home > learning center > insights > driving tips > driving during floods

driving tips

driving during floods

Water damage is especially hard on cars, and it's even more dangerous when the damage is happening while you're out on the road. Find out where floods tend to happen the most and learn how to safely navigate a flooded road with our safe-driving tips.

Preparing for floods

rain

When it's raining heavily or rained recently, flooded roads can take you by surprise. But in some cases, floods are in the forecast and you have a fair chance to prepare.

If you absolutely, positively, no-doubt-about-it have to drive, pack a safety kit that includes supplies and maps. The supplies can include flares, a flashlight, a spare radio in case your car battery gives out, canned food, and drinking water. Find out how to pack the perfect emergency kit here.

Stick to main roads as much as possible and keep the radio on. Emergency broadcasts can help alert you to flooding dangers before it's too late.

tip

Flood driving tips

Sometimes it's unavoidable, as when a summer sprinkle quickly devolves into a flash flood. If you're caught driving in a flood, we have some tips to help you stay safe.

Estimate how deep the water is

As little as 6 inches of water can damage your car and lead to stalling. A foot of water may even cause your vehicle to float. If you think the water is more than 6 inches deep, don't try to drive through it. Best to turn around and find another route.

Slow your speed

If you drive through water, slow down and take your time.

Watch for downed power lines

If you approach a water-ridden area where power lines are down, turn around.

Respect the barricades

If you're approaching a road that's barricaded, don't attempt to go around the barricade and take the road anyway. There's a good chance serious danger's ahead.

Don't wait out the water in your car

Because only a foot of water can make your car float and 2 feet can cause it to float away, your car's not a safe place to hide. If your car stalls due to water or starts to float, get out, find higher ground, and use your phone to call 9-1-1.

After the flood

If the water from a flood made its way to your engine, there's a chance for serious damage. Water damage can lead an insurer to declare your car a total loss. If you suspect your car suffered water damage, don't drive it until it's checked out by a mechanic. The mechanic can check on the electrical components and let you know the extent of the damage.

If you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy and your car's totaled by flood damage, your insurer will work with you on a settlement. This often involves a check for the ACV, or actual cash value, of your car at the time of loss.

If you drove through deep water (even 6" worth), you may want to get your car inspected for flood damage. If flood damage is confirmed, file a car insurance claim as soon as you can. A dedicated claims rep will walk you through the claims process.

Flood damage and car insurance

If you live in an area prone to flash floods or flooding in general, comprehensive coverage can help pay for flood-related repairs. Esurance customers can add coverages anytime by logging in online or giving us a call at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262).

Related link

Driving dangers in spring
Spring means rebirth, but it also brings rain, hail, and increased animal activity. Stay safe with our guide.