Car Insurance and Hydrolock

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The average person shopping for car insurance has an assortment of factors in mind as they compare policies and providers. How much coverage can they afford? What auto insurer best meets their needs? What deductible and monthly premium options are available? What plans does a specific insurance company offer, and what does each plan cover or exclude? 

Types of Car Insurance Coverage

When you’re choosing an insurance company and the exact coverage or plan you’ll be purchasing, you’ll typically choose between three types of coverage: Liability insurance, collision insurance, and comprehensive insurance. Of course, there are other coverage options, but these are the primary three every insurance company will offer. 

At its simplest, liability insurance is the minimum coverage you can maintain to comply with state law. Liability coverage will only cover the costs of damage done to another vehicle or person when you’re at fault for an accident Collision insurance goes a step further.

Unlike liability coverage, collision coverage includes damage to you and your car, not just another party. Meanwhile, comprehensive insurance is just that—comprehensive. Comprehensive coverage covers damage that comes from factors beyond a collision, such as natural disasters or vandalism. 

What is hydrolock?

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Simply put, a hydrolocked engine (or engine facing hydrostatic lock) occurs when water gets into the portion of your gas or diesel engine that needs to be under compression for the piston to move—a critical factor in your engine’s performance. Because this water is interfering with the pressurized air, those pistons can’t rise and compress completely, leaving your engine frozen or components of it damaged. 

How does a hydrolocked engine happen?

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Most often, hydrolock occurs when a driver mistakes a puddle or layer of water on the road as being more shallow than it is. What you thought was a shallow puddle that you could drive over quickly turns out to be a deeper layer of water—depending on just how much water is there, your car engine can easily risk water damage. 

What can a car owner do to avoid hydrolock damage?

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Avoiding hydrolock and other water damage to your engine often comes down to staying vigilant while driving in wet conditions and maintaining your engine. If you suspect you’ve got a case of hydrolock on your hands, be sure to get your car to the repair shop as soon as possible to avoid a total loss. 

Where does car insurance factor in?

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Does car insurance cover hydrolock? Essentially, that answer depends on your particular car insurance policy. When you get a new car and update your insurance policy accordingly, verify what type of coverage you have and determine whether you should upgrade your auto insurance policy. Drivers living in areas prone to flash floods, for example, will have an inherently higher risk of hydrolock and will want to ensure their insurance company will help pay for a hydrolocked engine. 

What types of coverage include hydrolock?

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As a rule, an auto policy that covers hydrolock will be one with comprehensive coverage. Because it’s not caused by a collision where you or another party are at fault, neither liability nor collision coverage will typically cover engine damage due to hydrolock. However, this won’t apply to every instance—in some cases, such as a car owner’s neglect of their car and its maintenance, car insurance will not cover hydrolock or similar damage, even with comprehensive coverage. 

If you live in an area that’s prone to flash floods or other climate factors that increase your risk of hydrolock, review your insurance policy to make sure you’ve got comprehensive coverage, just in case your vigilance in wet conditions isn’t enough to protect your engine from water damage. If not, call your insurance agent ASAP or compare insurance companies to find the best deal—they’ll be happy to help you find the right comprehensive coverage option for your needs. 

Read More: Five Things to do Immediately After a Car Accident

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