Does auto insurance cover electrical fires?

Auto insurance covers electrical fires in most cases if you have the proper coverage. Comprehensive auto insurance covers most electrical fire damage to your car. Although car insurance does not cover electrical faults specifically, you can file a car insurance claim for a burnt car resulting from an electrical fire. The average monthly cost of comprehensive insurance is $13.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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A Concise Overview:

  • Most comprehensive auto insurance policies will cover electrical fires that damage your vehicle.
  • On average, comprehensive insurance coverage in the U.S. costs $160/year or $13/month.
  • Comprehensive coverage is not required in order to drive legally in the U.S.
  • Vehicle fires can originate from multiple sources; some are preventable.

Does your car insurance cover electrical fires? Yes, if you have comprehensive insurance. Understanding how comprehensive auto insurance covers electrical fires can be extremely helpful, and we’re to help with that.

Researching auto insurance can be time-consuming and stressful, nearly as stressful as when something goes wrong with your car. We understand; that’s why we’ve put together this guide, gathering all the info in one place so you don’t have to hunt it down.

Before you find out how and when car insurance covers electrical fires, use our FREE tool above to find cheap comprehensive insurance and full coverage policies.

Comprehensive Coverage and Electrical Fires

Comprehensive auto insurance helps to repair or replace your vehicle if it has sustained damages from something other than a collision. Examples of covered events include vandalism, theft, severe weather damage such as hail, and electrical fires not due to the vehicle’s wear and tear.

You can learn more about comprehensive coverage by watching this brief video from Allstate.

If your vehicle catches fire as the result of a collision with another vehicle, it’s more likely that collision insurance will cover the costs of repair or replacement. Most U.S. states require that you carry a minimum combination of liability car insurance and collision insurance before you can drive legally.

If you have both collision and comprehensive coverage, you can rest easy that your insurance will pay for electrical fires in your car, regardless of whether they happened in a collision or on their own.

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How much does comprehensive insurance cost?

Does comprehensive auto insurance cover electrical fires? Yes. But how much does it cost?

On average, the annual cost for a comprehensive policy in the U.S. is $160. This amount will vary depending on factors such as your location, personal demographics, type of vehicle, driving history, and claims history. Here are the average annual rates for comprehensive insurance according to U.S. state:

Average Annual U.S. Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates by State
StatesAverage Annual Comprehensive
Auto Insurance Rates
Oregon$89.66
Maine$96.66
California$99.29
Hawaii$100.09
New Hampshire$103.03
Washington$104.11
Utah$106.57
Florida$110.12
Idaho$110.78
Ohio$112.74
Delaware$113.23
Indiana$115.02
Nevada$116.79
Illinois$117.98
Vermont$118.31
Rhode Island$122.17
North Carolina$123.00
New Jersey$123.18
Connecticut$126.02
Wisconsin$126.34
Massachusetts$128.92
Virginia$129.89
Kentucky$130.15
Pennsylvania$132.01
Tennessee$135.62
Countrywide$138.87
Alaska$141.08
Alabama$146.28
Maryland$146.77
Michigan$147.02
Georgia$153.61
New York$156.66
Colorado$158.34
South Carolina$165.38
Missouri$166.34
New Mexico$166.89
Iowa$171.58
Minnesota$173.04
Arkansas$183.36
Arizona$184.20
Texas$186.70
Mississippi$194.74
West Virginia$195.04
Montana$199.87
Oklahoma$201.56
Nebraska$206.24
Louisiana$208.59
Wyoming$222.86
North Dakota$227.64
South Dakota$228.59
District of Columbia$230.25
Kansas$230.65
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Even in the states where comprehensive insurance is more expensive, it could be well worth the cost if you have just one electrical fire. Auto insurance would still be cheaper than having to pay for extensive repairs or even replacing your vehicle, and you would have the additional peace of mind knowing that your auto insurance covers electrical fires and many other events beyond your control.

Filing an Electrical Fire Damage Claim

If you’ve experienced an electrical or engine fire, you’re likely going to want to file an insurance claim for your burnt car as soon as possible. For the most part, filing this type of claim isn’t much different from any other insurance claim. The first step is to contact your insurance company, then explain what happened and ask them what additional information they need from you.

One exception to this process might be the possibility that your insurance company opens a car fire insurance investigation. This is simply to ensure that the fire or damage wasn’t caused deliberately. You’ll want to follow their instructions to get your car fire insurance payout as soon as possible.

If your vehicle fire was caused by an electrical fault, you will want to get a certification from a mechanic that the wiring wasn’t old, improperly treated, or otherwise tampered with. Car electrical fires are covered by insurance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your insurance company will be willing to part with your payment before checking out the situation.

A small number of people may set a car on fire for insurance on purpose. This is insurance fraud. According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurance fraud is classified as a crime in all U.S. states. Auto insurance fraud alone is estimated to cost more than $8 billion per year.

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Causes and Prevention of Vehicle Fires

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, losses due to highway vehicle fires in 2017 totaled about $1.5 billion, with more than 1,300 injuries and 400 deaths. Knowing what can cause an electrical fire in a car can help with decreasing or even eliminating the chances of experiencing one yourself.

Here are some additional statistics for the U.S.:

  • Excluding automobile accidents, approximately 13 percent of fires responded to by fire departments are highway vehicle fires.
  • Mechanical failure was the leading contributing factor to the start of highway vehicle fires (45 percent).
  • Insulation around electrical wiring (29 percent) and flammable liquids in the engine area (18 percent) were the most common items first ignited in highway vehicle fires.
  • Sixty percent of fatal vehicle fires were the result of a collision.

Aside from driving safely and defensively in order to avoid a collision, be sure to keep your vehicle clean and well-maintained. Be on the lookout for any small animal or rodent activity, such as mice or squirrels. Take advantage of any seasonal specials that might be offered by your local mechanic, or read your vehicle’s user manual and learn how to do some of the easier work yourself.

Now that you know there is car insurance for electrical fires, use our FREE tool below to get the right coverage today.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Does auto insurance cover electrical fires?

#1 – My car caught on fire and I have no insurance — what do I do?

Depending on the state of your car before the fire, your best bet might be to scrap it and start saving for a replacement vehicle. Consider saving for comprehensive coverage as well so that if it happens again, your repair costs will be covered.

#2 – Does auto insurance cover electrical problems?

Unfortunately, no, car insurance doesn’t cover electrical faults. Fixing and maintaining your vehicle is your responsibility, not your insurance company’s. However, if you are experiencing an issue related to faulty manufacturing or poor design, it’s possible that you could work with an attorney to get your vehicle fixed.

#3 – Does car insurance cover a fire?

If you have comprehensive coverage, damage caused by most electrical fires is covered by auto insurance. It’s easy to verify that larger companies such as Progressive and Geico cover car fires because they provide this information on their web sites. However, if your vehicle is in your garage or next to your house and your house catches fire, you’ll need to look to your homeowners’ insurance to cover any fire damages involving your vehicle.

#4 – Someone set my car on fire — what do I do?

Call 911 immediately to be sure that the fire is safely extinguished, and then call the police to report the incident and file a report. If you have comprehensive auto insurance, call your insurance company to file a claim. They will likely ask for a copy of the police report, so be sure to have at least one copy that you can provide to them.

References:

  1. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/
  2. https://www.iii.org/article/background-on-insurance-fraud
  3. https://www.thelemonlawyer.com/electrical-system-problems

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