Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • If you have chosen to carry comprehensive coverage on your policy then your provider may help you recover after arson or fire-related losses
  • To protect yourself from these unexpected and sometimes expensive losses, it’s important to have the correct coverage in place before the event occurs
  • Speak to your potential or current provider about your policy coverage, situations where it applies, and potential gaps in your protection when purchasing or renewing your coverage

When your car is damaged by arson or other fire-related losses, you may not have the time to plan ahead or adequately protect your vehicle.

To protect your financial investment from loss, it’s crucial that you carry adequate insurance coverage before the loss exposure occurs; this adequate coverage includes carrying comprehensive coverage on your policy before it’s damaged by arson or fire.

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Your Vehicle and Arson Damage

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When a fire is set intentionally to cause damage to a vehicle or other property, this event is known as arson.

Arson can occur when you least expect it, and there are different reasons that arson may occur, including:

  • Mischief
  • Riots
  • Civil unrest
  • Being the target of another’s anger

Arson can cause large amounts of damage to your vehicle, and it can be difficult to contain once it has begun.

Arson may occur for fraudulent purposes, to cover up evidence, or for other malicious reasons. Arson can be engaged in by the owner of the vehicle themselves or by other individuals looking to cover up their actions.

Protecting your car from arson that you are the victim of requires carrying comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy before the loss occurs.

Comprehensive coverage is the coverage choice that protects your car from losses that are not related to a collision. This insurance option is sometimes called “other-than-collision” coverage.

If you do not carry this coverage before the fire occurs, your insurance carrier is not required to honor your claim.

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Comprehensive Coverage and Arson

Comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy is an optional coverage that protects you from losses that are often unexpected including arson or other fire-related losses.

Carrying comprehensive coverage protects from a range of risk exposures that you cannot always anticipate.

When your car is damaged by arson or fire, it’s important to remember that any claims may carry a deductible that you need to take into consideration.

The deductible is a portion of any covered loss that you are responsible to help reduce the burden on your insurance provider.

Comprehensive coverage often comes with a deductible, which will apply on a per-claim basis, and is a requirement before your claim is settled.

Things to Remember Regarding Arson

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Make sure to keep your health and safety in perspective before acting on any active arson or fire scene; attempting to put out a fire on your own may be a dangerous feat.

Contact your local fire department and law enforcement to get assistance with quenching the fire before attempting to get near your vehicle.

Once the fire is safely contained, you will want to document your losses as accurately as possible. This documentation often involves taking pictures or video that you can provide to police or claim investigators. This evidence may be needed to resolve your claim.

You may also want to have an inspection done if you believe the vehicle can be repaired. This inspection can be provided to your insurance provider during the claim investigation process.

Before choosing to proceed with a claim, it’s important to assess your potential loss compared to your deductible and your coverage.

There are times where filing a claim may not be the best step to take, such as when your deductible is more than your loss or your policy does not provide coverage.

Speak to your insurance provider about the loss and your options to choose the best course of action.

Conclusion

There are different reasons that arson may occur, including when riots and civil unrest occur when someone wants to cause mischief or mayhem, and even when you’re the target of an upset individual.

These scenarios are often unexpected and planning ahead can be difficult when you do not anticipate or expect a loss. However, carrying the proper insurance coverage can help you recover quickly and easily from any loss that occurs.

Carrying comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy before an arson can help you recover when your car is damaged. Insurance providers do not cover losses that occur before coverage is purchased.

Arson can be caused by civil unrest or upset, and if there is a large event occurring, your insurance provider may place a hold on adding coverage after a certain date. This hold keeps drivers from buying coverage on an “as needed” basis.

Talk to your insurance provider about your policy if you want to inquire how your coverage protects you from arson or fire-related losses. Your provider can help you assess your risk exposure to choose the best coverage for your needs and your budget.

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