If you lost food due to the flood, or you lost power and food due to the flood, you can request a replacement of your CalFresh benefits until February 21, 2024.
Contact Access Customer Service Center at 866-262-9881 or visit your local Family Resource Center.
Beneficiarios de CalFresh afectados por las inundaciones
Si perdieron alimentos o electricidad debido a la inundación, pueden solicitar un reemplazo de sus beneficios de CalFresh hasta el 21 de febrero de 2024.
Comuníquese con el Centro de Servicio al Cliente de Access (Access Customer Service Center) al 866-262-9881 o visite su Centro de Recursos Familiares local
Options for Dealing With Flood-Damaged Vehicles
Created on February 6, 2024
The contents of this document do not have the force and effect of law. This document is intended only to provide clarity for the public regarding existing options for car owners affected by the recent floods. This Fact Sheet is intended to provide accurate, general information relating to federal student loans. Yet, because laws and legal procedures are subject to frequent change and differing interpretations, Legal Aid Society of San Diego cannot ensure the information in this Fact Sheet is current nor be responsible for any use to which it is put. Do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney or the appropriate agency about your rights in your particular situation. Please do not hesitate to call us to obtain the most up-to-date information regarding your situation.
Does car insurance cover flood damage?
Maybe. Car insurance will typically cover flood damage to your car if your car insurance policy includes “comprehensive coverage.” Take extensive photos and call your car insurance company to determine your next steps. “Comprehensive coverage” offers protection from events that are out of your control and don’t involve a crash, including extreme weather. Comprehensive coverage does not cover medical bills, crashes or personal property damaged in or stolen from your car.
What happens if I don’t have comprehensive coverage in my car insurance?
If you didn’t purchase comprehensive coverage, you will likely have to pay to repair the damage on your own.
As of right now, the floods have been declared a state disaster but not a federal disaster. If a federal disaster is declared, you might be able to get additional assistance from the government. According to FEMA, if the flooded area is subject to a federal disaster declaration, federal disaster assistance may help fill the gaps for those whose coverage does not pay for any or all storm-related damage costs. If FEMA doesn’t cover the damage, your other options include getting help from the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program or applying for a low-interest loan from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). Keep in mind, you have to pay back an SBA loan, and assistance from ONA might be in limited amounts.
If nothing comes out of the FEMA, ONA, and SBA options, or you live outside the declared disaster area, you’ll likely need to pay the cost of repairing the damage on your own.
What happens if a leased car is flooded?
If you leased a car, comprehensive coverage is often required, so insurance would likely cover your vehicle. You can go through the same process of calling your insurer. Check your lease agreement and insurance coverage to find out the details.
If I have an auto loan, should I keep making my monthly car payment?
Yes, failing to make payments could damage your credit score. Unfortunately, your obligation to pay does not go away even if the car is damaged.
Make sure to talk with your vehicle finance company as soon as possible. Many manufacturer-related financing arms, like Ford Credit, GM Financial, Toyota Financial Services, and Kia Motors Finance, typically offer disaster-affected owners payment relief or flexible terms during hardship events.
Can a car be fixed after being flooded?
A vehicle may be fixable after being flooded, but it depends on the level of damage. Minor flooding may not cause much damage and the vehicle might be repairable. But a car insurance company could declare a vehicle a total loss if a car was sitting in water for days. That’s because damage caused by water, including electronic damage, can be complicated and expensive to repair. A repaired vehicle that went through the insurance claim process should be insurable once the work is completed, but the flooding incident will be on its vehicle history report. If your vehicle is totaled, you may still be able to keep your car as an “owner retained salvage.” You will get a salvage title and will need to make it legally roadworthy. Although salvage title means you can take your previously totaled vehicle on the road, you may have trouble finding car insurance. Insurers often view cars with a rebuilt title as riskier to insure than other vehicles. They may not offer you insurance or may decline to give you optional coverage like collision and comprehensive insurance.
What if I don’t have insurance and cannot afford to repair the car or keep making payments on it – should I surrender the car or wait for it to be repossessed?
Voluntarily surrendering a car involves informing your lender that you can no longer make payments and intend to return it. Arrange the time and place, and keep records of when, where and with whom you dropped it off. If you voluntarily surrender your car, then you won't be charged for the lender's repossession costs.
Generally, this means that the deficiency claim against you (i.e., the difference between the amount you owe on the loan versus the value of the vehicle) will be lower if you voluntarily give the car back. Another reason to choose voluntary surrender is that it might look better on your credit report. A voluntary surrender or “voluntary repossession,” along with any resulting collections or court judgements for the deficiency, can remain on your credit reports for up to seven years. Your credit report will likely list “voluntary surrender” instead of “repossession,” which may do slightly less damage to your credit. Nevertheless, the negative impact to your credit may make it more difficult to get a loan in the future. If you do get approved, lenders will likely charge a higher interest rate due to the higher risk of defaulting on the loan.
What if I want to keep and pay for the repairs to my car, but cannot afford both the auto loan payment and the cost of the repairs?
Contact your lender. Let your lender know you’re struggling to make payments as a result of the flood damage and the repairs needed to the vehicle. Your lender may be willing to change your loan terms so that your payments are more affordable. Some lenders might allow you to delay a payment or change your payment schedule. Be sure to get any new loan terms in writing.