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Driving into water - Are you covered by insurance for damage. Rufford
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It then becomes a question if whether the accidental damage section of the policy has an exclusion which would cover driving through a flood.
In theory there could be a specific exception along the lines of "we will not cover you for driving through floor water" - but I've never seen a policy that had an exclusion like that.
Or the insurer might try to rely on a general exclusion. Most policies have a clause along the lines of "you must take reasonable care of your vehicle". However the courts and the Ombudsman quite rightly don't like insurers relying on such vague clauses to deny claims so the level of stupidity required to active them is very high. They are generally interpreted as refering to recklessness - ie the insurer has to show that you knew, or must have known, that you were doing something unreasonably dangerous, but that you went ahead and did it anyway. That MIGHT apply if you drove into an obviously deep flood at high speed for laughs with your mates cheering you on, but it certainly wouldn't apply to misjudging the depth of a ford or large puddle, even if the misjudgement was rather silly with hindsight. The onus would be on the insurer to prove recklessness.
In practice it seems to b a non-issue. A search of Ombudsman decisions did bring up some cases where an insurer has declined a claim for driving through floodwater - but all the ones I found were like the one below where the insurer claimed that the damage was pre-existing and not caused by the water. It was taken for granted that if the damage WAS caused by driving through flood water, it would be covered.
It's reasonable to assume that if insurers were regularly declining claims for driving through flood water, it would show up in Ombudsman complaints.
Insurance doesn't provide cover for deliberate acts, drive into a wall in an attempt to end it all and the motor insurer would be entitled to decline the claim (if it chooses to do so is another mater). It would be a hard push to show someone driving into water was deliberate intention to cause damage.
As per @Aretnap's post though, growing up near a river there was a public carpark that every year or two would get several feet of floodwater in it. There was an amazing correlation between the days when a flood was being predicted and the number of old bangers parked in the carpark -v- any other evening. Clearly people thinking its a better way to liquidate their asset and probably hide existing mechanical problems.