What Happens If Someone Burns Your House Down?

Posted on March 11, 2024


Frances Badayos | author

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ICHQ | Site Author

While some Louisiana house fires happen accidentally from an unattended candle or food left cooking on a stove, others occur because of arson. When individuals light a fire intentionally, it can cause thousands of dollars in flame and smoke damage to your home. So what happens if someone burns your house down? How do you recover your losses?

At Insurance Claim HQ, our fire damage lawyers work with you when you have questions about arson, insurance claims and how to proceed in the aftermath.

What Happens If Someone Burns Your House Down Intentionally?

When arson happens and you experience severe financial loss, your insurance company will likely turn down your claim, even if someone you do not know started the fire intentionally. However, an insurance investigator may still come out and review the damage to your home and note items related to the fire, including:

  • The extent of damage to each floor of the home
  • The origin of the fire
  • Evidence of any accelerant used

An insurance investigator will likely request your cooperation regarding the arson and ask you various questions as they make a report when someone burns your house down unintentionally.

How Do I Speak to an Insurance Investigator After a Suspected Arson?

When an insurance investigator arrives to inspect your home and take down a report, it is wise to cooperate as much as possible and answer all their questions truthfully. Be brief with your replies and avoid asking questions about recovering any damages.

Does Insurance Cover Arson by Someone Else?

Individuals who deliberately cause fires may do so for several reasons. They may suffer from pyromania and have a compulsion to light and watch fires. Some may light fires while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and feel compelled to commit vandalism via arson. Recovering losses when someone burns your house down is often difficult because home insurance does not cover fires started purposefully.

When you take out home insurance and include coverage for damages caused by fire, your policy will likely include an arson clause that states the company does not cover losses caused by such actions. This clause protects the insurance company and discourages homeowners from starting fires to gain insurance payouts.

What Is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?

If you believe your insurance company acted unfairly in any way related to an arson investigation, our attorneys can assist you with filing a bad-faith insurance claim. Bad faith includes several actions taken by the insurance company or its fire claim investigator, including:

  • Taking down the report in a biased or unfair manner
  • Directly accusing you, as the homeowner, of starting the fire
  • Searching for evidence that supports the insurance company’s best interests

When the adjustor or company fails to respond to your claims or appears biased, our experienced lawyers can help you win the compensation you need to get back on your feet when someone burned your house down.

What If Arson at My Neighbor’s Home Caused Damage to My Property?

If an arson fire at your neighbor’s home spreads to your property and causes damage, you may file a claim with your insurance company. Companies that satisfy such claims usually seek the loss by suing the neighbor’s insurance company.

If your insurance company only covers partial losses because of arson at your neighbor’s home, you can also sue the homeowner directly to recover the rest. Such proceedings are often confusing, but turning to our lawyers for assistance can help you understand your options.

What Kind of Damage Might My Property Experience During a Neighbor’s Fire?

Even if a neighbor’s house fire does not directly reach your home, your property might endure other types of costly destruction.

Water damage

Water damage from firefighters’ hoses can cause foundation damage and flooding in your basement. Basement floods often result in mold growth, which can spread throughout your home.

Smoke damage

Smoke from large house fires can permeate many different surfaces on the exterior of your home, such as its siding. Smoke can also discolor your home’s paint and leave a lingering, unpleasant odor.

Fire damage to outbuildings

Smoke and flame damage can affect your shed, laundry room or storage building on your property. Charred building materials and smoke damage will likely ruin these outbuildings.

Let Us Assist You With Your New Orleans-Area Arson Insurance Claim

What happens when someone burns your house down and you experience major losses? When arson happens and you find that your insurance company does not have your best interests in mind, our team at Insurance Claim HQ stands ready to fight bad-faith insurance claims and help make you whole after a devastating arson fire. Contact our team of fire damage claim lawyers online for further assistance.