Will My Auto Insurance Cover Fire Damage

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Car fires are a costly and scary affair; it could lead to the total loss of your car and even fatalities. Such a loss would be devastating and very stressful if you do not have enough coverage. When you ensure that your car has the right coverage then you may not worry. You may get peace of mind only when you choose wisely when you sign up for a policy. It is important to know what is in your insurance policy before your car catches fire.

Is A Car Fire Covered By Insurance In Canada

When the car catches fire due to a collision with another vehicle or object then you may file a claim under your collision coverage. Any other causes for a car fire may come under comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage insures perils other than those caused by a collision. Thus it depends on the cause of the fire as to under which coverage you may claim for the damages. Some of the scenarios when you may claim under comprehensive coverage are as follows:

  • A wiring defect that causes an engine fire
  • Car fire that is due to a house fire spread
  • Thief burning a stolen vehicle

However, if you neighbor has a fire that spread to your compound and burns your car then you may claim under the liability coverage of your neighbor.

Top 10 Causes Of Car Fires

The following list compiles some of the common causes of car fires:

  1. Arson:  To burn a car on intentional purpose is arson.
  2. Garage Fire: When there is a fire in your garage that could quickly spread to your car and burn it.
  3. Engine Fire: Sometimes your car engine may catch a fire due to a mechanical defect or overheat.
  4. Collision: Quite often when there is a severe collision then that impact is enough to spark a fire that could rage quickly.
  5. Natural Disasters: Fires, earthquakes, tornadoes or any such natural calamities may cause a car to catch fire.
  6. Designing Errors: A defect in the mechanics or engineering design of a car may cause a fire. Usually, such incidents may cause manufacturers to issue a mass recall of their vehicles until they find a fix.
  7. Poor Maintenance: If you are careless and ignore spills and broken parts then that could prove very costly later when your car catches a fire. Wiring faults, short circuits, broken seals, damaged gasket, leaking fluids etc. can cause a spark.
  8. Electric or Hybrid Car Batteries: There have been many instances of fire damage due to battery problems of green vehicles.
  9. Catalytic Converters: When the catalytic converter overheats and you keep ignoring the strange car smells then that may also cause a fire. An exhaust system could be the hottest component in a vehicle and its temperature is enough to cause a fire if not careful.
  10. Fuel leaks: Any gas leaking due to a crack in the fuel injection system may prove to be hazardous; especially if it is gasoline.

Can Car Catch On Fire From Overheating

It is possible for a car to catch fire due to overheating of any of its components, especially the engine. An overheating of the engine may easily cause a spark that could flare up a fire. When this comes in contact with flammable fluids then that could double the effect. Any oil or fuel spill that lands on an overheated exhaust may cause a fire. It is very important to keep a check on the temperature gauge and it is on your car dashboard for a purpose. Any wires that disconnect in the engine could drive up the engine temperature and the overheating may cause a fire.

How Many Car Fires Are There Each Year In Canada

car on fire

The (OFMEM) Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management maintains data from fire reports based on each fire call all over Canada. They record and group this data in terms of ignition sources, location, occupancy, fatalities, injuries etc. This data covers all provinces and municipalities. As per OFMEM, there were 55108 fire losses reported during the period from 2011 to 2015 and out of them 27 percent were vehicle fires.

How To Prevent A Car Fire

“Prevention is better than cure”, even in the case of a car fire as it could easily lead to drastic results such as bodily injury and loss of life or property. You may prevent a car fire by following the below tips, it could save a huge mishap.

  1. Take care of properly maintaining your car and keep a check on all vital parts. Regular maintenance of the entire car could help you to catch a leak or a crack early.
  2. Check fluid levels and any spills of gas or oil.
  3. Look for wiring condition and keep it safe from any mechanical issues.
  4. If you smell something funny, find out the reason as it could be something that could prevent a fire. When there is an overheating in the exhaust or engine that could release fumes that you might smell.
  5. Secure the oil cap and also keep an eye out for the temperature gauge.
  6. It is very hazardous to carry gasoline in the car, especially in the passenger area. When it is necessary to do so, you may use a sealed canister and open up a window for airflow.
  7. Make it a habit to check the cooling fan and radiator before you start to drive. It doesn’t hurt to carry some extra water for cooling purposes.

What To Do When Your Car Catches Fire While Driving

First of all, when you notice that you are driving and your car has caught fire, don’t panic. Act sensibly, do not step up the gas and rush to your destination. Try to stop your car at a safe spot as soon as possible and switch off the engine. Get everyone out of the car and far away as fast as possible, at least 150 ft away. If you try to extinguish the fire you may ensure that you are using a Class B or Class C. But it is best to not do anything on your own as it could be too dangerous. You may call 911 for the fire brigade and get their help to douse the fire.


Resources:

https://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/FireMarshal/MediaRelationsandResources/FireStatistics/OntarioFires/FireLossesCausesTrendsIssues/stats_causes.html


 

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