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If I have full coverage for my vehicle, will my car insurance cover flooding?

Yes, assuming you bought comprehensive auto insurance. It pays for damage to your car that isn't due to car accidents. That includes theft, fire, vandalism, collisions with animals and damages caused by natural disasters (such as a flood). You may have heard that flooding from rivers, lakes and streams isn't covered under standard home insurance. This is true. But comprehensive auto insurance covers flooding.

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Car insurance includes six basic parts -- bodily injury liability, property damage liability, medical payments or personal injury protection, collision, comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Some policies also include extras, such as roadside assistance.

Most states require you to carry only a certain amount of liability coverage, which pays for treatment of other people's injuries or for repair or replacement of their damaged property if you cause an accident. Some states, which have no-fault insurance laws, also require you to buy medical payments or personal injury protection.

Collision coverage pays for repairs to your own vehicle or replacement of your car if you cause an accident.

Some people decide not to buy collision and comprehensive coverage to save on car insurance rates, particularly if they have an older car that's not worth a lot of money. Although collision and comprehensive coverage are not required by law, your lender might have required you to have them as part of the loan deal if you financed the car.

Check your insurance policy to see what coverage you have, and call your insurance agent or company if you need help understanding your coverage. Of course, contact your insurance company immediately after an accident, whether it’s a fender-bender or heavy rains leading to your car getting flooded. For more, read about car insurance basics.

Last updated: Oct. 22, 2010 Redesign Survey