Professional Auto Care
To Claim or Not to Claim?
Car Flood Tips and Repairs
We have been getting quite a few calls about whether or not to claim vehicle flood damage caused by Harvey. If you have comprehensive vehicle flood damage coverage it may be in your advantage to claim it. With water damage it is important to act quickly. Water can cause serious damage to the engine, electrical and mechanical aspects of your vehicle--not to mention the obvious cosmetic and create a potentially harmful health hazard should mold and mildew be allowed to flourish.
Important fact, there is no precedence for insurance premiums to be affected due to a comprehensive flood claim by any carriers. This has been an act of God, or whatever external forces you choose call it. This was something out of anyone's human control that brought devastation to so many Texans. If you have questions about your insurance premium rising you can call your own agent to verify this information.
Many people have been calling with the concern of having a high deductible. Flood repairs can be expensive. Two important points need to be addressed when it comes to flood repair.
1) Flood repairs not being performed properly
2) The vehicle may not be economically worth repairing.
In the first case spending less than your deductible at first glance can be a sigh of relief. However, many issues from floods do not arise until later. In the end, costing thousands of dollars more than had they been performed properly from the beginning. We have found flood repairs to be broken down into four stages; engine, electrical, mechanical and cosmetic. These four parts must be addressed. Even if you do not see lights on your dashboard does not mean they could not appear at a later date. There are many electronics in a vehicle and many of them are under the carpet. It is important to locate an auto care facility who has experience with flood repair and the knowledge on how to properly manage the flood damage evaluation. You have the right to choose any facility you deem fit to make vehicle flood repairs to your vehicle. You do not have to choose one provided by your insurance or the location the estimate was originally written.
Second point. Unfortunately, not all vehicles are able to be repaired at an economical expense per the vehicle's value. We highly recommend a strict process is followed to ensure the vehicle is fit for repairs. As stated, many times more problems arise after incomplete repairs have been performed. At our facility we have seen this first hand, where clients had their vehicles 'repaired' only to have a plethora of problems in the future.
Opening a formal insurance claim has three parties working together. The client. The insurance. And the shop. The vehicle flood repair shop is the clients' and the insurances' connection point. It is imperative the flood repair shop works on the clients behalf to ensure the vehicle is worth keeping. If the flooded vehicle is not repairable at an economic stand point, the shop needs to inform the client and the insurance right away. Declaring a vehicle to be a total loss quickly allows the client to receive the funds for their claim and begin the search for another vehicle. The used car market will soon be inundated with flood damaged vehicles. (More information on PrePurchahse Vehicle Inspections, here). Timing is extremely important with flooded vehicles.
Many cases vehicles are returned to clients in better condition than previously from the flood. Carpets being removed and cleaned with an industrial vehicle carpet machine. Mats shampooed and washed clean. And the refreshing, just shy of a new car smell--minus harmful chemicals. Not to mention with new original equipment manufacture sensors and electronics. The fluids being serviced allow for smoother vehicle operation. The peace of mind of knowing it was performed correctly and, if claimed through insurance, you have two years to reopen a claim if something in the future arises.
Another notion is insurance will have my vehicle in the shop for much longer than if I pay out of pocket. This is true, given the magnitude of Harvey. It is going to take a while for everyone to move forward, but the key is to be proactive and do things right from the start.
If you have questions about insurance you are welcome to email Don Wilde of Allstate Insurance (email@example.com). He is a friend of PAC we have been servicing his family's vehicles for years and he has held our insurance for years. Even if you do not have Allstate you can email him and he promises to respond to any general insurance questions--like insurance premiums being affected due directly to filing a comprehensive flood insurance claim. He will respond in the order he receives the emails. As always, you can count on the staff of PAC. This isn't our first rodeo and we have helped hundreds of Texans before and we're here to help you too.
Email Karolena with any questions or concerns, firstname.lastname@example.org. Write in the subject line - Flood Question for Karolena - You will be answered promptly, personally by her.
Flood damage is generally covered by comprehensive (fire and theft) insurance, so even if you do not have collision coverage, you may be covered for repairs or replacement.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the certified staff members here at Professional Auto Care if you find yourself a victim of the Houston Flooding. The most important thing about flooded car repair is time. Call anytime (713) 270-0474.
The form is designed to help connect you with a certified professional in regard to your flooded car after hours.
Professional Auto Care is an award-winning family owned and operated auto repair shop located in southwest Houston. It has been run by the same family, the Serratos Family, for nearly 35 years. Professional Auto Care services Domestic, Asian as well as select European vehicles. We are known for our professionalism, transparency and quality of work. Since our humble beginning in 1983, we always strove to provide the best, most reliable service in Houston with a hint of the personal touch. The founders, Everardo and Claudia Serratos, are still involved with the daily operations of the car maintenance and auto repair shop.