Does Car Insurance Cover Damage from Fire?

Car with fire damage covered by insurance

Fire is extremely destructive and can quickly destroy your car. You should take every precaution to prevent a fire, but does car insurance cover fire damage? Here’s everything you need to know about what coverage you need, how to identify potential fire risks and how to prevent a car fire in the first place.

Coverage for Fire Damage

A typical car insurance policy may cover your medical expenses, bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Coverage for damage to your own car, like in the case of fire, is not typically required. The specifics will vary based on the exact terms of your policy contract.

Liability coverage protects you if you’re held responsible for injuring someone or damaging their property in a car accident. It doesn’t pay for damage to your own vehicle, however. A liability-only policy means that in the event of damage, your insurance policy will not pay to repair your vehicle.

Your car insurance will cover most fire damage if you carry comprehensive coverage. This is an optional insurance coverage that pays for damage to your car not related to a collision.

If the fire is caused by a collision with another vehicle or object, your collision coverage may cover fire damage to your car.

Comprehensive coverage may cover:Collision coverage may cover:
Natural disasters and storms Hitting another vehicle
Fires Hit by another vehicle
Damage caused by animals Hitting a stationary object

Having both comprehensive and collision coverage is known as having “full coverage” on a vehicle. Full coverage is not typically required for auto insurance policies. If you owe money on your car, you may be required to carry full coverage as a term of loan or lease.

Full Coverage
Collision and comprehensive coverage are not typically required coverage. Check with your insurance company or agent to see if you have full coverage on your vehicle.

Full Coverage Insurance and Fire Damage

Full coverage on your car typically only helps pay for the car itself. Personal belongings inside your car aren’t typically covered by your car insurance policy unless stated otherwise. Plymouth Rock offers mobile device replacement, laptop replacement and personal property coverage as additional coverage for Assurance Plus customers. Otherwise, your homeowners or renters insurance policy may cover personal property.

Causes of Car Fires

To help prevent a car fire in the first place, it’s important to know about potential fire hazards to your car.

Fuel Leak

A damaged fuel system may spray flammable gasoline into your engine bay where it should not be. If you smell gasoline coming from your engine, do not operate the vehicle and have it towed to a trusted mechanic.


An overheating engine can cause a fire. Low oil and coolant can quickly cause your car to overheat. Check your car’s oil and coolant levels regularly. If you find that your oil and coolant levels keep falling, it may mean you have a leak or other mechanical issue. Keeping up with regular maintenance will help you stay on top of any potential issues your car may have.

Faulty Electronics

Damaged or faulty electronics can also cause a fire. Exposed wiring can short circuit and create sparks, among other problems for your car. If you smell burning plastic or rubber, it may mean there are damaged wires. Any fuses that consistently blow may be also be a sign of damaged wiring.

House Fire

A house fire can quickly spread and damage vehicles parked in the garage or in the driveway. Your homeowners or renters insurance will not typically cover damage to your car, even if the fire started in your home.


Arson is the criminal and intentional act of setting fire to property. This is a serious crime, and your insurance will cover arson damage if you are a victim of it. It will not, however, cover you if you started the fire on purpose.

Filing a Claim for Fire Damage

Before you file your claim, make sure you are safe. Do not approach a burning vehicle under any circumstance. Call 911 and follow their instructions.

When you wish to file a claim, don’t delay. Call your insurance company as soon as possible and report the damage.

We know that filing any kind of car insurance claim can be stressful. Our unique claims services will simplify the process, getting you back on the road in no time.

How to File a Claim

  1. Take Pictures
    Document the damage as soon as possible. Provide pictures along with any fire or police report to your adjuster. This will help them with the investigation of your claim.
  2. File Your Claim
    Please have your policy number ready. You can file a claim online or by contacting us or your agent directly.
  3. Assignment and Tracking of the Claim
    After you report your claim, you’ll receive a claim number to help track its progress. We’ll also assign you a friendly representative to answer any questions you may have.
  4. Damage Evaluation
    If your vehicle has damage and the applicable coverage applies, we offer these convenient options to get you back on the road as soon as possible:
    • CarPicsSM Photo Appraisals: Eliminate the need to schedule a claims inspection and receive your estimate within hours. You may even get paid that same day.*
    • Crashbusters® Mobile Claim Service: Have a representative meet you to appraise the damage at a time and place that’s convenient for you, often issuing you a check on the spot.
    • Door to Door Valet Claim Service®: Let us pick up your car and handle the repair process from start to finish. If you have rental coverage, we’ll even coordinate a rental car.
  5. Receive Your Claim Settlement
    Based on your situation, Plymouth Rock may pay your claim to the repair shop or we may reimburse you directly. Your claim payment will be based on the terms and coverage in your car insurance policy.

Preventative Measures and Safety Tips

The best way to prevent a car fire is to stay on top of regular maintenance. Have your oil changed at the manufacturer recommended interval. Make sure your car’s cooling system is in good shape by regularly inspecting your radiator and fan and keeping your coolant topped up.

If you smell anything unusual, like fresh gas or burning metal, plastic or rubber, have your car inspected by a trusted mechanic.

Finally, keep up to date on any factory safety recalls for your vehicle and have them addressed as soon as possible.

Conclusion: Does Insurance Cover Fire Damage?

A vehicle fire can be unexpected and destructive. That’s why it’s so important to protect yourself and your vehicle with a combination of preventative maintenance and the right insurance coverage. Rest assured knowing that you’ll get great coverage and even better service when you get comprehensive car insurance from Plymouth Rock.

Now Let’s Talk About You
Do you have the right coverage for your vehicle? We’d love to chat with you about it. Call us at 855-993-4470 or speak to a local agent.

If you’d rather not talk, you can get a quote quickly and easily online. Just enter your ZIP code to get started and see how much you could save!

*Certain restrictions apply.