Flash Floods: Can You Claim Motor Insurance for Flood Damage in Singapore?

Featured image for the "Flash Floods: Can You Claim Motor Insurance for Flood Damage in Singapore?" article. It features a double-decker bus driving through a flooded road in Singapore.

Earlier this week, Singapore ushered in the New Year with intense rainfall that resulted in flash floods. Nine areas in eastern Singapore were affected.

While it is difficult to anticipate the occurrence of such unexpected events, it is always recommended to protect yourself against them with insurance.

Can You Claim Motor Insurance for Flood Damage?

All vehicle owners in Singapore are legally required to purchase motor insurance. This is to ensure that accident victims will be able to receive compensation for any personal and/or property damage suffered.

However, even if you have purchased motor insurance, it does not necessarily mean that you will be able to claim insurance for flood damage to your vehicle. This is because not all motor insurance policies cover flood damage.

Therefore, before you try to claim insurance for flood damage, you must ensure that your motor insurance policy covers flood damage in the first place.

You may do so by reading through your policy document or even calling up your insurer to enquire further details.

If your insurance policy does cover flood damage, you may be able to claim insurance for the following, depending on the wording of your policy and its scope of coverage:

  • The market value of your vehicle at the time it was damaged by floodwater
  • Repair of your vehicle at selected workshops (or any workshop, depending on what your policy provides for)
  • Transport allowance for the period where your vehicle undergoes repairs
  • Replacement of car lock and keys
  • Loss of personal belongings in the vehicle

However, if your insurance policy does not cover flood damage, it is probably not possible for you to claim insurance for it.

That said, you should still consider extending your policy coverage or purchasing a special plan to protect your vehicle against any future flood damage.

What If Your Insurer Refuses to Allow Claims for Flood Damage?

If you have confirmed that your motor insurance policy covers flood damage but your insurer refuses to allow your claim for it, you should first see why the insurer is rejecting your claim.

Perhaps your situation falls within an exception to coverage. If so, your insurer will not liable to cover you. For example, some personal motor insurance policies with flood damage cover exclude flood damage claims if you were using your insured vehicle for hire and reward. This could happen where you were offering private taxi services with your car at the time it suffered flood damage.

If you are unable to resolve the matter privately with your insurer, you may need to sue it for the compensation in court. Whether you will succeed will likely depend on whether the court interprets the wording of your motor insurance policy in your situation’s favour.

Image: @SynCPositive/Twitter