Personal Insurance Blog

17-Aug-2016 Jane Logan Emergency

What if my Vehicle Catches on Fire?

Recently a client’s 2016 vehicle engine started smoking. He got out of the truck to check the engine and couldn’t get back in the truck because the fire caused the doors to lock.  The truck was very quickly totally engulfed in flames and was a total loss. Luckily our client was alone and wasn’t injured - can you imagine if there was a child, elderly or disabled person or a pet in the vehicle and the doors wouldn’t open?

So what should you do if your vehicle catches fire?

  • Pull over as soon as possible in a safe area

  • Open a door or roll down a window

  • Turn of the ignition

  • Take your cell phone – if you can find it quickly as you exit the vehicle

  • Get everyone out of the vehicle and don’t let anyone return to the vehicle

  • Move away as far away from the vehicle as possible

  • Call 911

How to prevent a vehicle fire

  • Check fuses – if a fuse keeps blowing have the vehicle serviced

  • Clean up oil spilled during an oil change or from an oil leak

  • Check wiring for damage

  • Watch for rapid changes in oil or fuel levels which could indicate leaks or a wiring malfunction

  • Keep cap on oil filter

  • Check hoses

Fire damage to a vehicle is included in Comprehensive coverage and subject to the deductible.  Damage to personal property in the vehicle isn’t covered by Comprehensive coverage.  In order to have coverage for personal property you’d need to have a Homeowners or Renters policy.  In order to have coverage for business property such as tools and equipment, you’d to have a commercial property or tool “Inland Marine” policy which covers property not kept in a fixed location and transported in the vehicle to job sites.

So please check you vehicle for any mechanical condition that might cause a fire and check your policies to make sure if you carry property in your vehicle you have coverage to replace items lost in the fire.

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