FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The recent storms have damaged countless cars across Central California.
After the relentless rain and flooding, some cars have been stranded, damaged, or even destroyed.
Jaime Arias and his family spent Thursday in cleanup mode trying to recover from their storm losses which included: Two sedans, a new work truck, a semi, and four trailers. While the water has since receded, the damage is already done.
"He's been on the phone for the last two days just worried about what they want us to do. We want to make sure it gets covered because it's a lot of damage and we don't have the resources to pay for that stuff right now," said Arias.
Dough Fluetsch is the president of an independent insurance agency, Fluetsch & Busby Insurance, based in Merced. His office has received thousands of calls from clients throughout the state. He says drivers should consider comprehensive auto insurance.
"If they have comprehensive coverage then they have coverage for flood, not if they only have liability on their vehicle then they won't have any insurance for their car," Fluetsch said
He said this week, he has seen three times the number of claims reported than normal. This is why he suggests flood victims get on the phone and file their claims as soon as possible.
If you have property inside your car, then Fluetsch says that claim would go to the homeowners or renters policy.
He says don't forget, you are subject to a deductible of typically $500 to $1,000, and your car value likely won't be what you paid for it.
"So, they take the cost of the vehicle new and they depreciate it for the number of miles that are on it and then generally they have to find a vehicle within a 200-mile radius for sale of the same like kind quality and mileage and that's what they pay," Fleutsch said.
Do not forget to take a lot of photos and document everything. Plus, car insurance companies can take up to 30 days to pay claims.
In addition, since there isn't much flood damage awareness among California car shoppers, car experts remind you to beware of flood-damaged cars sold with clean titles.