Fires, as you know, can prove devastating. Likewise, car fires can destroy your vehicle, cause property losses and create headaches. You don’t want this to happen to you. Yet, sometimes, you just can’t prevent it. That’s what car insurance is for. It can help you get compensation for losses you can’t see coming, and most fires fall into that category. However, depending on how the fire occurs, you might have to tap into different parts of your policy. What are some of the common scenarios that can lead to car fires?
The good news is, most car insurance policies will cover most causes of fires. Still, they’ll only do so if you have the right types of coverage in the first place. Consider several common causes of fires to see which piece of protection will cover you.
1. The Fire Occurs in a Wreck
If you hit another car or object, the damage could rupture your gas tank, cause sparks or otherwise start a fire. Depending on how the nature of the wreck, a couple of different pieces of car insurance might come in handy.
- If you wreck, your collision insurance will usually pay for the damage. It can also vehicle replacement. Based on the total limits you have on your coverage, you’ll receive a certain sum for the losses.
- If another driver causes the wreck, their liability insurance might pay for the fire. Liability coverage pays for the losses the insured party causes to other people. So, if the fire was someone else’s fault, their policy will pay for your losses.
- If another driver causes the wreck, but they don’t have appropriate liability insurance, you might have protection on your own policy. If you have uninsured/underinsured coverage, you can use this coverage to pay for your own damage.
Most auto policies automatically come with liability coverage. Some include uninsured/underinsured coverage. Still, most drivers need to specifically add collision coverage to their policy.
Many drivers, out of abundance of caution, should have each element of coverage. Your insurance agent can tell you the appropriate value limits you should receive.
2. The Fire Occurs from Other Hazards
Your car faces fire risks even when you park it in your driveway. Therefore, you’ll need car insurance non-accident hazards, in addition to collision coverage. Insurance policies refer to this protection as comprehensive coverage. It pays for losses that don’t result from wrecks.
Think about some of the incidents that might happen:
- Your garage catches on fire, damaging the car inside it.
- Someone steals or vandalizes your car. They torch the vehicle to try to cover up their crime.
- Lightning strikes the car in a storm, sparking a fire.
- A problem under the hood causes the engine to catch on fire.
- In certain cases, your comprehensive coverage will pay for damage from wrecks. It depends on the type of accident to determine if this takes over for your collision insurance. Still, don't take this as a sign to skip collision coverage.
You usually can’t anticipate when or if these problems will strike. Therefore, you cannot prevent them. Your comprehensive coverage can help you pay for those losses. It will generally provide payment based on the value of the vehicle and the limits of your policy. Some policies will only pay the depreciated cash value of the vehicle, while others will pay the replacement value. When you buy your coverage, talk to your insurance agent about which element of coverage is best for you. Some people benefit more from replacement coverage, while others can get by with cash value coverage.
3. Possessions Damaged in Vehicle Fires
You probably keep quite a few of your personal belongings in your vehicle. Yet, car insurance often doesn’t provide coverage for belongings lost in any mishap. Still, car fires might destroy your belongings, so you might need somewhere to turn.
At times, your home insurance will pay for property damaged in vehicle wrecks. If you lose business materials, your commercial insurance might likewise provide protection. Nevertheless, check these policies to see how each will pay for lost items. Some might only pay a specific amount of coverage per item, while others might not cover these losses at all. If you have coverage on individual items, it often provides the most certain protection.
4. Preventing Car Fires
It’s not easy to prevent car fires. After all, there’s only so much you can do to stave off the accidents that might cause them. Some protective steps you might take are:
- Receive regular engine, oil and gas system maintenance
- Keep an eye out for gas leaks and never overfill your tank
- Don’t keep flammable materials in the car
- If you smoke in the vehicle, always extinguish the item in a safe manner
- Keep a small fire extinguisher in the car. If you can reach it in a fire, it might help allay damage.
Still, don't risk fighting a fire yourself. If you notice a car fire, immediately get away from the vehicle and call 9-1-1. Fires are dangerous, so leave extinguishing them to the fire department. When it's over, call your car insurer at 866-620-8435. They can help you determine how your coverage addresses fire losses.