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Who is Liable for Fire Damage?

Fires are known to be one of the most destructive disasters that can harm a property. The flames of a fire devour any materials that are in their way, causing severe damage in the process.

These flames can also produce massive amounts of smoke. When a fire does not have enough oxygen to completely burn through a material, it cannot complete the combustion process. As a result, smoke forms and causes additional damage.

What to Do in Case of Fire  

Knowing this, if a fire breaks out in your home or business, you must act immediately. Fires can result in extensive damage, including damage from the flames themselves and the secondary harm is done by the corrosive byproducts. Prompt action will limit the amount of damage.

In the event of a fire, evacuate the building and call your local fire department to have the flames extinguished. Once the fire is out, turn your attention to the restoration efforts. The sooner you seek help, the less damage there will be.

When you own and use your own property, your own insurance should cover the fire damage restoration costs. But this can be a more complicated situation if you are a renter or a rentee.

Who is Liable for Fire Damage House on fire

If you are a landlord who rents out property or if you are a tenant who rents property yourself, then you might be left wondering how the restoration costs will be covered. Are landlords responsible for covering the damage because they own the property? Or are tenants liable for recovery costs because they are the ones who occupy the space?

There are various scenarios in which either party can be responsible for the cost of repairs. It all depends on how the fire started and whether fire damage liability insurance is involved.

Continue reading to learn more about fire damage liability and how it can determine how costs for the fire damage restoration and cleanup are determined.

What is Fire Damage Legal Liability?

Fire damage legal liability is defined by the International Risk Management Institute as “coverage of a tenant’s liability for damage by fire to the rented premises (including garages) the tenant occupies.” This type of insurance coverage ensures that the insured party is covered for fire damage so long as they can be deemed responsible for the fire.

For example, say a person rents an apartment. The tenant leaves their apartment and forgets to unplug a hair straightener which causes a fire to break out in their apartment. The tenant is not only responsible for the fire but for the ensuing damage as well. Because of this, the landlord says it is up to the tenant to cover the cost of repairs. In this situation, fire damage liability insurance would help the tenant cover the costs if they have such coverage.

Similarly, if a landlord’s actions lead to a fire in the property they own, then they are liable for the fire and the resulting harm. If the landlord has fire damage liability coverage, then it would help pay for the fire damage restoration and cleanup costs.

What Limitations Does Fire Damage Liability Have? 

Fire damage liability coverage will not always cover the full extent of the fire damage restoration costs. The insurance policy can include monetary limits, such as up to $50,000, or it may only cover the costs for damage to the property itself and not any of the harmed personal belongings and contents inside.

Additionally, some leases may limit fire damage liability policies from covering the costs of fire damage restoration and cleanup.

For example, a business’s lease may detail that, regardless of cause, the tenant is liable for any fire damage that occurs. So regardless of the fire’s source, the tenant would cover the costs. In this situation, a fire damage legal liability policy would not be of help. Knowing this, it is important for tenants and landlords to understand the contents of their lease. It will help them determine whether it is necessary to purchase fire damage liability coverage.

Professional Fire Damage Restoration Services

f your home or business is the site of a fire, do not hesitate to seek professional fire damage restoration help once the fire is out. Fire damage will only worsen with time because the corrosive byproducts have more time to spread and cause further harm. Furthermore, fire damage can become permanent if not treated in a prompt manner.

ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration offers 24/7 emergency fire damage restoration services to help homes and businesses in Quincy, IL, and the neighboring areas in the aftermath of a fire. We employ qualified technicians who have the knowledge and equipment to effectively clean and restore damage from fire, smoke, and soot.

Following your call for help, we will promptly arrive at your residential or commercial property to start the restoration process. Using the proper techniques and equipment, our fire restoration experts will restore your property and belongings to their previous condition.

Contact Us

Get in touch with ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration for 24/7 emergency fire damage restoration services in the Quincy, IL, area by calling (217) 262-9044.