Fire can rapidly wreak havoc on any cars that it catches on. One of the main contributors to car fires is faulty wiring which may be due to certain mechanical failures. If your car has undergone a fire, don’t lose hope just yet! A fire-damaged car may still be salvaged and repaired to return to its functional state. However, there are things that need to be done to get it back on the road.
Inform your insurance company
First and foremost, contact your car insurance agent to kick start the claim process. If the damage resulted from a car accident, then it should be handled under collision coverage. If the fire was due to a non-collision loss (e.g. wiring defect), then comprehensive coverage may protect you from losses. Once the claims agent makes an inspection and determination, you will then know whether your car is still salvageable. If it is beyond repairable, consider moving on to get another car.
Complete a repair assessment
If your insurance company determines that your car can still be salvaged, you can now proceed to send it in for an assessment and repair! Keep in mind that the chemicals from fire extinguishers that were used to put off the fire are corrosive to the car and irritating to your skin. At the bare minimum, vacuuming the interior and washing seats, surfaces and carpets is a must. Besides that, odor remover will be required to remove the stench of smoke damage. Certain interior parts of the car may need to be replaced as well. If the wiring was a factor, a certified technician should handle the work, especially if your car is under warranty. The best way is to leave your car in the hands of a trusted professional to get everything fixed for you!
Repair costs may be beyond just the cost of repairing your car. If the fire started in your establishment (e.g. garage, porch), you should also factor the cost of restoration of the affected areas as well! Fortunately, all cars in Malaysia are covered by car insurance and this should help to ease your burden by a fair bit by offsetting the repair costs with insurance payouts!
Get the repair work done
After assessing the damage of your car, you may discover that your costs may be higher than estimated. At this point in time, you should reach out to your insurance agent for a claims adjustment. This may trigger the insurer to re-evaluate your claims and potentially pay you more to cover the bigger losses. Having an estimate from a professional mechanic is crucial to support your claim re-evaluation request.
Once the repairs are complete, do a test drive to make sure that your car is road-worthy. Do take note that the fire damage will become part of your car’s history report and could affect its value when it comes time to sell!