Hurricane Season is here. Start Preparing Now!
Hurricane Season is here. Start Preparing Now!
Professional Auto Care has been the trusted name for Houstonians for many years, especially during times of emergency. During the record floods of 2015, Professional Auto Care saw over 60 flood cars and was featured on various media outlets including local news and radio. In 2016 Professional Auto Care serviced just under 50 flood vehicles. During 2017 Hurricane Harvey we stayed open for 15 days straight including Sundays to work with Catastrophe teams. And each year we prove ourselves to be the most trusted name for both our clients and the insurance teams. We work with all insurance companies and have even developed relationships with the catastrophe teams that are flown to Houston during these times of crisis.
We work for you. Not your insurance company. Dealing with car flood damage is stressful enough so we provide reports and updates all along the way to ensure you are in control and know what is going on with your vehicle at all times.
The most important thing to do when involved with a Houston flood is to act immediately. (713) 270-0474
The best thing is to have a certified technician examine your vehicle for any damage if you experienced any of the following conditions:
If your vehicle stalled while going through water, do not attempt to restart the vehicle. If you have attempted to start your car and it will not start, the vehicle needs to be inspected for the extent of water damage by a certified professional.
If your vehicle appears to be okay from the flood, again, be sure to take it into the shop sooner rather than later. Signs of water damage are not always immediate. Have your brakes inspected, the fluids which were exposed to water completely flushed, and replace any gaskets or filters that were in contact with water. Continuing to drive your vehicle without even a basic inspection could cause more serious long-term damage to a flood water damaged car.
Wheel bearing from Tacoma after high water. Notice the rust which has broken down the bearing.
Driving through high water can cause problems for your vehicle later on down the line. Cars are not designed to be water proof. Water resistant to some degree, yes, but not water proof. Here are some things to consider for your vehicle.
1. Fluids - Check your fluid levels and see if any are marking higher than previously. This could be a sign you have water in the system. You need to have the contaminated fluids changed out to help avoid costly repairs in the future.
2. Brakes - Brakes may need to be cleaned, lubricated, inspected and road tested.
Flood damage is generally covered by comprehensive (fire and theft) insurance, so even if you do not have collision coverage, you may be covered for repairs or replacement.
We have been getting quite a few calls about whether or not to claim vehicle flood damage caused by Harvey. If you have comprehensive vehicle flood damage coverage it may be in your advantage to claim it. With water damage it is important to act quickly. Water can cause serious damage to the engine, electrical and mechanical aspects of your vehicle-not to mention the obvious cosmetic and create a potentially harmful health hazard should mold and mildew be allowed to flourish.
Important fact, there is no precedence for insurance premiums to be affected due to a comprehensive flood claim by any carriers. This has been an act of God, or whatever external forces you choose call it. This was something out of anyone's human control that brought devastation to so many Texans. If you have questions about your insurance premium rising you can call your own agent to verify this information.
Many people have been calling with the concern of having a high deductible. Flood repairs can be expensive. Two important points need to be addressed when it comes to flood repair.
1) Flood repairs not being performed properly
2) The vehicle may not be economically worth repairing.
In the first case spending less than your deductible at first glance can be a sigh of relief. However, many issues from floods do not arise until later. In the end, costing thousands of dollars more than had they been performed properly from the beginning. We have found flood repairs to be broken down into four stages; engine, electrical, mechanical and cosmetic. These four parts must be addressed. Even if you do not see lights on your dashboard now does not mean they could not appear at a later date. There are many electronics in a vehicle and many of them are under the carpet. It is important to locate an auto care facility who has experience with flood repair and the knowledge on how to properly manage the flood damage evaluation. You have the right to choose any facility you deem fit to make vehicle flood repairs to your vehicle. You do not have to choose one provided by your insurance or the location the estimate was originally written.
Second point. Unfortunately, not all vehicles are able to be repaired at an economical expense per the vehicle's value. We highly recommend a strict process is followed to ensure the vehicle is fit for repairs. As stated, many times more problems arise after incomplete repairs have been performed. At our facility we have seen this first hand, where new clients had their vehicles 'repaired' only to have a plethora of problems in the future.
Opening a formal insurance claim has three parties working together. The client. The insurance. And the shop. The vehicle flood repair shop is the clients' and the insurances' connection point. It is imperative the flood repair shop works on the clients behalf to ensure the vehicle is worth keeping. If the flooded vehicle is not repairable at an economic stand point, the shop needs to inform the client and the insurance right away. Declaring a vehicle to be a total loss quickly allows the client to receive the funds for their claim and begin the search for another vehicle. The used car market will soon be inundated with flood damaged vehicles. Timing is extremely important with flooded vehicles.
Many cases vehicles we return to our clients are in better condition than previously from the flood. Carpets being removed and cleaned with an industrial vehicle carpet machine. Mats shampooed and washed clean. And the refreshing, just shy of a new car smell--minus harmful chemicals. Not to mention with new original equipment manufacturer sensors and electronics. The fluids being serviced allow for smoother vehicle operation. The peace of mind of knowing it was performed correctly and, if claimed through insurance, you have two years to reopen a claim if something in the future arises.
Another notion is insurance will have my vehicle in the shop for much longer than if I pay out of pocket. This is true, given the magnitude of Harvey. It is going to take a while for everyone to move forward, but the key is to be proactive and do things right from the start.
If you have questions about insurance you are welcome to email Don Wilde of Allstate Insurance (firstname.lastname@example.org). He is a friend of PAC we have been servicing his family's vehicles for years and he has held our insurance for years. Even if you do not have Allstate you can email him and he promises to respond to any general insurance questions--like insurance premiums being affected due directly to filing a comprehensive flood insurance claim. He will respond in the order he receives the emails. As always, you can count on the staff of PAC. This isn't our first rodeo and we have helped hundreds of Texans before and we're here to help you, too.
Email Karolena with any questions or concerns, email@example.com. Write in the subject line - Flood Question for Karolena - You will be answered promptly and personally by her.
BMW Victim of Houston Flooding. You can see how PAC marks water line for insurance inspection.
The top reason to choose an independent automotive repair facility to repair your flooded car from the recent Houston flood weather is because we work for you, and only you. Here is a list of why choosing an independent shop could make all the difference when it comes to repairing a car damaged by flooding.
Mazda interior completely removed.
As many of our clients already know, we do not operate like most other auto repair shops and it is no different when dealing with cars damaged by Houston Flooding. Here are a few items that separate us from the dealer, chain stores, insurance fed body shops, and other independent car mechanics in Houston.
We gather and keep samples to ensure proof of findings to show insurance companies and our clients.
Karolena is a bit camera shy, but she did help local Channel 2 Investigates by recommending inviting the National Insurance Crime Bureau to town. They also included her a bit in the piece too!
"People need to hear a non-biased third party when it comes to truly understanding why water damage is serious. I felt the NICB could provide that and truly help send the message they [Local 2] were trying to achieve."
- Karolena Serratos
Professional Auto Care in Southwest Houston is one of the most trusted names in auto repair and in recent years considered a local expert in car flood damage. Flood repair can be costly and stressful. Professional Auto Care works with your insurance for you. By keeping our client as our main priority we are able to offer quick turn around and great results. We are just outside Missouri City and Sugar Land areas, but our flood clients have come all the way from Humble, Kingwood and even Rosharon, Texas areas.