Will car insurance cover electrical fires?

Your auto insurance will cover a car fire if comprehensive coverage is part of your policy. Comprehensive insurance can increase your rates by 30 percent.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • According to FEMA, 1 in 6 fires involves a highway vehicle
  • Twenty-eight percent of the fires are caused by a failure of the insulation around electrical wiring
  • Comprehensive coverage pays for damage from fire

Fire is a common cause of a fire in vehicles, often leading to totaling of the vehicle by an insurance company. It is covered by your auto insurance policy if you purchase the correct coverage.

According to FEMA, 1 in 6 fires involves a highway vehicle. The causes of these are often a failure of equipment on the vehicle.

Twenty-eight percent of the fires are caused by a failure of the insulation around electrical wiring, and twenty-one percent are aggravated by flammable liquids in the engine.

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Coverage under Automobile Policies

Red Office Folder with Inscription Car Insurance.

Automobile insurance policies are a combination of different types of insurance coverage.

A portion of the coverage sold is liability insurance and a portion of it is classified under damage to the automobile.

  • Bodily injury liability – your responsibility as the driver for injury or death for another person if you are deemed to be responsible for the accident
  • Medical payments or Personal Injury Protection – payment for injuries to you or your family, resulting from an accident is usually offered
  • Property damage liability – pays for your responsibility for property damage to others when you are responsible for an accident
  • Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist – pays for injury to you and your family if involved with someone who does not have insurance
  • Collision coverage – covers damage to your own vehicle from a collision with another car, an object, or flipping over
  • Comprehensive coverage – pays for damage from the following perils like fire, falling objects, theft, missiles, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, hail, flood, contact with animals or damage to glass

Coverage for automobile fires is offered under comprehensive coverage. A deductible usually applies and should be considered carefully since the deductible comes directly from a settlement. It also affects your automobile premiums.

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More Information about Automobile Fires

Leshner and Associates, a firm that processes information and expert testimony for automobile claims, indicated in an article that the typical vehicle fire begins slowly in the early stages.

This ordinarily allows passengers to escape without substantial injury unless the occupant is asleep, disabled, intoxicated, or too young to escape.

In some cases, animals are not able to exit the vehicles and are killed in this type of fire.

Be aware that comprehensive coverage is not intended to take the place of maintenance of the vehicle. Electrical wiring and connections should be checked to determine if the insulation, connections, and fusing are adequate.

Even though insurance may cover the fire if it occurs, the cost, trouble, and care of losing a vehicle is considerably more than the actual value of the vehicle.

Flood and Exposure to Vehicle Fires

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Often when a vehicle is flooded, it is necessary to examine the engine interior for damage. Wiring can deteriorate at the very least and water can infiltrate the engine and fuel system. Even before the adjuster arrives, begin the drying out

Even before the adjuster arrives, begin the drying-out process by disconnecting the battery, checking the oil for water, and examining the fuel system for water.

Flood damage is covered under comprehensive insurance, so you need to allow your insurance company to look at the damage.

For this reason, it is necessary to double-check vehicles you purchase for water damage. Many cars are totaled and resold in other states with a normal title, rather than a salvage title.

Unsuspecting purchasers can end up with these vehicles, incurring the possibility of system failures and fires after the vehicle is purchased.

When buying a used vehicle at auction or online, be sure to have your mechanic check the vehicle for water damage.

Automobile fires are covered under auto policies if you purchase comprehensive coverage with your auto policy

You can use an online comparison tool to shop rates, making sure you get the best coverage for the best price.

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  1. https://www.geico.com/information/about/
  2. https://www.nationwide.com/personal-injury-protection.jsp
  3. https://www.esurance.com/info/car/uninsured-and-underinsured-coverage
  4. https://www.geico.com/information/about/
  5. https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a70/1272386

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