Fire and Car Insurance

A fire could quickly consume your car, leading to considerable damage and the potential for injury. Car fires occur in a variety of scenarios. A collision, engine malfunction or arson could cause car fires. Your car could also catch fire if it is parked in your garage and the house is on fire or something within the garage catches fire. It is important to understand how your car insurance works in the event of such an occurrence.

How Auto Insurance Covers Car Fires

The comprehensive section of your auto insurance policy is the part that covers damage caused by a car fire. If you still have a loan out on your car, you must carry comprehensive auto insurance. Comprehensive auto insurance coverage is not required if you own your car outright. The comprehensive car insurance pays for repairs to your vehicle or pays out its replacement value if the vehicle is a total loss.

Typically, fire is covered by an auto insurance policy through:

  • Comprehensive.
    • If your engine catches fire while you are driving, your comprehensive coverage should pay for the damages under its mechanical failure section.
  • Collision.
    • When a car fire occurs as a result of a collision, your collision coverage might provide compensation for your loss.

Car Fires Related to Arson

If your car is set on fire as a result of arson, comprehensive insurance is what covers your damages. When you have no comprehensive coverage, you might not be able to receive any damages for the loss to your vehicle. Comprehensive coverage will likely not provide payment for intentional acts of arson—if you set your own car on fire in an attempt to collect on an insurance policy.

Filing a Total Loss Car Insurance Loss Claim for a Car Fire

After a car fire, it is your responsibility to immediately contact your insurance company and report the loss. You may also need to file a police report if the fire is a result of a collision or arson. Your insurance company may want to have a copy of the police report. The insurance company might conduct its own investigation of the circumstances, so it is your responsibility to cooperate with the insurance company.

You may need to sign a sworn proof of loss or grant permission for the insurance agent to inspect your car and the damage caused by the fire. Your insurance company's responsibilities are to replace or repair the damaged property or to compensate you for it in cash.

Homeowner's Insurance and Car Fires

In most cases, your homeowner's insurance covers the items that are stored in your garage. If your car is parked in the garage and the garage catches fire, your homeowner's policy might compensate you for the damage. This might be the case even if you do not have comprehensive coverage on your car.

In the event that you do have comprehensive insurance, there might be some intersection between your claims. You might have to prove that the garage fire that damaged your car was accidental and not due to negligence. You might need to provide paperwork from the fire investigation or allow the insurance adjusters to access your property in order to conduct their own investigation.

A car fire can be a scary experience. Understanding how your car insurance works in the event of a car fire could help provide you with peace of mind. It is important to understand your current auto insurance policy and speak with your agent if you have questions about the details in the fine print.