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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Every Type of Fire?

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Most homeowners insurance policies cover accidental fires.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Every Type of Fire?

Different types of fires may or may not be covered by homeowners insurance. Most accidental fires and even some fires for which liability is a factor are covered perils. The legal term for an intentional home fire is arson. These fires are not covered by insurance and may result in criminal penalties. Find out more about the fire coverage available through most homeowners insurance policies.

Accidental Fires

Most homeowners insurance policies cover accidental fires. Several features distinguish this type of fire:

  • May be caused by an electrical short or heating malfunction
  • Could result from the actions of a policyholder or another person
  • No intention to destroy

An investigation will probably be necessary before an insurer will cover restoration costs. The one exception to this general coverage is a vacant home fire. Policyholders should obtain an endorsement or an additional vacancy policy for a vacation home or residence that will not be occupied for more than 30 consecutive days.

Fire Liability

Some fires start due to gross negligence or casual disregard on the part of a policyholder or another occupant of a residence. These fires may or may not be covered, depending on how the home fire started and whether any evidence of intentionality is present.

Intentional Fires

Insurance does not cover fires started deliberately to harm a person, damage property, or commit insurance fraud. Intentionally starting a fire may result in one or more of the following criminal charges:

  • Arson
  • Criminal mischief
  • Destruction of property

Reckless burning
Investigators will search for indications of intent to destroy property. An intentional fire may result in a prison sentence.

Most accidental fires and even some fires in which liability is evident should be covered by homeowners insurance. Intentional fires or fires in vacant properties without sufficient coverage are not covered. Insurers prefer to work with home fire damage restoration experts in Montclair, NJ.

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