HomeCar InsuranceFear and frustration in Broward as vehicle owners return to stalled cars,...

Fear and frustration in Broward as vehicle owners return to stalled cars, prepare to file insurance claims – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – As floodwaters continue to recede across Broward County, vehicle owners are beginning to deal with water damage and the hassle of filing insurance claims.

Sunny skies may be a welcome sight for storm-weary eyes, but they also reveal the extent of stalled out vehicles.

Moises Ortega, the manager at Green Motion Car and Van Rental in Fort Lauderdale, chooses to look on the bright side.

“Nice, I can just be out here and not get my feet wet,” he said.

Sandbags helped keep the water from entering the rental business, which is located a few miles north of the newly reopened Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Ortega said he expects his business to take off as well.

“I really think it’s going to be really busy in the next couple of days for this week,” he said. “I hope it doesn’t rain anymore.”

Pauline Deleon dropped off her rental car near where she thought she would be taking off from on her flight back to Toronto, but the historic flooding changed those plans.

“We’re now being rerouted to Miami, so we had to drop the car off in Fort Lauderdale. Now we’re trying to find our way back to Miami to make our flight,” she said. “It’s been a nightmare.”

The flooding in FLL’s employee parking lot was also the stuff of nightmares. A 7News crew spotted a few employees navigating pockets of standing water as they returned to their vehicles.

Among them was Guy Medard.

“I’m not sure. From what I’ve seen on the news, that a car – I don’t know, it’s probably flooded right now,” he said. “The last couple of days really have been crazy, because I haven’t been able to go to work, so, honestly, my mind’s everywhere right now.”

Medard was parked in a hard-hit area of the lot, but while water had gotten inside his car, he was able to start it.

“I expected it to be flooded, and it was, actually, inside of it was wet, but I guess the water was already, you know, it came out, it went down a little,” he said.

Many others have not been as lucky. Stalled and stranded cars lined a street in Hollywood.

The owner of a stalled out Dodge Ram pickup truck said the water came as high up as just below the steering wheel. It was later towed away from the muddy road.

The floodwaters did not spare parking garages, either. Cellphone video captured water rushing into a garage in Fort Lauderdale, making it look like a raging river.

With the need for tow truck drivers at a premium, Luis Vicente traveled more than 200 miles to lend a hand.

“The water was up pretty high. All of these cars were completely underwater,” he said. “I am actually from Orlando area. We’re just trying to do what we can, do our part, help you guys out as much as we can.”

It all adds up to a lot of totaled rides and a lot of auto insurance claims.

“Potentially, we could see 10,000 or more auto insurance claims from this week’s storm, and these are flood losses,” said Mark Friedlander with the Insurance Information Institute. “In many cases, flooded out vehicles are beyond repair.”

Vehicle owners must have comprehensive coverage in order for their insurance company cover flood damage. About 80% of Florida drivers have it.

To get the process started, owners are advised to contact their insurance company and take pictures and video of the damage to their vehicles.

Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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