With the recent storms having caused so much damage in parts of the country the question arises, how much is a car that’s been damaged by water really worth? That is the reality that many people are having to face today after all the recent flooding that has occurred.
It has been estimated that over a million vehicles were damaged during a recent hurricane and there have been other storms since. Damages from these catastrophic storm systems add up to billions of dollars.
While homes and businesses face their own cleanup from the flooding, personal transportation causes great headaches as well. Early estimates from Black Book show that roughly 20,000 vehicles will be either damaged or destroyed by the floods. This pales in comparison to the more than 1 million vehicles affected by last year’s hurricanes in Texas (Harvey) and Florida (Irma), where the flooding occurred in heavier populated metropolitan areas.
Modern vehicles now come with advanced electronics that make them especially vulnerable to flooding. Being submerged in water can render a vehicle useless. Electronics short circuit and if their salt water involved a cars engine and internal parts are subject to corrosion.
For insurers, the process of valuation is quite complicated and detailed. Today’s advanced appraisals include data analytics to provide valuations that are more precise. These VIN-specific value resources take into account each individual vehicle’s unique history footprint, helping insurance professionals determine the impact a vehicle’s past has on its value.
Vehicle values that take into account a VIN-specific history can be as much as 31% more precise when compared to the auction transaction price than valuations without a history adjustment included.
But for someone wanting to know how much their vehicle would be worth after it has been in a flood, there’s really no way of telling until it happens. It is probably safe to assume that if your car has been submerged in water for any period of time it will most likely be a total loss.