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Home / Money / Personal Finance /  When can insurers reject monsoon-damaged cars?

NEW DELHI: Insurance companies are flooded with claims of engine failure every year during monsoons. Most claims during the monsoon season are similar in nature - engine damage due to water or hydrostatic lock. Insurers mostly outright reject these claims as such damages are caused due to negligence of the car owners.

Engine damage due to water can, typically, happen in two scenarios. One, the car was submerged in water. The owner tried to start it after the water receded, and the engine got seized. Second, the car owner drove through a flooded area, and the water entered the engine causing damage to it.

If you want to avoid rejection, here are a few steps you can take.

If your car is submerged in water, call up the insurance company. Explain the situation and ask what you can do. The insurer could suggest you take the vehicle to the nearest authorised garage for inspection. The idea here is to show that you took adequate precaution. If the engine still gets damaged, it would be considered an accident, not negligence.

Engine damage when driving through a waterlogged area is disputable. But the insurer would still reject it as there’s no way to know whether the drive took adequate precaution or not. The only option in such a case is to avoid starting the car if it shuts off in a flooded area. Once the water level recedes, call the insurer and ask for guidance.

To avoid such disputes, you could buy an engine protection add-on cover. The add-on will cover all kinds of damages to the engine and is not expensive. However, you cannot purchase it once the insurer issues the policy. You will need to wait until renewal.

Do note that if the water enters the cabin and damages parts like speakers, sensors, or electric equipment, the insurer will only pay for factory-fitted parts. Whatever you purchased separately will not be covered unless you have an add-on covering such fittings.

(Do you have personal finance queries? Send them to mintmoney@livemint.com and get them answered by industry experts)

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