Dealers gear up to handle cars damaged in flood
Automobile dealerships and workshops are gearing up to handle the barrage of cars that were partially or fully submerged in the unprecedented floods that ravaged Aluva, Paravur, Muvattupuzha and other suburban towns of Kochi.
Most of them are facing shortage of space to accommodate the cars, while some are in the process of readying skilled technicians to evaluate the damage, coordinate with insurance surveyors and undo the damage caused by floodwaters and slush.
The manager of a Hyundai
dealership in the city said over 50 cars and SUVs had reported damage caused by floodwaters. “We have categorised them into three categories — those which faced water level up to the running board, to below the dashboard level and above the dashboard level. The first two categories are repairable, while those in the third category are treated as those that incurred ‘total loss’.”
Their insurance documents are being processed. Owners who opted for bumper-to-bumper cover stand to get almost the full amount needed for repairs. Those who opted for basic comprehensive coverage would have to pay a little more, he said.
An official at a Maruti Suzuki
dealership said there was shortage of skilled technicians to tend to the whopping number of cars affected by flooding. “Many owners are still in relief camps, since their houses have not been cleaned up. The damage to cars brought to our workshop is being assessed.”
A official of a luxury car dealership said it expected to get up to 20 cars that suffered damage. “We are finding it tough to get vehicles to tow them to our workshop. Many owners want to be doubly sure that their cars stuck in low-lying waters are safe and have brought them here. We have devised an action plan with the help of our India head office to repair them at the earliest,” she said. Consequential damage
“A total of 62 cars have been reported at our workshop following the floods and more owners are calling,” said Rajwanth Ben, director of a dealership for Tata
cars. “The insurance assessment based on the floodwater mark is being done. Owners are unlikely to get claim for engine damage if they started or operated the car through high floodwaters since this would damage the engine, through ‘consequential damage’. But those who have included engine protection in the insurance cover can get compensation even if there is consequential damage to the engine,” he said.
Modern cars rely heavily on electrical and electronic components which have to be replaced in case of water incursion. Similarly, components such as antilock-braking system (ABS
), air bags, etc., have sensors which suffer damage in case they are submerged for long duration. The engine oil and filters of cars caught in floodwaters must be changed, said Mr. Ben. Source: