Does car insurance cover a car fire?

Collision car insurance will cover a car fire that resulted from an accident, and comprehensive auto insurance will cover a car fire in most other cases, but not all types of policies provide fire protection. Realize that you will have to meet your deductible before car insurance covers a car fire no matter what kind of policy you have, so shop around online before you buy in order to find the best policy. Start here with our free quote calculator below.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 1, 2021

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Things to know...

  • In general, comprehensive coverage is likely to provide coverage for car fires. Not all types of insurance provide fire protection
  • Collision coverage could protect you if the fire was caused as a result of a car accident
  • There are a number of factors that can lead to car fires
  • When filing your claims, call promptly and have documentation on hand for the best results

The sight, sound, and smell of a car fire can be one of the most frightening experiences for a car owner. Often, your vehicle is one of your most valuable possessions, and watching it go up in flames is overwhelming and devastating on multiple levels. It can be especially disturbing if you are faced with the likelihood that the damage to your car as a result of a fire will not be covered by auto insurance.

There is a number of options available to drivers when choosing their car insurance, with different eligibility for fire protection. The options available can depend on whether your car is owned outright, leased or if you are paying off a car loan. The coverage choices offered by car insurers also depend on state law in your area. Make sure to compare rates with our free insurance comparison tool above today!

Insurance Coverage and Car Fires


In general, comprehensive car insurance is necessary to have coverage for the vast majority of auto fires. Fires can lead to massive damage and even a vehicle becoming a total write-off. Of course, by the nature of fires, there is often little you could do to plan ahead or avoid the fire. This type of damage can happen while the car is parked or, most dangerously, while you are driving.

When choosing an auto insurance policy, online comparison sites give you the opportunity to examine the coverage options, policies, and pricing available to you. You can look at online quotes from car insurers for various coverage levels and options to find the best protection and value for you and your vehicle.

The most basic type of car insurance on the market is liability insurance. This type of insurance only covers damages caused to others, including personal injuries and property damage.

This basic insurance is mandatory under most state laws and is usually available only to provide coverage for vehicles that you fully own.  Because basic liability coverage does not cover damages to your own car, it won’t cover fire damage.

On the other hand, collision insurance provides coverage for your vehicle if it is damaged in a crash with another vehicle or an object. If your car catches fire as a result of a collision or auto accident, collision insurance would likely cover the damages. However, it would not cover car fires that take place while the car is stationary or that occur due to mechanical issues or other non-collision causes.

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What kind of car insurance will cover a car fire?

Comprehensive car insurance generally includes coverage for fire damage. While mechanical or electrical failures are not generally covered by auto insurance, fire is often an exception in comprehensive auto insurance policies. It’s important to fully read your insurer’s information about its comprehensive policy to understand the coverage provided.

Comprehensive coverage is a policy option that you select when buying your auto insurance policy, and it covers those incidents not caused by an auto collision or accident.

Comprehensive car insurance policies aren’t limited to covering fire damage, of course. These policy options also cover the types of damages caused by weather and natural events like rain storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods or hail storms, as well as damage caused by theft or vandalism.

When choosing your insurance policy, make sure to speak directly with your insurer to determine the extent of your comprehensive coverage. There are, at times, policy limitations that require you to have the coverage for a certain period of time, like 72 hours, before comprehensive coverage kicks in.

Online comparison sites can help you to compare the options available and their pricing to find the best comprehensive auto coverage for your vehicle. You can shop online for car insurance by comparing quotes from auto insurance companies to find the best value and most complete coverage.

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What are the types of car fires that can be covered by auto insurance?

There are a number of different types of incidents that can cause car fires. If your car catches on fire as a result of a vehicle accident, this would be a claim that you would file as part of your collision coverage as it was caused by a crash.

Other types of car fires would be lead to a claim under your comprehensive coverage. Some of these types include a house fire that spreads to nearby cars (however this could be covered by the home policy), a wildfire or forest fire that spreads to vehicles or a mechanical or wiring defect that causes an engine fire.

Even if a fire has spread from your own home, the proper claim would be with your auto insurer rather than your homeowners’ insurance policy.

Sometimes, a claim for fire damage can come as a result of other types of damage to the car. For example, if a thief steals your car and then burns the vehicle in order to hide evidence or the commission of a crime or if a vandal or arsonist sets your car on fire deliberately, these acts would be covered under the theft and vandalism portions of your comprehensive coverage.

What are the conditions for fire damage in your insurance policy?


Most damages covered by your car insurance involve a deductible that must be paid before the insurance reimbursement kicks in. This is the amount of money that you are responsible for paying, and you will need to pay the deductible first before your policy covers remaining damages to your car.

If the fire has caused severe damage to your vehicle, it may be declared a total loss by the insurer or “totaled.” In this case, the insurance company has determined that the cost of repairing your car is higher than its value, as assessed by the insurer. If this happens, you will be issued a check for your car’s value minus the amount of your deductible.

When you are looking for the best auto insurance policy for your vehicle, you may want to keep fire coverage in mind. Choose the right coverage for you by shopping online to compare policies to find the best value and combination of options.

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How do you file a claim for fire damage with your car insurer?

To begin the process of filing a claim for a car fire, contact your insurance company first. You may speak to your local agent or call a toll-free number for claims for the insurance company. The representative will ask you about the cause of the fire and the types of damage.

When filing your claim, it is good to document damages to your vehicle after the fire. This can help to make clear the extent of the damage. In some cases, an insurance adjuster may ask to see the vehicle in order to determine the cause of the fire.

While most mechanical failure fires are covered by a comprehensive policy that includes this type of protection, a claim could still be denied if there was a known issue that the car owner failed to fix despite being aware of the danger.

Make sure you have the coverage you need by shopping online and comparing prices for car insurance to get the comprehensive coverage that can protect you in case of a car fire. You can view various options and choose the policy that can provide the best value for you. Don’t miss out on our free insurance comparison tool below! Just enter your zip code and start comparing rates now!

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