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 insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • Your specific car insurance policy is the best source of information about what types of damages will be covered by your auto insurance company
  • Different auto insurance companies handle coverage for fire damage differently, and you should not assume that damage from an electrical fire is automatically covered under your policy
  • Do not make the mistake of thinking that full coverage under your auto insurance policy means that you are covered for every type of damage
  • If your car is damaged by something other than a car accident, this damage may be covered under your comprehensive policy. However, this does not necessarily cover a mechanical failure in your car. This makes electrical fire claims much more complex
  • If an electrical fire in your car is covered under your policy, you may have to pay a deductible out of pocket for your comprehensive policy claim

Electrical fires are trickier than questions about fires resulting from an auto accident in terms of determining whether you have coverage for the damage.

In general, a comprehensive auto insurance policy will cover claims for damages that do not involve an auto accident, but an electrical fire could be determined to be mechanical and not covered.

Your specific auto insurance policy is your best source of information about coverage for a specific claim.

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Coverage Under a Comprehensive Auto Insurance Policy


While almost every driver in the U.S. is required to maintain basic auto liability insurance, comprehensive coverage is actually an optional coverage in all states. This type of coverage is for damage to your vehicle that was not caused by an auto accident.

For example, if your car was damaged by severe weather, vandalism, theft or a falling object, these scenarios would be covered under a comprehensive policy.

The name of the comprehensive auto insurance coverage can be a little deceiving. It does not really mean that everything other than a car accident is covered under this policy. That is why you often hear that full coverage does not always mean full coverage.

You need to be careful in reading the exact terms of your policy. This is a good thing to do before you sign off on the policy because you should understand exactly what is covered under your policy and the type of auto damage that you would have to pay out of pocket to have repaired.

Sometimes, an electrical fire in a car can be classified as a mechanical issue. In this case, it is less likely to be covered by your auto insurance.

This is because mechanical failures are generally excluded from your comprehensive auto coverage. Again, you need to check the exact language of your policy because electrical fires may be specifically excluded from your coverage anyway.

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Filing a Claim

If you end up filing a claim for damage to your car from an electrical fire, then be sure to keep all the documentation regarding your claim in case you have difficulties in reaching a settlement. This would include any records of damage estimates and communications that you have with your auto insurance company.

Once your claim is filed, you will hear from a claims adjuster from your auto insurance company to determine whether the damage is covered under your policy and what a reasonable estimate is of the damages to your car.

Be sure to provide all of the information asked of you by your claims adjuster.

If you have any difficulty in getting your claim resolved and you feel that the auto insurance company is acting unreasonably, you can contact the state department of insurance to either file a complaint against the auto insurance company or find out if there is a history of complaints against your insurer.

This is also good information to have before you sign up with a particular auto insurance company while you are just shopping around for different quotes.

Deductible for Your Comprehensive Auto Insurance Policy


Keep in mind that even if a loss is covered under your comprehensive coverage, you may still have to pay a deductible out of your own pocket before you receive a settlement check from the auto insurance company.

One of the ways to lower your premium when shopping around for auto insurance quotes is to try out paying a higher deductible.

Having to pay out of pocket for your deductible should not discourage you from filing a claim under your comprehensive coverage for a fire in your car.

This is because the damage that results from the fire is likely to cost way more than your deductible, so it is well worth it to have your car repaired or replaced if it is a total loss.

Coverage for an Electrical Fire

The bottom line is that you need to consult your own auto insurance policy to find out if damage resulting from an electrical fire in your car is covered.

In general, this type of damage would be covered under an optional comprehensive policy, unless there is some specific exclusion for damage resulting from an electrical fire in your car.

You will likely have to pay a deductible for this claim, but it is likely much less than the cost of repairing the damage to your car.

Before making any final decisions on your insurance company, it is important to learn as much as you can about your local insurance providers, and the coverages they offer. Call your local insurance agent to clear up any questions that you might have. Questions to consider asking include, “What is the best coverage plan for me/my family/my situation?” “What are the minimum coverage requirements in my state and what form of coverage do you recommend?” “Do you guys offer any bundle discounts if I take out both my auto insurance and home insurance with you?” and “What is the average rate of insurance quotes you guys offer?”

Before making any big insurance decisions, use our free tool to compare insurance quotes near you. It’s simple, just plug in your zip code and we’ll do the rest!

Enter your zip code below to find auto insurance that fits your budget!