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When a house fire spreads to a neighbor, generally, all the…

For Law Educator:When a house...
For Law Educator:When a house fire spreads to a neighbor, generally, all the neighbor has to do is send a demand letter to the house owner’s insurance company for payment of any damage to the neighbor’s home and it will come out of their liability insurance correct?
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Answered in 15 minutes by:
12/19/2017
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 121,675
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only. Please feel free to ignore any phone service request, the expert does not send those unless asked by customer and they are sent by the site automatically.

This is not as cut and dried as one may think. In order to hold the neighbor liable for their fire catching your home on fire, you have to prove the neighbor was negligent in causing the fire or causing the fire to spread to your home. If you cannot show negligence on behalf of the neighbor then your insurance would cover your damages and the neighbor's insurance covers their damages. For example, your neighbor's house catches fire and the winds blow the embers to your home and your home catches fire, that is not the neighbor's negligence. On the other hand, your neighbor has trash all over their yard and the fire catches onto the trash and it spreads to your home, you could show the neighbor's negligence caused the fire to spread to your home and as such you could seek to hold the neighbor liable. Typically, your insurer would be the one going after the neighbor if they believe them to have been negligent in causing the damages.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Thank you. So to be clear, it’s not enough to prove that the fire was started due to negligence, we have to prove it was SPREAD due to negligence?

Thank you for your reply.

That is a borderline situation, since in order for you to seek to hold the neighbor liable you have to prove not only were they negligent in setting the fire, but the fire spreading to the neighboring houses was reasonably foreseeable based on their negligent conduct. You would have to show somehow that they knew or should have known or that because of the situation of how the houses were located that it was reasonably foreseeable that their negligence in causing a fire in one house would impact the neighboring homes. So it is possible, just not open and shut.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 121,675
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
Verified
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Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.

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