What should you do if your car burns down? That’s a good question! Auto insurance provides fire coverage that protects owners in the event of total or partial destruction following this type of disaster. But can you claim compensation from your insurance company in that case, and what does a fire truck insurance guarantee cost?
We explain the steps to be taken and the terms of the fire warranty. Because it’s not always that simple… Unfortunately, on certain dates, such as New Year’s Eve, many vehicles are set on fire. This sometimes leaves owners with no resources depending on the age of the car, their level of coverage or their car insurance formula.
Check your car insurance policy for fire coverage
The car insurance’s fire guarantee is an optional guarantee which is not present in all contracts. If you have third-party insurance, you will not receive compensation…
That’s why you need to take a closer look at the terms of your car insurance contract to find out if you benefit from it. Depending on your contract and options, your vehicle is covered for damage caused by fire or explosion.
The insurance of your car can therefore go on to:
- Replacement of the vehicle if it is completely destroyed
- Damage repairs if necessary
This warranty only applies in the event of a fire of accidental origin (short circuit, climatic event) or of malicious origin (vandalism or attack). Please note: fire caused by the insured himself does not entail any compensation…
Regarding a burnt car after a criminal or inexplicable act, an investigation is automatically launched by the police. In particular, this procedure makes it possible to exclude a voluntary action by the insured with the aim of collecting the insurance premium.
How do you get compensation in the event of a burnt out car?
Your car burned down? To start a claim process with your car insurance, you need to take several steps:
- File a complaint with the gendarmerie or police station as soon as the fire is observed
- Complete a report explaining the incident in detail (photo, videos, testimony, etc.)
- Report the loss to your insurance company within 5 working days of reporting the burnt vehicle by phone, email or via your customer area
- Send your compensation claim by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, supplemented by your complaint receipt
Once your claim has been received, your insurance company will start a vehicle fire claim procedure. He then appoints an expert to observe the damage caused by the fire and assess the condition of the vehicle (repairable or not). It is on this expert’s report that the car insurance will base an estimate of the size of the compensation.
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How do I know the amount of compensation in case of a burnt out car?
The amount of compensation in the event of a burnt-out car depends primarily on the guarantees the insured signs. Most of the time the fire warranty provides compensation according to the replacement value to be provided by an expert (VRADE) established from Argus coast. However, certain options allow you to optimize this compensation. The insurance companies actually offer optional fire warranties with compensation according to the replacement value or the purchase value. More expensive, these options are nevertheless advantageous for new or top-of-the-range cars.
Good to know: If the amount of compensation offered by your car insurance does not satisfy you, you have the option of requesting a second opinion. This request will either be at your expense or covered by your car insurance if your warranties include this option.
What if I didn’t have fire insurance?
Has your car just caught fire and you haven’t taken out fire insurance? In this specific case, you will not receive any compensation from your car insurance. If your vehicle is completely destroyed, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to suspend your contract and payment of premiums. By early payment of your insurance premium, you will be reimbursed for the months that are not covered.
Remediation is also possible in the event that your insurance company refuses to provide compensation after a burnt-out car:
- Take the case to CIVI (Commission for Compensation to Victims of Violation) via the High Court. It can pay you financial support with a ceiling of €4,234.50 under certain conditions: a vehicle in good condition (car registration document, car insurance, up-to-date MOT, etc.) and monthly resources below the applicable ceiling (€2,117 per person alone, to which is added €169 per additional dependent).
- Invoke Article L211-10 of the Internal Safety Code when the fire on your car is due to particularly serious circumstances (riots, violent demonstrations, extraordinary gatherings, etc.). In this case, the responsibility of the state is engaged. Your request is sent to the prefecture of your place of residence.
What to remember in case of a car fire
A car fire entitles you to compensation from the car insurance company when:
- The insured has a fire guarantee in his car contract, especially all-risk insurance or with options
- The damage to the burnt vehicle is of accidental or malicious origin
- Car insurance does not intervene if the insured has caused the fire himself, intentionally or not.
- The compensation amount is based on the replacement value according to the expert (argus coast) or on the replacement value if the insured has taken out this option
- No compensation if the insured does not have fire cover: two remedies are possible in case of lack of compensation for a burnt car (financial assistance from CIVI and state liability in case of riots, for example).
Your car caught fire because of the one next door? In this case, we are facing a disaster of so-called exogenous origin. The damage caused is then considered an accident caused by a third party. Therefore, it is the car insurance of the owner of the other vehicle that will compensate you.