Insurance And Flood Damaged Vehicles

INSURANCE AND FLOOD DAMAGED VEHICLES.
Climate change, rising temperatures, hurricanes, mud slides and many other natural disasters are happening all over the world. Nigeria has had its fair share of massive floodings in different parts of the country. One of the worst incidents of flooding is the Benue flood of August 27, 2017 which was after the July 8 flooding of Lekki, a major part of the Lagos Island the commercial center of Lagos State and by extension, Nigeria. For the purpose of this article, the Lekki flooding is quite remarkable for the reason below.
Being the commercial hub of the state, that location is home to the rich, famous and influential. A consequence of this is that property running into millions of dollars were lost, most being damaged choice cars and luxury vehicles. Cost of repairs running in some cases, almost closely to the cost of getting another car! And of course, the fear that once water damaged, it never remains the same!
The value of having an insurance cover for cars has never been more important. However, one needs to make sure that the right cover is what is obtained. The minimum requirement by law to put a vehicle on Nigerian roads is third party insurance. This cover is taken in the interest of third parties in the event of an accident. Being the least expensive, majority of car owners who bother to take out insurance policies usually settle for this.
There is also Third Party, Fire and Theft, which is a notch higher than Third Party. It covers third party claims, fire and theft.
The king of the pack however is comprehensive motor insurance. Simply put, it is a cover for all claims to the limit stipulated by the cost of the premium. Comprehensive Insurance puts the Insured at rest. Literally, he can go to sleep. However, the mere fact that one has taken up a comprehensive insurance will not cover for flooding.
In the light of the above, what’s best for vehicles considering the fickle nature of the weather and the risk of flooding? Comprehensive Insurance will not automatically cover a claim for damage by flood. It has to be requested for, and added to a comprehensive insurance policy. For most insurance companies, this is usually 0.5 – 1% of the value the car in addition to the premium for the comprehensive policy.
In summary, there are basically three types of insurance policies that can be taken up by motorists in Nigeria. 1.) Third party, 2.) Third Party, Fire and Theft and 3.) Comprehensive motor insurance. However, in view of the excessive rainfall that has been experienced in recent times and which has been predicted to still happen, it is pertinent that motorists take the purchase of a policy that will cover for damage in the event of a flooding seriously. This can be done by taking up a comprehensive policy with an extension to cover for damage or irreparable loss caused by flooding. This is usually an additional fee (0.5-1% of the value of the car). More to pay for it may seem, but the peace of mind that comes with being properly insured is priceless!

Published by Damilola Abayomi

Damilola Abayomi is a legal practitioner and analyst, blogger and entrepreneur.

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