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October 9, 2020

Can You Claim Insurance If Alcohol Explodes in Your Car?

Everyone has been on the defensive since the pandemic broke out earlier this year, and one of the must-have essentials for disinfection, especially in the car, is a bottle of alcohol.

However, a few days ago, an incident occurred where an alcohol bottle exploded inside a vehicle, shattering its windows and damaging the ceiling and seats.

Can that really happen? While this may come as a surprise to most, yes it can. A bottle of rubbing alcohol can inflict a lot of damage when exposed to the kind of heat experienced in the Philippines.

Alcohol is inherently a highly volatile substance that must be stored properly: in a tightly closed space under room temperature. In fact, Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Head Eric Domingo reminds everyone that all alcohol bottles carry a warning about flammability.

With that in mind, if ever a bottle of alcohol exploded in your car and the interior gets damaged, can you file an insurance claim for it?

The short answer is no.

According to two insurance companies in the Philippines, FPG and The Mercantile, instances like an alcohol exploding inside your car are considered negligence because alcohol is a flammable material that shouldn’t be stored inside a vehicle.

With that in mind, if you want to bring some kind of disinfectant with you wherever you go, fill a small spray bottle then bring it with you in your bag or person. Better yet, use a gel-type hand sanitizer instead. Hand sanitizers are much less volatile so it’s not as serious a fire hazard compared to alcohol. 

Still, don’t leave it under direct sunlight because flammable vapors can evaporate from alcohol and hand sanitizer bottles alike. All it takes for an explosion to happen is a flame source, like a cigarette butt or built-in cigarette lighters found in older vehicles.

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