The increasing number of cars on India's roads not only increases traffic and pollution but has also led to fire incidents in recent years. Although most car insurance providers do not take this responsibility and blame the vehicle for the tempered wiring, what happens to the insurance claims in such situations?
Does a Car Insurance Policy Cover Fire-related Damage?
This answer is subject to certain conditions. For example, if you own a fundamental Third-party car insurance, the loss would not be protected. However, if you have paid a Robust Cover fee, certain instances would be protected.
However, if you have Comprehensive Insurance Coverage, a claim in case of a fire will be honored. Let us try to understand Comprehensive Coverage in car insurance.
What is Comprehensive Coverage in Car Insurance?
Comprehensive coverage is the kind of insurance that provides for damages to your car due to circumstances other than road accidents. Arbitrary factors like destruction due to natural calamities, fire, vandalism, and damage due to fallen trees are covered in Comprehensive coverage.
Is Having Comprehensive Coverage the Best Option?
Purchasing Comprehensive coverage is mostly a decision based on the driver's discretion. It is not even mandated by state law. Bearing in mind the steep cost of comprehensive coverage, we advise you to examine the circumstances you drive your car through scrupulously.
If you own an older car that does not have much value, buying a comprehensive coverage is akin to money down the drain. People living in metros are more prone to collision damage due to high traffic rather than non-collision damage. Our advice to them would be against buying Comprehensive coverage.
On the other hand, they will choose to buy comprehensive car insurance, if they live in a rural area where collisions with animals are expected, in a stormy area that sometimes gets hail, or in a higher-crime part of town where break-ins and theft occur frequently.
Reasons for Car Fires
It is always advised to prevent accidents. For doing so, it is essential to understand the common reasons associated with fire accidents in cars. There are many ways in which a vehicle can catch fire. Some are under your influence, while others aren't. Here are some factors why cars may catch fire -
- Engine Fire
Engine overheating can cause a fire. When the car is not in good shape, this can happen.
- Auto Crash Accident
A big crash has led to the car blowing up in flames on many occasions. On these occasions, usually, the car is assumed to be a total loss due to heavy damage.
- Fire associated with mechanical problems
Faulty wiring may trigger issues in the vehicle. Some individuals tamper with the initial wiring of the car when adding additional accessories.
- Vandalism-related Fire
Cases of rioting can cause severe property damage. Vandalism can cause a car fire.
What to Do If Your Car is Damaged by Fire?
In such an unfortunate situation, first of all, consider the wellbeing of you and everyone else. Try to stop the fire using the means available if the fire is still active. If you come across the destroyed car after the fire has engulfed the vehicle, consider it a no-movement-zone.
Click photos and shoot a short clip of the vehicle being destroyed. This will assist you when you claim auto insurance. Inform your car insurance provider at the earliest and follow the process mentioned.
The insurance companies may need a First Information Report (FIR) and other relevant records, depending on the cause for the burn.
How to Make A Claim for a Burnt Car?
By following any of the processes indicated by the insurance provider, you can raise a claim for the burnt vehicle.
Step 1: Via call/email/website, contact your insurer.
Step 2: Share policy information and state your intent to make a claim for fire-related harm.
Step 3: Send the required documentation that the insurer has asked for.
Step 4: To take a look at the damaged car, the insurer will appoint a surveyor. The surveyor will inspect the car and ascertain the cause of the damage.
Step 5: The insurer may either approve a claim based on the surveyor's results or deny it. It will be settled, if the claim is approved, and you can collect the claim sum as per the terms and conditions of the policy.
You may be asked to share the documents that follow. From one auto insurance company to another the exact paperwork procedure can vary.
- Duly filled & signed Claim Form
- First Information Report (FIR)
- Final Report of Investigation
- Car insurance policy
- Report of fire brigade
- In the case of vandalism, newspaper cuttings featuring the riots
- Original car-repair bills
Precautions to Avoid Car Damage Due to Fire
Here is a list of precautions to be undertaken to avoid your car from being damaged by fire -
- Make sure that the car is in a secure space and parked.
- Keep a handy fire extinguisher.
- Ensure that the vehicle is serviced periodically.
- Do not delay repairs to cars; fix problems urgently.
- Do not tamper with the vehicle's original wiring.
- Original wiring and configurations are often changed to accommodate new accessories, causing issues. Avoid doing that.
- Depend on a competent mechanic for repairs or adjustments at all times.
- Do not change the settings/wirings of the car above the limit specified.
- Use only authorized accessories.
Fires are an unfortunate accident but never inevitable. When the possibility of major damage exists even due to an element as small as faulty wiring, taking all possible preventive measures might not hit the nail on the head.
Hence, there is certainly a need for an insurance policy that covers damage due to fire.