An Alcohol ‘Explodes’ Inside Your Car. Will Your Comprehensive Insurance Cover The Damages?

2 min. read By Kevin Joshua Ng on

A few days ago, there has been a reported incident of an alcohol bottle exploding inside a vehicle, shattering the car’s window and damaging the ceiling and upholstery.

Can an alcohol really explode inside a hot car? While this may come as a surprise to most of us, a bottle of rubbing alcohol can inflict a lot of damage when exposed to the kind of heat we have in the Philippines.

Alcohol is inherently a highly volatile substance that must be stored properly: in a tightly closed space under room temperature. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Head Eric Domingo warns us of the dangers it may pose:

“All alcohol bottles have a warning about flammability, so if the conditions are bad, this can happen.”

Everyone has been on the defensive since the pandemic broke out earlier this year that precautionary measures like disinfecting the stuff and places we spend time the most in are already a normal part of our lives. Also, storing alcohol bottles inside our vehicles have already been a practice even before then–myself included.

However, this is one of the few times we’ve actually made aware of an incident like this. Now that most of us carry an alcohol bottle inside our cars, the chances of this happening again could skyrocket.

So it got us thinking: if ever a bottle of rubbing alcohol exploded in our cars and the interior gets damaged, can we file a car insurance claim for it?

Read: Quezon City Ostrich Incident: Does Your Car Insurance Protect You Against Animal Damage?

Will your car insurance cover damage due to alcohol explosion?

The short answer: No.

We consulted a couple of our car insurance experts and two of the best car insurance companies in the Philippines, FPG and The Mercantile, to help us answer our query.

According to them, 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.

There you go. So don’t store alcohol bottles inside your cars. You might be safe from COVID-19 but an exploding bottle is bad news all the time.

Hand sanitizers are a safer alternative

If you want to bring some kind of disinfectant with you wherever you go, fill a small spray bottle then store it in your bag or bring a hand sanitizer instead. Its materials are much less volatile so it’s not as serious a fire hazard compared to alcohol.

But still, don’t leave it under direct sunlight because flammable vapors can evaporate from alcohol and hand sanitizer bottles alike, according to the National Fire Protection Association. 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.

Remember this tip and let us all be safe and sound this season.

About the author

Kevin Joshua Ng

Kevin Joshua Ng Kevin Joshua Ng is a digital marketing professional and car enthusiast who has written for In The Garage, a trusted resource for car owners in North America.