes in Kenya, you need to be very wary of the damage salty water causes to metallic parts. For instance, if you use your car to cross the ferry daily, the undercarriage of your car is exposed to high levels of salt on an ongoing basis.
Sea water in particular is very corrosive and will eat into metallic part of cars on short order. In no time, you will be dealing with rust, on the lower cover, on your exhaust, metallic seals for rubber pipes in the engine area, and on your suspension. Your car can also experience salt water damage if you consistently wash the car with borehole water with high salt content.
In addition, if you work in or frequently visit industries that manufacture or use salt in their production processes, then your car may be exposed to salt water damage if the salty water makes its way to the drive way. Damage to salt water corrosion is not covered by any insurance policy and as such, you will not be compensated if your car suffers from such.
Rising water damage when car is parked negligently
While you will be compensated if your car is submerged as a result of an accidental flooding caused by either a problem with the buildings water supply, or storm water finding its way to your parking area, you may miss the compensation entirely if that risk was obvious to you.
Your insurer will investigate to find out under what circumstances the car was parked in the spot where the flooding took place. If you parked there despite an obvious flooding risk, you will be deemed to have acted negligently and will therefore not be compensated.
Water damage from open sunroof or car windows
Finally, insurance companies will not pay for water damage resulting from open windows or sunroofs that are not properly closed. If you leave your car in an open air parking with the windows or the sunroof open, then rain water makes its way to your cabin, you will not be compensated.
Water in the cabin is known to mess with electrical and electronics including sensors, stereos, lights, LCD displays among others. While your policy may cover water damage, the key word is accidental water damage. Leaving your sunroof open, or forgetting to close your windows do not qualify as accidents.