Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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UPDATED: Oct 19, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • When your car is damaged by arson, you may have a difficult time determining where the fault lies
  • However, your car insurance may help you recover from arson-related losses if you have the proper coverage
  • Make sure to speak to your provider about your insurance coverage, and compare policy quotes from multiple providers to choose the best policy for your needs

If your car is damaged due to arson, you often lack time to prepare adequately as the loss is occurring; a person who is in the middle of experiencing such vandalism will no doubt feel overwhelmed. This means protecting your property ahead of time is essential.

Carrying the proper coverage before your loss can help you recover quickly and easily when arson occurs; comprehensive coverage normally needs to be purchased for coverage to apply. Asking your provider what is covered under your insurance policy will give you a clear understanding of what you’ll be protected from.

Compare car insurance quotes and options right here by entering your zip code into our free rate comparison tool above.

What can you do when your car has suffered arson damage?

Arson is fire-related damages, sometimes referred to as vandalism, that are intentionally started and cause damage to your car or property; these losses are always considered intentional, though determining fault is difficult.

Arson can occur during many situations including:

The losses relating to arson can often result in large amounts of damage, making mitigation difficult. Additionally, arson has been used for fraudulent reasons, such as covering up evidence. Arson losses are often investigated to check for policyholder fraud. As unfortunate as it is, such cases of vandalism do occur, so it’s best to be prepared.

You can proactively purchase coverage for arson losses, as well as other types of losses, by purchasing comprehensive coverage.

This coverage choice is optional, meaning you do not have to purchase it, but it protects from a wide range of losses that are not related to a collision, such as any kind of malicious mischief.

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How can you recover from arson losses?

Your car insurance is designed to help you bounce back from losses. It does not cover the costs of simple maintenance or neglect issues.

However, arson often falls within this category due to the amount of damage that can occur, so you’re typically able to file an insurance claim for these sort of situations. Comprehensive coverage helps protect you from arson losses as long as you have it in place beforehand.

Filing a claim includes the following steps:

  • Contacting your provider when you’re first aware of the loss
  • Providing as many details as possible
  • Documenting the damages
  • Following any instructions your provider gives you

You should always assess the amount of damage and your policy conditions before filing an insurance claim.

Comprehensive coverage often carries a deductible, which is a portion of the claim settlement you are responsible for covering. This deductible applies on a per-claim basis, meaning once per claim, and your provider often deducts this from your settlement.

What are some policy conditions regarding arson losses?

Anytime arson occurs, your priority should be maintaining your health and well-being. Never attempt to handle an active arson event alone. This not only applies to vehicle owners, but to homeowners as well; never go it alone. You’ll hear that no matter who you talk to, that this is what the professionals are for.

Local law enforcement and your local fire department can be contacted to get assistance with handling the arson as well as determining who committed the act.

You should always document your loss as completely as possible; use photographs, video, voice notes, or even written notes to adequately describe the loss and property damage that you’ve suffered.

Any documentation you can provide will help with your claim investigation and any police or fire department investigation that occurs.

Before you proceed with filing the claim, you should get an idea of what your loss will cost to recover and compare that with your deductible. If you carry a deductible that’s higher than your loss, your insurance provider is not required to settle any portion of the claim.

You can always contact your provider before filing a claim to notify them of the loss and to understand the claim process in greater detail. They may even suggest having your vehicle damages evaluated to get an estimate of the total value of the damages.

What’s the conclusion?

Arson can occur for several common reasons, such as acts of vandalism, rioting, civil unrest, malicious mischief, or when you’ve made someone mad.

Carrying comprehensive coverage on your car insurance can help you recover easily when a loss occurs.

Remember to compare policy quotes from multiple providers when you’re purchasing this coverage, since different providers may charge different amounts for similar policies.

Comparing two or three different quotes with your current policy can also help you assess if your current policy still meets your needs at a reasonable price. Compare quotes easily by entering your zip code into our free rate comparison tool below.

Speak with your insurance company about any coverage you carry, losses you’re looking to plan for, and what coverage you need to have in place. They can help you analyze your risks and manage them appropriately, all while trying to meet your budget. You’ll want to make sure that you have protection against arson-caused fire damage if it’s something that worries you, though most policies will also cover other, additional damage as well. While we may not want to think about having to file a damage claim, it’s a reality we need to be prepared for.