Attorney says your comprehensive coverage could cover damage regardless of liability.
SAN DIEGO — Monday’s storm left a lot of drivers stranded around the San Diego County.
Their cars suddenly conked out on flooded roads. Others parked in legal spots, but returned to find their vehicle soaked, and not running correctly.
So who is going to pay to fix the damage?
Working for you, CBS 8 spoke with Attorney Evan W. Walker, who has a lot of experience with flooding cases. He said regardless of why your car is now experiencing problems, you could be entitled to insurance money.
“In most cases, that should be covered under a person’s auto comprehensive coverage,” Walker said. “When you’re looking at comprehensive coverage, liability – who’s at fault, who did something wrong – that really doesn’t come into play.”
Walker said his phone has been ringing off the hook from clients wanting to know what to do about damage from the storm.
His No. 1 tip? “Document, document, document,” he said emphatically. “Photograph it, video tape it, and then make the claim as soon as possible. What we see when there’s a large catastrophe like this is a lot of claims are being made and the insurance companies are going to be overwhelmed, and you just become one number among many, so it’s best to get that claim in as soon as you can.”
Insurance companies will only pay to fix your car up to a point. Once they determine the damage will cost more to fix than the vehicle is worth, they can total it out and give you a check for the value of your car. But that may not be as great of a deal for you as it sounds.
“What you are entitled to is a fair market value,” Walker said. “That may not be what you owe on a car and it may not be what you paid for the car, but that is the standard.”
If the insurance company does total your car, Walker says you should educate yourself on the range of your car’s value because the insurance company will most likely offer you the bottom of that range, but with some knowledge, you can argue for the top of that range.
WATCH RELATED: Where can San Diego storm flood victims go for help? (Jan. 23, 2024)
Clinton Mora is a reporter for Trending Insurance News. He has previously worked for the Forbes. As a contributor to Trending Insurance News, Clinton covers emerging a wide range of property and casualty insurance related stories.