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Tropical Storm Debby is gone -- now what?

7:01 PM, Jun 27, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- State Farm insurance has received approximately 610 claims for water damaged vehicles. If yours is among them, automotive experts say you need to have a qualified technician inspect the vehicle.

"Vehicles are full of electronics today. If you've driven through a significant amount of water, maybe over the doorway, it certainly could have gotten into different electrical components and short them out," said Ed Roberts of Duval Ford.

Joe Bassett of Brumos Collision Centers said waiting to take the vehicle to a repair shop is a bad decision.

"You don't want to let any time pass. You want to get the vehicle disassembled, the carpets pulled up and get everything exposed," said Bassett. "Get it dried out because electrolysis starts setting in and electrical problems start happening, so the sooner the better."

And who pays?

David Miller of Brightway said it depends on your insurance policy.

"If you have comprehensive insurance," said Miller, "you pay the deductible and insurance pays the rest."

If you don't have comprehensive coverage, you are on your own. And if the cost of repair exceeds the value of the vehicle, insurance can declare it a total loss.

What about flood damage to your home or business?

Lance Stoner of Stanley Steemer said the goal is to dry out the property within 48 to 72 hours.

"When you're talking about outside water coming into the home, it is critical to get that carpet pad out because that's where most of the moisture is held." said Stoner.

"So what ever came in with that water is in that padding -- bacteria, dirt, grime -- so it is critical to get that out as well," he added.

And who pays for the water restoration services? 

Miller said insurance will cover the loss if it was caused by rain coming into your home.

"If a tree falls on your roof, and your house therefore floods from all the rain, that's going to be covered," said Miller.

But if the damage was caused by rising water, Miller said that has to be covered by a flood insurance policy.

No flood insurance policy means it becomes an out of pocket expense and water restoration can get very expensive. 

These are tips from State Farm insurance:

-Begin to make temporary repairs to prevent further damage to your home or property. Keep a record of time spent and all receipts for work done.

-Take pictures of the damage and keep notes to help adjusters assess the damages.

-Remove tree debris from the structure.

-Do not dispose of any damaged contents until authorized by your agent

-Contact only reputable, licensed vendors for repair estimates. 

First Coast News

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