Hydrostatic Lock Engine Cover In Car Insurance

Updated On: 2023-06-21

Author : Team Policybachat

Modern cars tend to have air intake fairly low down at the front of the car. Drive through water deep enough & it will be sucked up into the engine, causing it to seize. The technical term for this damage is called “Hydrostatic lock”- water enters an engine cylinder & during the compression stroke will lock the engine piston in place.

It can take just an egg cupful of water in the combustion chamber to wreak an engine. Water does not compress & the piston in effect hits a wall, bending or breaking a connecting rod. This in turn overloads the connecting rod, causing it to deform & cause significant engine damage, it can even destroy the engine altogether.

In India, we face heavy rains, flash floods, and cloud bursts every season drastically, the possibility of your vehicle getting damaged in floods or while driving through badly waterlogged roads, is very high. So also the chances of insurance companies refusing to pay for the repair that the car may have to undergo, particularly if the water has entered the engine and damaged it.

However, if the water enters the engine causing a hydrostatic lock, the repair is expensive and so the insurance companies reject your claim. You are told that the engine damage is not caused by the flood or rainwater, but from the driver of the car either driving fast through an inundated road or repeatedly trying to start a car stalled on an inundated road, resulting in the water entering the engine.

The damage caused by hydro-lock is dependent upon the state of the engine when it occurs; the results are different as under conditions
  1. In a stored nonrunning engine.
  2. An engine running at idle speed.
  3. An engine running at high speed.

Hydro lock, properly called hydrostatic lock, is a failure in an internal combustion engine; the engine is prevented from turning over by fluid in the cylinder above the piston.

The extent of damage it causes:
  • The amount of water ingression and cranking
  • Certain spare parts of an engine are difficult to replace
  • If those parts have been affected, generally, the entire engine or that particular half needs to be replaced.
  • Sometimes replacing the engine seems a plausible option rather than repairing it.
  • Vehicle breakdown
  • Constant attempts by the driver to ignite the engine may cause significant damage to the cylinder wall, piston, and connecting rod.
  • Engine repair or part replacement involves significant labor and material costs.
  • This will leave you stranded with a huge dilemma and exorbitant repair costs, as hydrostatic lock cover is not covered under a normal motor insurance policy.

Therefore, it’s always advisable to opt for an add-on engine and gearbox protection cover for total security.

Real Life Scenario:

One day Vikram reached home at late night due to heavy rains in the city and forget to parked his car in the garage. Next day morning floods are all our the city and the car was filled with water.

The engine was filled with water and the hydrostatic lock engine damage has occurred. He has an engine protection cover in his car insurance policy included in it. So he easily gets the coverage amount for repairs and damages that are occurred through the floods.

Driving during heavy precipitation or wet conditions with excess water on the roads can lead to a hydro-locked engine. Hydro locking could render the engine completely useless. If you can file an insurance claim, it will help you to get the repairs without having to pay out-of-pocket.

What is Hydrostatic Lock Cover in Car Insurance?

A hydrostatic lock cover is a car insurance coverage that pays for the cost of a broken or damaged vehicle that is absorbed in water. This type of car insurance covers the cost of repairs to your vehicle if it becomes submerged in water. This could be due to a flood, accident, or another event.

A hydrostatic lock is a condition in which the vehicle's braking system is unable to function. This may happen when the brake fluid in the hydraulic brake lines becomes overheated and expands, causing a loss of pressure and resulting in the loss of braking ability.

A hydrostatic lock is an event that occurs when the fluid pressure in a tube exceeds the outside pressure. Hydrostatic lock cover is a safety feature that prevents this from happening. The cover prevents excess fluid from entering the tube, and thus prevents hydrostatic lock.

The importance of a hydrostatic lock cover is to prevent excessive fluid from entering into the tube and causing a hydrostatic lock. It occurs when:-

  • Contact with water
  • Water prevents the engine from starting, rendering the vehicle into a static position.
  • It mainly occurs when a parked vehicle is stranded in a flooded area
  • If the vehicle travels through a pool of water or cuts through a waterlogged area.

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.

Why Hydrostatic Lock is not covered in the Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy?

Over the years, India has been hit by some of the world's most devastating natural disasters. During this period, many people suffered highly. The death rate was the highest, but property and car damage were also significant. You may get additional insurance coverage to protect yourself financially from losses not covered by Comprehensive insurance.

Standard car insurance policies do not cover consequential losses. A hydrostatic lock is a consequential loss as it is a consequence of the driver cranking the engine excessively. It is not a direct result of the water ingression. Thus, losses due to a hydrostatic lock are not covered under a standard motor insurance policy.

If you look at a comprehensive car insurance policy, you will see no reason why an insurance company should not pay for the repair of a vehicle or its engine, damaged in a flood or a flooded road. The policy, after all, covers loss due to several natural calamities including floods, cloud bursts, landslides, etc.

Thus, the engine damage is a consequence of the consumer’s failure to safeguard the vehicle a breach of the policy condition, and consequential damage, not covered under the policy, you are informed.

How to Buy a Hydrostatic Lock Cover Add-on in Car Insurance?

Car insurance can be purchased online from the PolicyBachat portal in two easy steps. At PolicyBachat we cater unbiased comparison of quotes, 24*7 customer assistance team your motive is to give our customers the right quotes with compare car insurance rates online.

You have the option to purchase this cover via the online mode or the offline mode while buying or renewing your car insurance policy. You can buy a Cover by following the below mentioned steps.

  • Go to compare car insurance quotes online at PolicyBachat.com
  • Fill in the required details select your Car Model & Variant, RTO Location, Registration date, and Email address.
  • Click on the “START SAVING MONEY”.
  • Choose a Comprehensive Insurance plan.
  • Premiums with different insurance companies are displayed with low premiums.
  • Select the Hydrostatic Lock Cover from the available Add-ons
  • After that fill in the ‘vehicle owner details and personal details.
  • Purchase best Car Insurance Policy using online payment
  • If any queries are raised call: 1800–123–4003.

Top Companies:

Companies Plan IDV Additional Covers & Discounts Premium
Bajaj Allianz 1 Year Third Party Rs. 1.06 lakh 24x7 Roadside Assistance, Key Replacement, and commercial discount Rs. 6969
Future Generali 1 Year Third Party (1+3 Bundled) Rs. 1.81 lakh OD Discount Rs.7384
HDFC ERGO 1 Year Third Party Rs. 2.97 lakh OD Discount Rs.6989
Kotak 1 Year Third Party Rs. 2.13 lakh Commercial discount Rs.5028
Liberty 1 Year comprehensive policy Rs. 1.98 lakh OD Discount Rs.7450
Reliance 1 Year comprehensive policy Rs. 1.60 lakh Commercial discount Rs. 6859


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.

“Having a Hydrostatic lock cover in your car insurance policy will secure you from unexpected incidents that will damage your engine.”

The best way to ensure that you do not face financial losses due to a hydrostatic lock is to purchase an add-on cover with your standard car insurance policy. Cover for the hydrostatic lock is generally provided under the Engine Protection add-on.

“This add-on is extremely important if you reside in an area prone to waterlogging. The cost of the cover is determined based on your vehicle's Insured Declared Value (IDV).”

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