House Fire Insurance Claims Leads to $60M Lawsuit

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It is not uncommon for an unfortunate house fire to lead to a fire insurance claim. Every Thanksgiving, warnings are given about fried turkeys and the potential for fire damage. When it gets cold in Texas, there are always quite a few house fires caused by space heaters. House fires can be caused by lightning or even kitchen accidents.

Over the years, I have handled quite a few fire damage claims. Handling a fire damage insurance claim requires some evidence that the fire was not intentionally set, an estimate for the repair or rebuild of the home, and a complete itemization of all items damaged or destroyed in the fire. Sounds easy, right? It’s not.

$60 Million Lawsuit

The owners of a mansion in Ohio have sued Chubb National Insurance Company for failure to promptly pay their house fire damage insurance claim. Click the link here to see some of the pictures of this epic fire. The home had 22 rooms, an elevator, seven full and three half baths, and was worth more than $4 Million dollars.

What sticks out to me in this article is that the fire occurred in 2014 and is “still under investigation”. If a fire claim is still under investigation at this point, this is either due to the potential for arson or that the sheer size of the fire and the home are causing significant delays.

House Fire Insurance

When a home burns to the ground like this, it is important that you file a claim promptly with your homeowner’s insurance company. You should have coverage for additional living expenses (or “ALE”) that will cover reasonable costs for alternative housing during the time your home is being repaired. You should also have personal property coverage that will allow for you to purchase clothes and immediate necessities. If you do not have these coverages or you do not know if you have enough ALE or property damage coverage, call your insurance company today and confirm that you possess sufficient coverage.

Of course, this does not guarantee that the damage will be paid promptly. Just ask these folks whose $4 Million house was destroyed. Time will tell what happens with this fire claim. But all too often, time is a luxury many do not possess.

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