Does Car Insurance Cover Fire Damage?

May 22, 2024

With over 150,000 vehicle fires annually on highways alone, insuring your vehicle against catching fire might be a decision that will give you peace of mind behind the wheel, complementing other essential auto coverage.

Read on to learn more about what happens if your car catches fire.

 Statistics on how often US vehicle owners encounter car fire damage on highways

Source: Statista

Which Type of Insurance Covers a Vehicle That Catches on Fire?

Whether your car insurance will cover fire damage depends on the type of coverage you have. However, fire auto insurance is usually an additional coverage that comes on top of a standard policy unless it’s comprehensive coverage.

Let’s look at the most popular standard auto coverage:

Liability CoverageLiability insurance covers damage caused to another vehicle in an accident due to your fault and does not cover the fire damage to your car.
Collision CoverageCollision insurance covers losses due to a collision between your car and another vehicle and does not cover fire damage to your car.
Comprehensive CoverageComprehensive insurance covers damage to your car for various reasons other than a collision, including fire damage to your car.

If you don’t have comprehensive coverage but want protection in case of fire, your insurance company may recommend purchasing an additional policy that expands the list of cases when car fire damage is refunded.

Car fire insurance usually covers the damaged property inside the car, expenses for renting a car during its repair, and downtime due to damage to the vehicle.

Does Car Insurance Cover Arson?

Insurance companies do not reimburse car fire damage caused by arson by default – such cases are always accompanied by a car fire insurance investigation.

An insurer may not cover an arson fire if the investigation proves that the car’s owner deliberately set fire to receive payment from the insurance company or parked the car in a place with a high risk of arson.

Does Insurance Cover Car Fire in the Garage?

Car fire insurance usually covers the car damage from a fire in the garage, but only if it’s your own garage. For example, if a fire in your neighbor’s garage causes your vehicle to catch fire, insurance will not help – you will have to rely on your homeowner’s liability insurance policy to pay for damages.

Does Insurance Cover Engine Fire?

More often than not, insurance covers engine fire. If, however, you’ve deliberately set the engine on fire, the compensation for losses will not follow.

Does Insurance Cover a Fire Caused by an Accident?

If your car catches on fire in an accident, your collision insurance will usually cover the damage.

My Car Caught on Fire – What Now

If your car catches fire, you should ensure your safety first.

If a fire occurs on the road, stop on the side, away from other vehicles and gas stations. Leave the car and help all passengers get out of it. Move to a safe distance. Do not try to extinguish the fire yourself.

Vehicle fire safety infographics

Source: BSE

Once you are safe, collect as much evidence as possible. Take photographs and video of the fire, obtain testimony from witnesses, and ask the rescue service for a copy of the report. During the car fire insurance claim process, you will need these documents.

To contact the insurance company regarding car fire damage compensation, call the phone number listed in the insurance policy. After this, your insurance claim will be reviewed in several stages:

  • Vehicle inspection and damage assessment. The insurance company will set a date and time for you to visit the assessor. The expert will determine the amount of damage and the cause of the fire to understand whether your policy covers it.
  • Car fire insurance investigation. Before the car fire insurance payout, the insurance company must confirm that the car did not catch fire due to intentional arson or negligence.
  • Claim processing. The insurer will transport the damaged vehicle to an authorized service station, reimburse you for car repairs minus all deductibles stipulated by the contract, or pay the cost of your car minus depreciation if your car is cheaper to replace than to repair (total loss).

In some cases, insurance contracts contain additional indemnity terms for car fire damage. To avoid unpleasant surprises, peruse your insurance contract before signing it.

How To Avoid Car Fire

Don’t Neglect Car MaintenanceRegular technical inspection allows you to identify all technical faults that could cause a fire in the vehicle (for example, replacing the coolant).
Beware Flammable MaterialsIf you have to transport flammable objects – for example, gasoline or gas cylinders – handle them correctly. Place them in the trunk, keep the trunk clear of clutter to allow air to circulate freely, and avoid direct sunlight.
Choose Your Parking Location CarefullyThe place where the car is kept when not in use is also essential. Avoid parking near heat sources and flammable objects.

Get your auto insurance quote in just a few minutes at Cove Explore. If you have questions, email us at contact@coverexplore.com or call 888-432-7716.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is electrical fire in a car covered by insurance?

If the fire occurs due to faulty wiring or other electrical components in your vehicle, your comprehensive insurance policy will cover the fire damage.

Does liability cover fire damage?

No, liability insurance compensates for damage caused to another vehicle in an accident that was your fault. This policy does not cover car fire damage.

Which type of insurance covers a vehicle that catches on fire?

It depends on the cause of the fire. For example, if the cause of the fire is an accident, collision insurance will cover the loss. In some cases, a valid comprehensive insurance policy will be enough to meet your needs, whereas in other cases, you’ll need additional coverage.

Victoria Berezhetska

Victoria Berezhetska is a Content Lead at Phonexa.com and an expert contributor to CoverExplore. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with extensive working experience as a PR specialist and content writer. At CoverExplore, she helps customers find the right educational material through easily digestible blog posts and buying guides backing their insurance coverage choice. Victoria covers diverse topics around digital and insurance marketing, including auto, home, health, and life insurance.

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