Arson is one of the most concerning forms of damage to a home. It can happen to anyone. Acts of vandalism like this can occur in any city. Yet, home insurance is very clear. Home insurance rarely pays for fires set by someone. What does this mean to you if someone else sets the home on fire? There are a few things to consider.
Was It Arson?
Arson is a criminal act. It is illegal. It occurs when someone purposefully sets a fire with the intent to damage their own home. Generally, this type of fire is punishable under law. Arson usually doesn't pertain to fires set by third parties as acts of vandalism.
On the other hand, if someone accidentally sets a home on fire, this is not arson. In this case, the individual did not intend to damage the home. As a result, this is not arson. Most home insurance policies cover this type of damage. Verify this information within your policy as a first step.
Who Determines If It Was Arson?
When a fire occurs, the local fire department is usually a part of the investigation. The policy will also play a role. The fire department investigates the source of the fire. The fire investigator looks for evidence of what type of fuel the person used. It also looks at factors such as location and how the fire spread. This information provides important information about the cause. From this, they determine if it was arson or an accident.
Will Home Insurance Cover Arson?
The short answer here is no. Nearly all home insurance policies will not cover arson. Some policies offer some leeway. It will not cover the damage caused by any person that owns the home or is an additional insured on the policy. This includes individuals who live in the home. It may also include those who visit the home frequently. It also includes anyone hired by these individuals to set the property on fire.
If the police department proves someone else set the fire, home insurance may cover this loss. Sometimes, it is hard for the insurance company to rule out fires as accidents. If you experience this type of loss, call your insurer. Discuss your situation. Provide information about what happened. If proven that the fire was an act of vandalism against you, it may be possible to obtain coverage.
If you own a home in CA, NV, WA, or AZ, and are considering getting home insurance before your home is vandalized. Call JSW Insurance at 925.737.1560 for a home insurance quote.