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If my garage catches fire, does home insurance cover my car?



Fire is still the leading cause of loss for an Ohio homeowners insurance policy. Not only can a fire break out in your home, but a garage fire can also happen quite easily. Think about what is in a garage – gasoline, chemicals for lawns, propane tanks and many other flammable objects. So what happens if your car, motorcycle or other vehicle is in your garage and damaged by a fire? How does the insurance work for that?

To get the answer, let's take a closer look at Ohio car insurance and homeowners for examples of what is covered and typical exceptions.

Household insurance – how does it cover motor vehicles? Or do it?

Since the fire started in the home, it is a safe way that we first turn to the homeowner's insurance for coverage. Unfortunately, most homeowners insurance policies include an exemption for motor vehicles. The reason? Because there are car insurances and they are designed to cover motor vehicles (tip: many insurance exemptions exist because there is a better insurance available to cover what is excluded)

Here is an example of motor vehicle exemptions directly from a of our company policies:

We "do not pay for loss to: 1

. land motor vehicles and parts. "We" covers vehicles that are not subject to motor vehicle registration, which are: a. Designed to help the disabled; b. is used solely to operate the "residential premises". or c. Low-power motor vehicles in recreational markets not designed for use on public roads, but only if they are not built, adapted or modified to exceed a speed of 10 miles per hour and are not a motorcycle, moped, skateboard, scooter or motorcycle. (I think the grandchildren / jeeps that you see toddlers driving around the yard or on the street would qualify here.) Are excluded. So we get nothing to repair the damage that has occurred in the car in the garage.

Let's move on to car insurance next.

So if homeowners' insurance has an exemption for vehicles, what does car insurance cover in this situation?

To find coverage for damage to the vehicle, you must look at a specific part of the policy – "Coverage for damage to your vehicle" (or something similar). This is the part that covers direct physical damage to your vehicle. Physical damage consists of two parts:

• Extensive (sometimes called "Other than collision")
• Collision

Extensive covers broken glass, animal encounters, falling objects, vandalism, theft and FIRE. So when the garage catches fire and burns your vehicle, the extensive coverage would pay for the damage.

Like most car insurance claims will pay extensively to repair the vehicle OR if the cost of repair exceeds the actual cash value, the vehicle would be total.

What happens if you do not have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance?

Unfortunately you are lucky. Because your homeowner's policy excludes motor vehicles, your physical damage to cars is the only thing left to pay for the damage to your vehicle. If you do not have comprehensive coverage, there is nothing else available.

Note: If the fire is lit by someone else, tell a dissatisfied neighbor and found to be at fault, his or her homeowner. Insurance liability would normally pay for damage to your vehicle.

Confused or unsure what your Ohio home insurance policies cover (or DO NOT?) Call or fill out the form below. We want to clear your confusion and get you the best policy!


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