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Does car insurance cover fire damage?

By  AAMI

Certain types of car insurance can provide cover for accidental loss or damage caused by a fire.

If you have insurance which provides cover for fire, theft and third-party property damage, your insurer may help cover the cost of repairs if your car has been damaged by fire.

  • Comprehensive car insurance usually covers you for accidental loss or damage to your car — including that caused by fire — as well as other people’s vehicles or property.
  • Fire, theft and third-party property damage car insurance covers your liability for damage caused to another person’s car or property, and accidental loss or damage resulting from a fire or theft. With AAMI Car Insurance, you can pay an additional premium and add Fire and Theft Cover to your Third-Party policy.

Generally, standard third-party property damage cover (that is, without fire and theft) might only cover your liability for any damage you cause to another person’s car or property. Be sure to read your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to understand what you're covered for.

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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. To know what you’re specifically covered for, including any limits and exclusions, familiarise yourself with your policy’s PDS before taking out any cover.

If you suspect the damage is a result of arson, you may need to include a copy of a police report with your insurance claim. Similarly, if the damage has been caused by a bushfire, and your insurer cannot lodge a report on your behalf, you might be required to obtain relevant documents from:

  • fire and rescue
  • your local council, or
  • another entity suggested by your insurer.

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.

Bushfires

Bushfires are a part of living in Australia and may affect your vehicle.

If you live in a bushfire-prone area, it’s crucial to work with your state’s bushfire agency and have an up-to-date survival plan. A survival plan details what you’ll do when a bushfire happens. Think about where you’ll go and what essentials you’ll take with you, such as first aid, important documents, water and portable and in-car phone chargers. You might store these items in a container or bag with other valuables, such as jewellery or photos.

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, consider the following:

  • Make sure you and your passengers are well away from the vehicle. Leave any personal items in the car.
  • Call 000.
  • Try to alert oncoming traffic.

Garage fires

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

If you’re looking for insurance for your garage and its contents, have a look at Home and Contents Insurance.

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Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. Any advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before you make any decision regarding this product. The Target Market Determination is also available.