Does Car Insurance Cover Fire Damage in India?

It’s creepy to imagine the day your car is on fire, but accidents do happen without any warning. Here’s hoping you never have to face such a situation. What if, somehow, your car catches fire? You should be asking yourself: Will my car insurance cover the damages from the fire? In this article we will explain about what are the coverages that are covered in the car insurance policy if you have covered under the fire damage cover...Read More

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A car insurance policy is a trademark law requirement and also an important part of your safety net. Your level of coverage depends on the kind of policy you choose and also, you need to keep the policy active, be truthful, and raise a claim if any promptly. Read ahead for a detailed explanation concerning a car insurance policy’s fire damage cover.

Best Car Insurance for Fire Damage

The best car insurance policy in India for fire damage is the one that suits your needs. There are many insurers in the market, but not all of them offer the same coverage and benefits. The best way to find out which one is the best for you is to compare them and see which one will suit your needs. There are many factors that can influence your decision on which insurer to choose from. Some of these factors include:

  • Whether you're looking for third party or comprehensive cover
  • The amount of time you plan on keeping this policy
  • The frequency of claims made by the company's customers in recent years
  • The company's response time to claims filed by their customers.

What is Car Insurance for Fire Damage?

The fire damage in a car insurance is the cost of repairing or replacing the car if it was damaged or destroyed by fire. Either intentionally or accidentally, the fire damage in car insurance is caused by a number of reasons, including gas leaks and welding accidents.

As far as car insurance goes, anything related to fire, typically means that there is a fire and the damages are either external like to the body of your car or internal such as any ignition-related damage. Generally, for insurance purposes a fire is any visible flames. So damages that are caused by things like over-heating or short-circuiting don’t count as fires in the traditional sense. The damages that are covered under fire damage are:-

  • Natural Disasters
  • Criminal Acts
  • House Fires
  • Riots
  • Accidents and Collison’s.

How Does Car Insurance Cover Fire Damage in India?

Car insurance is a compulsory requirement in India. It is a legal requirement to have car insurance and the driver needs to have an insurance policy before they can drive their vehicle on public roads. The main purpose of car insurance is to provide financial protection against financial loss as a result of damage or destruction of the insured vehicle, or as a result of bodily injury caused by an accident involving the insured vehicle. Car Insurance in India covers fire damage only if it occurs due to any external source like firecrackers, lightning, short circuit etc.

There are two types of Fire accidents happen to your car. Such as Vehicles catch fire either due to mechanical defects or short circuits.

  1. Mechanical defects include:-
    • Overheated engines,
    • High pressure in certain parts of the vehicle,
    • Fuel or oil leakage.
  1. Short circuits occur as a result of tampered electrical wiring while fitting additional accessories like:-
    • Fog lamps,
    • Amplifiers,
    • Alarms,
    • Headlamps,
    • Woofers.

A malfunctioning electrical wiring system can cause certain parts of the vehicle to heat up and catch fire. Similarly, car repairs like repairing air conditioners, installing air filters or replacing LPG kits when not done properly may cause sudden fire incidents.

Do Car Insurance Companies cover Electric Vehicles Catching Fire?

The one question that is on everyone's mind is whether damages suffered due to such incidents get covered under an insurance policy. A comprehensive motor insurance policy typically covers instances of fire among other mishaps such as theft, own damage, personal accident, and natural disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, landslides etc.

Claims arising out of fire are covered under a comprehensive motor insurance plan which includes the own damage (OD) cover in addition to a third-party liability cover. As of today, there is no separate product or add-on that covers Electrical vehicles against fire. Therefore, it is advisable that you buy a comprehensive motor insurance product.

Example: - There are different scenarios in which a vehicle can catch fire.

  • Let's say when the vehicle is stationary and it's not being charged and it catches fire on its own. In that case, the car insurance comprehensive policy covers the claim.
  • Another scenario can be that the vehicle is stationary and batteries are being put for the charge and then it catches fire which is also covered in the car comprehensive policy.
  • The third scenario could be a vehicle is running and while running it catches fire on its own. That scenario is also covered in the car comprehensive policy.
  • One scenario could be there is some riot or strike and someone might put your vehicle on fire. In that case, also motor comprehensive policy covers this kind of claim.
Standard Package policy covers loss or damage to vehicle due to fire under own damage section However, Fire cause due to any of the exclusion under the policy is not covered. Also, Standalone third-party insurance policy does not cover fire. If Electrical vehicles owner wishes to cover it against fire risk, he need to by a comprehensive (Package) policy. Fire gets covered under own damage section of comprehensive policy. Currently, electric vehicles are being insured just like other vehicles.

Myths about Car Insurance Coverage for Fires in India:

  • Myth: If I am not at fault in a car accident, I don't need car insurance.

    Truth: You are required to have car insurance in India if you want to register your vehicle.

  • Myth: If my car is parked and it catches fire, the fire department will put it out.

    Truth: The fire department will only put out a car fire if they are called by the owner of the vehicle.

  • Myth: If my car catches on fire while I am driving, I can just pull over and wait for the fire department to come.

    Truth: If you try to stop your vehicle while the engine is on, there is a chance that you will get trapped inside and be unable to escape due to the flames.

  • Myth: If my car catches on fire outside of India, I can just drive it back.
  • Truth: It is not permitted for an Indian citizen or his/her property to enter or exit India by road without the approval of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of India.
  • Myth: Car insurance coverage for fires in India only applies to cars and not motorcycles.

    Truth: Just because it is a car doesn't mean it is covered. For example, your house and other buildings are not covered by the same policy.

  • Myth: Car insurance coverage for fires in India only covers fire damage that happens while driving, like engines catching on fire or tires exploding.

    Truth: You can also be compensated for physical arson and malicious destruction by the car's owner's car insurance policy.

Tips for Selecting the Best Car Insurance Policy for Fire Damage:

It is important to choose a car insurance policy that suits your needs and budget. Here are some tips to help you find the right one for fire damage in India.

  • Check your coverage limits: Find out what coverage you need with regards to liability and personal injury protection, and then compare it with the coverage limits of different policies.
  • Know your driving record: The driving records of the driver or drivers on the policy will affect the premium cost. If you have a clean driving record, then you may qualify for discounts on your premium price.
  • Compare prices: It is important that you compare all premiums from different companies before deciding on one company for your car insurance policy in India
  • Consider deductibles: The deductible amount is how much money you agree to pay out of pocket for an accident or other covered incident before any insurance benefits are paid out
  • Understand exclusions: There are certain losses or damages that are not covered by car insurance policies in India.

On what grounds can the Car Insurance Company reject the claim?

Experts say generally, the insurance company doesn't reject the claim, unless and until it is outside terms of the insurance policy.

  • If any modifications are made to the vehicle that tamper with the basic construct and may have contributed to the fire, then the claim could get rejected.
  • It is advisable to not opt for modifications by unauthorized dealers as such changes may not get added to the IDV of the vehicle.
  • Additionally, damages caused due to over-heating, oil leakage and other mechanical defects, too, may not be covered.
  • If a claim arises due to the rider or driver’s negligence or intentional actions, then the claim will be repudiated.
  • If there is any external damage to your motor vehicle, then the damages are covered under your car insurance policy.
  • However, if there is any intentional damage done to your motor vehicle, then the damages will not be covered as per the policy terms and conditions.
  • Your motor insurance policy will specifically mention the causes of loss that are not covered under the policy and/or mentioned under exclusion of the policy which will lead to rejection of the claim.

Types of fire damage that may be covered by car insurance:

A fire under any circumstance is scary. They can be damaging and occur in different ways, not limited to what is included below.

  • Arson: Arson is a criminal act. If your car is intentionally set on fire by someone else your policy may provide coverage for the damage caused. Be aware you might be required to include a copy of a police report with your claim.
  • Engine fires: Engine fires can occur when your car’s electrical wiring or fuel system fail, or following a collision. If you follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule, your mechanic should be on the lookout for any faults (if you’re neglecting your car’s servicing, your insurer may not cover any damage). However, an accidental engine fire may still occur.

    Your immediate response to an engine fire could depend on your situation. If you’re driving at the time, pull over to the side of the road, stop and turn off the ignition. If you’re in a position where you and your passengers are safe.

  • Garage fires: Comprehensive insurance policy or Fire, Theft and Third-Party Property Damage Car Insurance policies might cover your vehicle if it’s involved in a garage fire.

How to Make a Claim for a Fire Damaged Car?

You can raise a claim for the car fire by following any of the processes stated by the insurance company. But before that, check if your policy is active and covers damage by fire. Here’s a stepwise overview of the claim process in case of a burnt car.

  • First Contact your insurance company.
  • Raise a car insurance claim for damage caused by fire.
  • Submit the necessary documents asked by the insurer.
  • If your car is damaged, the insurer might send somebody to inspect it and determine the cause of the damage. It's best to answer any questions honestly and cooperate with the surveyor.
  • The insurer will either accept or reject a claim based on the surveyor’s findings. If the claim is accepted, it will be settled and you shall receive the claim amount as per the policy’s terms and conditions.
  • Either the car repair expenses will be paid or the Insured Declared Value of the vehicle will be paid. The latter will happen in case the car is burnt beyond repair. If the claim request is accepted, you will be informed about the amount paid by insurance company.

Documents Required for Car Insurance Fire Damage Claim:

You might be asked to share the following documents. The exact documentation process can vary from one car insurance company to another.

  • First Information Report from the relevant police authority.
  • Report of the fire brigade (if any).
  • Claim form.
  • Final Report of Investigation.
  • Car insurance policy.
  • In case of vandalism, newspaper cuttings featuring the riots.
  • Original car-repair bills.

Precautions to Avoid Car Damage due to Fire:

  • Keep a handy fire extinguisher.
  • Do not delay repairs to cars; fix problems urgently.
  • Make sure that the car is in a secure space and parked.
  • Ensure that the vehicle is serviced periodically.
  • Depend on a competent mechanic for repairs or adjustments at all times.
  • Do not tamper with the vehicle's original wiring.
  • Use only authorized accessories.
  • Original wiring and configurations are often changed to accommodate new accessories, causing issues. Avoid doing that.
  • Do not change the settings/wirings of the car above the limit specified.

Best Car Insurance Companies for Fire Damage in India:

Companies Plan Cost of the Premium
Bajaj Allianz Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy Rs. 2593 Get a Quote
TATA AIG Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy Rs.3890 Get a Quote
IFFCO TOKIO Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy Rs.2378 Get a Quote
Oriental Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy Rs.3299 Get a Quote
SBI Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy Rs. 2947 Get a Quote
Go Digit Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy Rs. 4290 Get a Quote

*Above mentioned values are for user reference purpose for exact readings compare car insurance policies.*

Conclusion and Final Thoughts:

While car fire damage is a rare event, it can be extremely expensive. In the event that you are in an accident and your car catches on fire, you will need to contact your insurance company for help. I hope you enjoyed reading this! However, if you keep the inclusions, exclusions, and conditions of your insurance contract in mind, you can quickly process and resolve the claim. So, if your vehicle has been damaged by a fire, file a claim, and if it is legitimate, your insurance company can settle it.

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