Here, the fire loss attorneys at Azrael, Franz, Schwab & Lipowitz provide key information on car fire insurance claims.
Car Fires in the United States Today
According to the latest data made available by the National Fire Protection Association, in 2017 there were approximately 174,000 car related fires causing 445 civilian deaths 1,550 not life-threatening injuries resulting in $1.2 billion in direct property damages.
Fires can be devastating. Seeking compensation for potential injuries and property damage is often overwhelming and, in most cases, not the first thing that comes to mind after a fire. However, having the right information and a proper understanding of coverages is crucial in dealing with insurance companies when seeking compensation for damages suffered.
The coverage that applies to a fire loss will depend upon what caused the fire. In most cases comprehensive coverage will cover damages to your vehicle caused by a fire. Comprehensive coverage is an optional form of coverage that protects your vehicle from damage not resulting from a collision, as well as from theft. It also covers your car in the event of vandalism, falling objects, flooding, glass damage and fires.
Comprehensive insurance can help you pay for your car’s repair, or even help you replace it entirely in the case of a total loss. In the event of a fire, most scenarios such as arson, garage fires, engine fires will be covered by comprehensive coverage. If the fire was caused by a collision, then this may fall under collision coverage and not comprehensive coverage.
Filling a Claim for Fire Damage
If your vehicle has been involved in a fire, contact the proper authorities to help contain the damage. You will then need to document the incident and collect evidence showing what had happened. Evidence can be pictures, witness testimonies or a written police report. Do this as quickly as possible and even before you contact your insurance company, if possible.
Depending on the scale of damage to your vehicle, the insurance company may send an adjuster to inspect the vehicle. If the vehicle is obviously totaled, it may not be necessary to inspect the car to assess the damage. An adjuster may request to look at it anyway to determine the exact cause of the fire.
Once the investigation has been concluded and the findings suggest that the cause of the fore is covered by the comprehensive coverage, the insurance company will present an offer to settle the matter and either pay for the damages or pay to replace the vehicle entirely.
Contact the Fire Loss Attorneys at Azrael, Franz, Schwab & Lipowitz
Fire-related losses can be devastating, but carrying the appropriate insurance helps to give you peace of mind and assurance that you will be able to repair or replace the damaged vehicle. Seeking the legal counsel of an experienced fire loss attorney will also ease the burden of seeking your rightful compensation during such a stressful time. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a fire or fire related accident, contact us for a consultation today.