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My Jeep Compass stuck in a flooded basement: What happens now

My SUV is just 1-month-old and has done just 1,200 km so far.

BHPian shekar.ca recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello all,

I wanted to post on an evolving situation - Chennai has seen persistent rains for the past 2 days and due to resultant floods, the basement of my apartment complex is underwater. Amongst other vehicles under 6-7ft of water are my Jeep Compass 2.0 MT Diesel and Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.

Compass is just over 1 month old and has been driven around 1,200 km so far. The Interceptor on the other hand is 2.5 years old and in good condition, last ridden a couple of days ago.

I parked the Compass in the basement at 10 pm last night when there were no signs of flooding. I was woken up by the ringing doorbell at around 2.30 am this morning, saying water was flooding into the basement. By the time I went down, the water was at too high a level for me to enter the basement and it's been that way for 12 hrs now.

I have in the meanwhile reached out to a service advisor at VTK Jeep (the dealer) to understand the process I need to follow. He asked me to wait it out and once the water recedes, ask for the Jeep RSA to tow the car away, post which the damage assessment, claim processing, etc. will start. I guess a similar action needs to be initiated with Royal Enfield as well.

While I am helpless for the moment and am waiting for rains to subside, water to recede (or pumped out of the basement), there are so many questions running in my mind. Request help and inputs/ tips from the members in this forum on the following:

  • Once I get the vehicles towed away, what happens then? Would this be a full loss kind of situation?
  • If the insurance company insists on repairs, how do I handle it? Isn't it unlikely that both vehicles won't have a long term impact from this kind of exposure underwater?
  • If approved for a total loss, would I get the IDV paid out by the insurance company? Am I eligible for a proportionate refund of the life/ road tax?

Thanks in advance!

Thanks for your kind words. The parking is in the basement and I do have the return to invoice cover. The below photos are all I could manage to give an idea of the situation.

Approach into the basement from the ground floor:

Basement view:

There must be 6-7 cars and around 10 bikes parked inside - nothing is visible right now and it's dangerous to attempt entering the basement until the water recedes at least a little.

I have contacted the dealer, who says the car will be fully repaired, but I am not sure if I should even consider accepting that. Or do I even have a choice?

Here's what BHPian libranof1987 had to say on the matter

Since you have RTI, you are looking at almost 0 financial loss (maybe barring some processing charge/deductible). A two-year-old X1 in my extended family was submerged (a little over half) in the Mumbai floods a few months back and was deemed a total loss. They had RTI as well and got the entire amount back.

Looking at the pictures, it seems that the entire vehicle is underwater. So, there is a high possibility of it being declared a total loss. But it really depends on how much the ASC calculates as repair cost. Whether it can be repaired - everything can be repaired, completely mangled or submerged-in-mud vehicles are repaired/restored. Whether you have a choice - unlikely. If the ASC comes up with a repair cost that is <75% of the IDV, there is nothing you can do to reject repair.

Work with your dealer and push for total loss.

That said, completely submerged cars are more often than not repaired and sold. Whether that's a good idea or not - is an individual choice.

Here's what BHPian windrider had to say on the matter:

There is no way your jeep can be repaired. My cousin lost a 7-month-old Polo in the 2018 Kerala floods. It was submerged up to the window level for 3 days and it was declared a total loss. At that time VW showroom was only trying to repair cars that were submerged up to a little above the axle. Cars that were submerged in deeper water were declared as a total loss. He lost only about 40-50k off the purchase price. The rest of the car value was paid back to him by his insurance. His 1991 re 350 was also submerged, but he was able to fix it completely and only spent under 2,000. Unfortunately since then, a lot of rust has appeared in various locations and he is trying to sell it off. If your 650 is repairable, get it fixed and sell it. There is no way that bike is going to last even if repaired since it has been completely submerged. The electronics and wiring might work fine for now, but eventually, you will run into trouble.

Here's what BHPian VW2010 had to say on the matter:

First thing, relax and stay calm. There is absolutely nothing you can do now to save or salvage that car. You will get your insurance claim and this car will be sold at auction. There is no way Jeep will risk repairing this car and it is cheaper to sell it in auction for the insurance company. You can calmly wait and get the same colour Jeep in 2 months time.

Cars are cheaper to make in the factory while replacing every part on the car will probably double the cost and hence repair cost will be way higher than the IDV in my humble opinion.

I am on the opposite side of your road and I parked my Nano and Endeavor on the street and will take it back to my basement only after Friday. My basement is dry for that matter and yet with this picture you have posted, I am not risking anything.

Remember, it is just a car.

Here's what BHPian Aniruddha_Ch had to say on the matter:

Having worked in an automobile dealership for a brief period, I can say that if water goes above the dashboard, then such cases are most likely to be treated as totalled loss (Add-on cover like EP, CM, RTI will come to your rescue). Glad that you're safe and protected inside your home.

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