Flood Damaged Cars are Easy to Spot with These Tips

The barrage of hurricanes that have hit the United States in recent years have cost the country billions of dollars. While much of the media attention has focused squarely on property damage and its aftermath, Hunter Insurance would like to alert Rhode Island families about flood damaged cars that could be parked at a dealership near you.

“If you’ve ever scrolled through hurricane images and saw cars submerged in waist-high water, there is a good possibility someone eventually bought that car in the used car marketplace,” said Brian Hunter, President of Hunter Insurance. “Consumers must do their homework to ensure they are not a victim during their next car buying transaction.”

Thousands of flood damaged cars are sold to unsuspecting buyers every year. Here are some tips that can help families spot water damage and avoid the headaches that often accompany the purchase of these vehicles.

Retrieve a free Carfax flood check

Motorists can learn whether certain cars have a flood branded title with a free Carfax flood check. The form will not provide a robust history, but a comprehensive report can be purchased to shed more light on the history of the vehicle.

The car has musty odors

Moldy or musty smells are an indication that there is mildew buildup. Sometimes, strong smells can come from vents, which is why it is important to test the air conditioner.

Upholstery has strange coloring

Check that the carpets and cloth seats are not stained. Buyers should also be wary of cars with new aftermarket carpets.

Check for exterior signs of water

Buyers may want to remain skeptical of vehicles that have foggy headlights or taillights, and be mindful of water lines that may appear alongside the engine, which could be a sign the car was in standing water.

Don’t ignore the indicator lights

Flood damaged cars will typically fire off plenty of warning signs on the dashboard. No matter the price, buyers may want to consider looking elsewhere for a car.

Be vigilant of dirt in strange places

Dirt near the top edges of upholstery or around mechanical parts under the hood should raise red flags.

These are just some of the signs to help you spot flood damaged cars. With a commitment to help families avoid significant losses and remain financially stable, Hunter Insurance is available year-round for all of your insurance needs. Call us at 401- 769-9500 for other ways to protect your family.