Between Typhoons Henry and Inday, several parts of the Philippines experienced light to torrential rains all of last week. And we’re still just in the middle of the wet season.
People weren’t just caught in the downpour; pedestrians and motorists alike were also caught in the floods.
If you’re one of the unlucky people whose car gets damaged during this season by floodwater, how do you file for an insurance claim? We spoke to one of our car insurance experts to break down the entire process.
Louie Reyes, eCompareMo’s resident car insurance claims expert, advises you to take the followings step when filing an Acts of Nature claim:
1. Document everything
If you know that parking your car to a safer area is no longer possible, go to a safe and sheltered area and try to take photos and videos of your car submerged in flood.
Capture as much footage as possible and don’t try to get to your vehicle. Keep in mind that documentation of the incident will be handy once you file for a claim with your insurance company. The more detailed the evidence is, the faster it is for them to process your claim.
2. Minimize the damage
Whether it is during or after the flooding, don’t touch your vehicle or try to start it.
When your car is submerged, the only thing you can do is just wait for the waters to subside. If the water level is high enough, it may have already seeped in your car and caused hydrostatic lock.
Remember, when it is proven that you’ve caused more damage to your car by trying to salvage it during the flood, they can rule out your claim as they might reason out that your car was damaged due to negligence.
3. Report the incident to your insurance company
When it’s finally safe to do so, call your insurance company as soon as possible.
Provide them with all the necessary information, such as where the vehicle is parked, time and date of the flooding incident, and other information your insurer will require you to provide.
If an insurance representative gives you instructions, follow them to the letter to avoid mishaps during the claiming process.
They will also remind you of other important details such as exclusions and deductibles, in case you have forgotten about them. Remember these pieces of information for future reference.
4. Create an incident report of the flood
In usual cases, insurers provide the insured with a kit that includes an incident report form. Fill out the form and make sure that every information you’ve provided there is factual and accurate.
There are times they might require you to make a sketch of the incident so be prepared for that. You’ll get a reference number for your claim—and keep this handy at all times.
5. Prepare the documentary requirements
When you’ve made a report to your insurance company, they will ask you to submit certain requirements for filing claims. Some of the documents they might ask are the following:
- Insurance policy for the vehicle
- Driver’s license
- Incident report
- Incident documentation (photos, videos, etc.)
- Official receipt/certificate of registration
- Barangay certificate saying that the barangay has been flooded
- Police report and/or notarized affidavit
6. Wait for the insurance adjuster to make contact
In insurance parlance, a claims adjuster is the one tasked to investigate the claim incident to determine the extent of the insurer’s liability to the vehicle owner. Walk them through the entire incident, answer their questions truthfully, and provide them with all the documents and other requirements needed to process the claim.
The insurance inspector will also remind you of the exclusions and deductibles that will be factored in your claim.
During the investigation of the claims adjuster, they might send your vehicle to an authorized repair center already for further examination of the car’s damage. Before they give you the green light for repairs, the whole process might take days depending on the severity of the damage to your car.
7. Wait for the assessment and letter of authority
Once the damage has been assessed and the insurer has found out they’re liable to your car’s flood wreck, you’ll get a letter of authority (LOA) from your insurance company, which ensures that your car will be handled by the service center—at the expense of the insurer.
For cases like flooding, insurance companies often issue the LOA within three days to prevent further damage. In the event of a total loss, which means that the cost of repairs exceeds the vehicle’s current value, a settlement will be given to you by the insurance company.