Insurance/repair advice needed

Hi all, got caught in the terrible thunderstorm last night on way home from work was approaching a set of traffic lights and unfortunately due to the face I could barely see with the torrential rain I went through an area which was flooded and the car cut out due to the amount of water, I got rescued by the assistance who told me it would probably at worst need an engine replacement. My querie is would this be covered under insurance policy or not? Also how much should I be looking at if it does need an engine replacement grand scenic 2 1.5 dci

How awful for you… but at least no one was hurt…

I would suggest you contact your Insurance company to discuss with them asap.


Also, might be worth getting something in writing from the mairie local to where it happened confirming the torrential rain. Certainly it’s what we’re advised to do if there are hailstones which damage the car or property.

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What is the excess on your insurance policy? And how badly flooded was your car…ie do seats need replacing too? As looking on the bright side it could just need an oil and filter change for 75€?

I have learnt to my cost that sometimes phoning your insurance company first is not a good thing to do. Last year on a motorway we hit a shovel that had fallen off a lorry ahead of us. It removed bits from underneath car, which felt potentially significant. We made the mistake of phoning the insurers before finding out roughly how much the repair would be. Turned out just to need a replacement shield thingy which cost 150€, so less than our excess. So no need to claim, but when we came to change insurance companies we were listed as having had a claim which bumped up the cost of new insurance (still less than renewal of existing one, but annoyed us hugely).

Do you have a friendly local garagiste you can ask to take a look?

At the moment it’s in the garage which sent the tow truck, the excess for the policy is 380€ it’s the first time anything like this has happened to me

Jane… I am appalled… that is disgraceful behaviour in my opinion.

Our Insurance Policy tells us to contact insurers to report within so many days … and certainly before any remedial action is taken… presumably so they can get independent assessment or whatever if they feel it necessary…

Reporting is not the same as making a claim… one should be able to discuss and decide on the best route without fear of being “whacked” as you were…

This was all fully discussed with Fabien - who said it was standard practice for companies to register a claim once a phone call had been made.

Mark - You normally have to inform your insurance company quickly - 24 hours or so - look at the insurance documents as you might need to get a move on. Can you talk to the garage where it is and ask them how badly affected they think the car might be? Was it in really deep water?

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Thankfully, it seems our local Allianz are more user-friendly… than standard companies.

I am aware of the No Claim possibly being lost even if there is No Blame… that is obvious…

but thank heavens for my local agent is all I can say… :hugs: :hugs:

It came up over the bonnet before it cut out but I just really wanted to know if insurance company’s cover this sort of thing or if I’m stuck

Seriously, if one cannot discuss things with the Insurance Agent… then, in my book, there is something wrong with “standard companies”.

You can surely contact your Insurer and ask them the same Question which you are asking us ???
That is NOT making a claim…it is asking if a certain situation would be covered under your Policy…

I’ve got Catastrophe Naturelle as one of my guarantees… and I would be asking if flooding such as you experienced falls under that category… simple question… and you won’t be the first asking it… I wouldn’t have thought…
If it does or doesn’t fit that category… my Agent would advise me fully on how to proceed… either through them or on my own … and if I don’t make a Claim… my record will remain “unblemished” :hugs:

EDIT: I’m now wondering if this is an important difference between using “real people” and purely on-line…

which method do you use @Dets ???

Be interesting to learn how this pans out though…

Nope @fabien and Jane are correct - it is standard practice to count a query as a claim and it has happened to me. I don’t think there is any difference between using ‘real’ people and online. We also had a horrific experience with a ‘real’ person at Allianz who told us outright lies.

The only way to survive is consult an independent professional like Fabien who always tells it like it is !

A relative got stuck in sand while fooling about on a beach. It was too late for a rescue, as the tide was coming in fast, so it spent the night submerged in salt water. It was pulled out the next day. When it dried out, it actually ran. Not very well, but but it hadn’t been that great before it took a bath.
So your car could well work when it dries out. But you shouldn’t try to start it until an expert has taken a look.
There are a couple of things that are likely to have happened. The electrics could have shorted out, or water could have been drawn into the air intake, soaking the filter and preventing air from getting into the engine. It is unlikely that water would have got as far as the cylinders.
The worst case scenario is that suddenly immersing a hot engine in cold water could result in a cracked engine block. In which case, the breakdown man’s gloomy prediction could turn out to be right.
Bonne chance!

@fabien has been brilliant… and helped me no end… I’m very happy with his expertise and aid…

but, obviously, this one area (cars) is where I will stay with what I know works for me…
If the local agency changes… that will be something to rethink…

If you have a great local contact that is fabulous but just be aware that making an enquiry about a potential claim, may well result in it being counted as a claim and it won’t necessarily be the local contact who makes the call., because as others have said, this is fairly standard practice and something you generally don’t know about until it happens to you!


I think it is excellent that the Warning about this… is being aired…

much better than learning too late… as in Jane’s case… :upside_down_face:

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My barn got flooded - I phoned up to enquire what was covered, got told nothing and then it got counted as a claim! Grr.

Flipping heck… that’s awful…

Oh my… what a slippery world we live in… :thinking:

If you don’t change your insurance and have a no claims that allows a claim every couple of years without penalty then you probably wouldn’t notice. But if my insurance rises too much, eg more than the rate of inflation, I like to shop around.

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Is there any clue about exclusions in your contract? And did you tale out an all risk contract?

  • Si, dans votre contrat d’assurance auto vous avez souscrit la garantie catastrophe naturelle, vous êtes protégé. Elle est automatique dans l’assurance tous risques mais pas systématique dans les autres formules. Par exemple, elle ne figure pas dans la formule « au tiers », qui ne compte qu’une responsabilité civile.

And here is link to find out if recognised as natural catastrophe.

Been there, done that (in the UK)

If the car has sucked water into the pistons the engine is probably shot - water is incompressible but the engine will try and tends to bend important bits like crank rods doing so.

Also, my UK insurer said they tend to write off cars which have been flooded as they get no end of problems down the line.

The only thing to do is get it assessed and see what the damage is.