Fire is always a concern for anyone. It can affect one’s personal belongings and household contents as well as personal harm.

What many don’t think about is the possibility of a fire taking place that affects their vehicle. When this does happen, it can be dangerous and is frightening.

What Can Cause Car Fires?

car fires

There have been some individuals who have been driving their car and have detected smoke. It could be an immediate warning that there is a fire taking place in the vehicle. Plus, it could be because of a faulty component in the vehicle that has created the fire. When this takes place, the driver must react fast by pulling the car over and getting out of it as quick as possible.

Parked Car Fires

Many individuals will park their vehicles in the garage that is near or attached to their home. The garage is not only used for storing the vehicle but often for other purposes. A lot of times dangerous and flammable chemicals are in the garage for storage. Or sometimes the garage is also used as a workshop. Any of these situations can create a risk of fire. If the vehicle happens to be in the garage at the time, there is a high risk that it is going to set on fire as well. Primarily because of the fuel that the car operates on.

Arson

Unfortunately, there are individuals that do go around and set fire to vehicles. It is often done late at night and vehicles parked on the road or in the driveway often become the targets. The arsonists usually do an excellent job at making sure that the car becomes engulfed in flames as fast as possible.

Collisions

One of the many concerns, when the crash occurs, is that the vehicle will set on fire. If there is a fuel leak as a result of the accident, there is a high risk for this taking place.

Acts of Nature

Throughout Canada, every province faces its challenges when it comes to weather conditions. Some of the provinces have dry seasons where there are wildfires that take place. These often can occur close to homes near the parked cars. Many times individuals do not have the opportunity to be able to move their vehicle. They are not able to get it to a safe place quick enough.

Is the Vehicle Repairable?

vehicle

A significant concern is going to be whether the vehicle is salvageable as a result of the fire. It is all going to depend on what the cause of the fire was. Plus how extensive the damage is as a result of the fire.

Care Engine Fire Damage

An engine fire that is contained to the engine may be salvageable. It may mean that the engine can be rebuilt. If it has not gone beyond the engine, then it means that the interior of the vehicle may be affected. But, there may be concerns about smoke damage.

Vehicle Water Damage

There is also the concern about water damage. When a vehicle sets on fire it has to be extinguished. There could be extensive water damage done to the vehicle.

Will Insurance Cover Vehicle Fire

A repair shop has to decide if the vehicle is repairable. Also if there is insurance on the vehicle, it will be up to the insurance company. They will depend on their claims adjuster.

Insurance for Vehicle Fires

To drive a vehicle in Canada, it is mandatory to have insurance. But it is just basic insurance. Many individuals want more coverage than what this provides. There are different options that they can choose through the insurance company. For their vehicle protection.

Damage created by fire would have to come under the comprehensive insurance package. Comprehensive insurance covers all those types of damages. Other than a collision.  Included in this is fire.

Filing a Vehicle Fire Claim

A vehicle damaged in a fire needs reporting to the insurance company immediately. Once done a claims adjuster is assigned to the file. The claims adjuster will examine the vehicle. This individual would determine if the vehicle is repairable or not. Often the vehicle will not be repairable. Based on the damage from the fire, smoke, and the water.

Government Regulations

In Ontario, the government is strict when it comes to vehicles and water damage. If water is used to extinguish the fire, it could affect some of the mechanical components.  Over time this could cause erosion. It could then lead to a malfunction of the vehicle that could cause an accident. Based on this and the circumstances most insurance companies write the vehicle off.

Vehicle Contents and Fire

Comprehensive insurance will not cover the contents that were in the vehicle. Many times individuals leave expensive items in their cars. For example, electronics that include their laptop. The house insurance may cover these items. If the individual has this type of insurance.

The Value Payout

Once it’s determined that the vehicle is not repairable the insurance determines how much to pay for the write off of the vehicle.  In most cases, the insurance companies will use the Canadian red book as their source for this. The red book lists the make model and year of a vehicle and what its fair market value would be at a specific time. It won’t matter if the car owner still owes money on the vehicle. They will only get paid out the amount that the insurance company feels the car is worth.

Extra Insurance in Case of Vehicle Fire

vehicle fire

There is extra insurance coverage that will help in situations like this. But it is bought as part of the insurance package. It is Gap insurance for those that have a loan on their vehicle. Often the payout does not cover what’s owed on the vehicle. There is insurance that will cover this difference. A lot of individuals do not think enough about buying this type of insurance. Anyone that is financing their vehicle should give it some thought.

Fire can be such a devastating experience.  Insurance shoppers think carefully about what type of insurance they are buying. It means thinking about what could happen in the future. It is what takes place with comprehensive insurance. Individuals know that they are at risk for collision. So extra collision insurance is not usually an issue. But buying comprehensive insurance is something that a lot of people struggle with. They have difficulty making the decision about it.

Resources

https://www.thebalance.com/car-fire-and-insurance-527082
https://www.quora.com/Can-cars-generally-be-rebuilt-after-an-engine-fire
https://www.tada.ca/beware-of-flood-damaged-vehicles
https://www.autotrainingcentre.com/blog/auto-technicians-repair-fire-damaged-cars/
https://www.cooperators.ca/en/Answer-Centre/Newsletters/Vehicle-writeoffs.aspx