Hydrostatic Lock Cover in Car Insurance: Do you Need One? (2023)

What does hydrostatic lock mean?

One of the many effects of heavy rains or flooding is that water can seep into a car and cause damage. This happens because a car is not designed to accommodate water in its parts, especially the engine. It can work seamlessly only when running on a particular type of fuel, i.e. petrol, or diesel.

Water is a highly powerful substance when it comes to compression. It does not budge even to a heavy force. On the other hand, the combustion chamber of an engine is designed to compress a much lighter substance — air. When an engine is filled with water, it tries to compress the liquid but ends up getting damaged in the process. This damage is called hydrostatic or hydraulic lock. This was the hydrostatic lock definition.

How does a hydrostatic lock occur?

A hydrostatic lock in car occurs when it is driven after the engine is filled with water. There can be many different ways for this to happen. The two most common causes are natural calamities, and driving the car through a waterlogged area, say a ditch or a stream.

During natural calamities like heavy rains or floods, the water can enter a parked car. It not only damages the interior i.e. the cabin area, but also the mechanical and electrical parts of the car. Water ingression has the most effect on the engine and other electrical components of the car.

It is important to note that a hydrostatic lock will only occur if the engine is running. It does not damage the engine as such if the water has entered but the engine is not working. Here, you still have to depend on a professional to take a look at the engine and get the water removed. However, if water enters the engine and it is in motion, then the pistons will try to compress the water instead of air and the opposing force is so heavy that they can bend and damage.

Remember that you must not try to start a car without professional guidance especially if the car has passed through a waterlogged area or has suffered visible damage from a natural calamity. Chances are that water is still present in the engine and must be removed manually.

Is there a need to purchase a hydrostatic lock cover in car insurance?

A hydrostatic lock cover, meaning in car insurance, is to get coverage for the car’s engine against costs related to repairs or replacement in case of a hydrostatic lock. To understand if you are covered against the hydrostatic lock, you must take a look at the car insurance policy to find the type of plan you have.

Basically, there are two kinds of car insurance plans — Third-party Car Insurance and Comprehensive Car Insurance. You can get a hydrostatic lock cover only if you have a Comprehensive Car Insurance policy. This is because the former type of plan does not cover your car with insurance.

In case you have a Comprehensive Plan, you can choose to buy the Engine Protect add-on where you will get coverage for the hydrostatic lock. While a basic Comprehensive Policy covers the car against different types of damages, it does not cover the expenses related to the engine damage. So, buying the add-on is necessary if you are looking for extensive coverage.

How to get insurance for a car's engine?

Here are the steps for buying a car insurance policy with coverage for the hydrostatic lock.

Step 1: Download ACKO’s mobile app or visit www.acko.com from a computer.

Step 2: Enter your car’s registration number and answer a few questions that will help you get the most suitable coverage.

Step 3: Choose a plan from the list and select the Engine Protect add-on. Proceed to make payment.

If there are no time gaps between the last and the current policy, we may not ask for an inspection. You can thus get the new policy with the Engine Protect add-on within a few minutes. Check the inbox of your registered email address for the policy document


The very first instinct after a car breakdown is to try and start the engine. We don’t think much and are desperate to turn the key (or push the start button). But is counterproductive in the case of a hydrostatic lock.

The connecting rods of the piston can bend under the tremendous pressure from the piston trying to compress water. Even the piston rings can break. All this will lead to a high repair bill. Thus, avoid starting a car when it stops working after being in the water for a long time.

In an unfortunate case of the hydrostatic lock, ensure that you have a Comprehensive Car Insurance policy with the Engine Protect add-on so that your plan covers such expenses. Buying and renewing the policy in time is equally important.

Frequently asked questions

Here is a list of common questions related to car insurance and hydrostatic lock.

Hydrostatic Lock Cover in Car Insurance: Do you Need One? (1)

If my car’s engine has a hydrostatic lock, can I use it?

It is not advisable to use the car once you realise that a hydrostatic lock might have kicked in. This usually happens when you drive through a knee-deep or a higher level of water. The engine stalls when water enters the chambers. If you try to start the car with water in its engine it can cause severe damage. Thus, it is advised that you must not try to use the car if there is water ingression.

Do electric vehicles also have a chance of suffering a hydrostatic lock?

The mechanisms required for a hydrostatic lock to occur are not present in an electric vehicle. It runs on a high-capacity battery and electric motor, and not with the help of a combustion engine.

Is it possible to repair the engine after a hydrostatic lock?

Yes, a professional mechanic can help you with the repair work if your car suffers a hydrostatic lock. Some car owners prefer to do the process themselves, but one must be highly knowledgeable to repair a hydrostatic car lock.


Is hydrostatic lock claim allowed under car insurance?

If you have a basic Comprehensive Policy with no car insurance add-ons then you may not be allowed to make a claim for the hydrostatic lock. However, if you have the Engine Protection add-on then you can claim for the related expense. Be sure to contact your car insurance company before making a claim.

You can also consider buying the Zero depreciation car insurance plan to get the maximum claim amount.

Are all engine components damaged because of a hydrostatic lock?

Usually, all the components are not damaged if a hydrostatic lock sets in. It only affects the piston, cylinder wall, and the connecting rod of an engine. However, the extent of damage depends on the size of the engine and the amount of water present inside it.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet; and is subject to changes. Please go through the applicable policy wordings for updated ACKO-centric content and before making any insurance-related decisions.

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What is engine protection cover? ›

Engine protection cover is an add-on benefit on car insurance that can be a part of the comprehensive motor car insurance policy. It is used to cover the insured vehicle's engine towards any damage or loss of the parts or the engine as a whole.

What is depreciation cover? ›

Zero depreciation cover is also known as bumper to bumper or nil depreciation cover. With zero depreciation coverage, the insured does not have to pay the depreciation value of the damaged or replaced parts and the policyholder can claim.

Can I drive without an engine shield? ›

While, technically, you can drive without an engine splash shield, we don't recommend it. If your engine splash shield is damaged, debris from the road could hit sensitive parts of your car and damage them.

Can I drive without an engine cover? ›

Yes, you can drive without the engine cover. If the cover had a felt underneath, the enigne sound may be louder than with cover on. Other than that, you will not have any problems.

What things are not covered by insurance? ›

Health insurance typically covers most doctor and hospital visits, prescription drugs, wellness care, and medical devices. Most health insurance will not cover elective or cosmetic procedures, beauty treatments, off-label drug use, or brand-new technologies.

How do I know if my car insurance is zero DEP? ›

A zero depreciation add-on cover, also known as Nil Depreciation and Bumper-to-Bumper cover, is a popular car insurance add-on cover under the own damage section of the car insurance policy. Insurance can be checked online from the website Parivahan or mParivahan app which is available on the play store.

What are the 3 types of depreciation? ›

What Are the Different Ways to Calculate Depreciation?
  • Depreciation accounts for decreases in the value of a company's assets over time. ...
  • The four depreciation methods include straight-line, declining balance, sum-of-the-years' digits, and units of production.

How much does it cost to replace plastic shield under car? ›

To repair an engine splash shield, you should reasonably expect to pay between $50 to $500. In most cases, the low end of this spectrum should repair the shield. However, the high end would include a new engine splash shield, which is common if the shield itself was ripped or torn during the accident.

What happens if you dont have an engine cover? ›

In addition to providing protection from water, the engine cover also protects the wires from getting exposed to too much dust. If dust, sand, or small rocks managed to get into the air intake and make it to the engine, then it could cause a problem.

Should I remove the engine cover? ›

Other than gaining a better look at the engine, there really is no reason to remove those plastic covers. They do not add much weight, since they are made from plastic. So throwing them away doesn't really help saving weight.

What is the plastic cover under engine called? ›

A vehicle's engine splash shield is also called the skid plate, the engine splash guard, or the lower/under-engine cover. It's a panel that's designed to protect the underside of the vehicle's engine and other important components from water, corrosive materials, and road debris.

What damage to a car will insurance not cover? ›

Generally, any repairs that exceed around half to two-thirds of the value of the vehicle may lead the insurer to consider the car not worth repairing and therefore a write-off. Ultimately, an insurer will not repair a car if it is unsafe or uneconomical to do so.

What are five things not covered by life insurance? ›

The five things not covered by life insurance are preexisting conditions, accidents that occur while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, suicide, criminal activity, and death due to a high-risk activity, such as skydiving, and war or acts of terrorism.

What type of insurance covers almost everything? ›

General insurance covers home, your travel, vehicle, and health (non-life assets) from fire, floods, accidents, man-made disasters, and theft. Different types of general insurance include motor insurance, health insurance, travel insurance, and home insurance.

What is not covered in zero DEP insurance? ›

Zero depreciation car insurance policy offers 100% coverage for all fibre, rubber and metal parts without deduction of depreciation. It does not cover engine damage due to water ingression or oil leakage. Any mechanical breakdown, oil change or consumables are also not covered in this policy.

Should I opt for zero depreciation car insurance? ›

Ideal Time to Purchase a Zero Depreciation Cover

Luxury cars and high-maintenance car owners must get this cover as the depreciation value of these parts would be even higher. Those who reside in an accident-prone area where the car owner might bear high service costs should opt for this cover.

What is difference between zero depth and comprehensive insurance? ›

Comprehensive insurance is an extensive car insurance plan coverage for car damage caused by an accident, theft, natural calamities, vandalism, fire, etc. Comprehensive car insurance is a blend of insurance provided by a third party and OD (own damage) cover.

What are the 4 items that depreciate? ›

Examples of Depreciating Assets

Vehicles. Office buildings. Buildings you rent out for income (both residential and commercial property) Equipment, including computers.

What assets Cannot be depreciated? ›

Land can never be depreciated. Since land cannot be depreciated, you need to allocate the original purchase price between land and building. You can use the property tax assessor's values to compute a ratio of the value of the land to the building.

What items Cannot be depreciated? ›

What Can't You Depreciate?
  • Land.
  • Collectibles like art, coins, or memorabilia.
  • Investments like stocks and bonds.
  • Buildings that you aren't actively renting for income.
  • Personal property, which includes clothing, and your personal residence and car.
  • Any property placed in service and used for less than one year.

How important is under engine cover? ›

It not only contributes to better gas mileage, but it also provides some protection from road debris.

How much does it cost to fix engine cover? ›

The Best in Auto Repair

The average cost for engine front cover replacement is between $1,726 and $1,980. Labor costs are estimated between $961 and $1,212 while parts are priced between $765 and $768. This range does not include taxes and fees, and does not factor in your specific vehicle or unique location.

Does removing engine cover improve performance? ›

It might run cooler with no cover (but this isn't always a good thing it's designed to run at a specific temperature which it regulates all by itself), your car will be lighter and your engine more accessible for basic checks and maintenance.

How much does it cost to replace engine shield? ›

To repair an engine splash shield, you should reasonably expect to pay between $50 to $500. In most cases, the low end of this spectrum should repair the shield. However, the high end would include a new engine splash shield, which is common if the shield itself was ripped or torn during the accident.

How important is the undercarriage protection? ›

This is especially important for the undercarriage of your vehicle, which commonly comes into contact with substances such as water, chemicals such as salt, and other dirt and debris from the road. Without some sort of protection, the bottom of your vehicle can rust and corrode, leading to part failure.

Is engine repair covered by insurance? ›

Hence, you can claim for engine repair on insurance if the damage is caused by an accident or comprehensive loss covered by the insurance. However, any engine damage caused by wear and tear or mechanical failure will not be covered as part of an insurance claim.

What is the plastic under the front of the car called? ›

Bumpers are designed to absorb minor impacts when bumping into a curb, speed bump, or something else. If they do get damaged, they can be pretty expensive to repair or replace. That's why some automakers add a plastic strip (also called a front lower valance or air dam) to the bottom of the bumper on their cars.

Why you should remove your engine cover? ›

Other than gaining a better look at the engine, there really is no reason to remove those plastic covers. They do not add much weight, since they are made from plastic. So throwing them away doesn't really help saving weight.

Is cover the car worth it? ›

Car covers offer:

Not only can covers protect against dirt and water, they can also protect against dust, snow, rain, and pollutants. Your car can still pick up little scratches and nicks even if it is just sitting.


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