If your car catches fire, there are some things you need to know about insurance coverage and the claims process. Since there are different scenarios that can cause a car to catch fire, you can expect to come across different limits of coverage and procedure for each. Continue reading to learn some basic information about car insurance claims and coverage in the case that a vehicle is burned down in a fire.
Car fires will clearly do a lot of damage to a vehicle. In most cases, cars are rendered a total loss after an engine or chassis fire. Fortunately, most insurance policies offer additional coverage for fires. This is called “comprehensive coverage”, and it will cover damages caused by a fire regardless of how the blaze occurred. However, this type of coverage must be purchased before a fire occurs. Some of the most common causes for automotive fires include car accidents, engine fires, garage fires, and arson.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes for car fires. Serious vehicular collisions and accidents can damage fuel lines and fuel tanks, which leads to gasoline leakages. A tiny spark from metal colliding together is all it takes for combustion to happen. This is often the reason why fires break out after a car accident.
In terms of insurance coverage, the answer can be complex. Depending on how the blaze occurred and the parameters of your coverage, the damage could fall under comprehensive or collision. It is necessary to discuss this with your insurance adjuster to learn the details pertaining to your particular policy. If you do not have collision coverage insurance, there is still a possibility that it could be covered under comprehensive.
In the case of garage fires, which are more common than you think, vehicles can experience a severe amount of damage. Most of the time, they are rendered totaled. Because garage fires are commonly caused by a household hazard or malfunction, people tend to assume that homeowners’ insurance will cover the damages to their vehicles; but the truth is that homeowners’ insurance never covers vehicles. Instead, cars damaged in garage fires are only covered under comprehensive coverage.
Engine fires generally result in a total loss vehicle. That is because the cost to purchase and install a new engine is often close to the actual cash value of the vehicle. In this case, comprehensive coverage will cover engine fires. However, it is important to know that car insurance policies do not typically cover mechanical defects inside car engines. Fires are the exception to this rule. Whether a vehicle is a total loss or not, a car insurance policy will likely pay the actual cash value of the vehicle minus the owner’s insurance deductible.
There’s not much to say about the criminal act of arson, except that it does happen to vehicles and the damages can be covered by car insurance policies. Comprehensive coverage covers vandalism, so if a vehicle is intentionally set on fire, the damages are covered so long as a police report is made.
Sell a Totaled Car for Cash
If your car is damaged in a fire, you likely have a total loss vehicle on your hands. Sell your totaled car for cash on the spot to a local junk car buyer. They will pay you cash for the actual cash value of your vehicle. This is sometimes more than what you can get from your insurance company!