What costs can a homeowner recover regarding ahouse fire?

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What costs can a homeowner recover regarding ahouse fire?

My husband and I built our dream home 4 years ago.  However, 2 years ago we had a fire that completely destroyed the home. Per the city’s instructions, it was razed. We had insurance at the time of the fire. Now our insurer is suing our general contractor’s insurance company to recover some of their costs due to the fire. We (the homeowners) would like to try to recover some of the out-of-pocket expenses that we incurred after the fire and that were not covered under our policy. Any suggestions?

Asked on March 10, 2011 under Insurance Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The question is, who are you hoping to recover from? You indicate that the insurance policy will not cover the costs in question. Only insurance pays regardless of fault; to recover against someone else--anyone else--there would have to be someone who was responsible for the fire in some way and at fault for it, such as by negligence. For example: did a contract doing work on your home get careless with a blowtorch and set a fire? He or she could be sued. Was a heater defective, so that it caused a fire even when used according to directions? You may have a products liability suit. You need to have someone at fault for causing the fire to have a chance to recover.


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