There is a fire in your home or side and you suffer property damage. What are your rights and remedies? The point on what to know in case of fire.
Fire: when? How? 'Or' What ?
In France, a fire breaks out every two minutes, and seven out of ten household fires occur overnight. The four main causes are electrical and heating installations (one fire in four), chimney flues, cooking (one fire in four), candles, cigarettes and matches.
Fire: what exactly is it for insurance companies?
The fire is considered to be "combustion with flame outside a normal home", according to insurance companies. And article L 122-1 stipulates that the insurer is liable for all damage caused by conflagration, conflagration or simple combustion. In fact, the fire guarantee can intervene as soon as there is a flame or the start of a conflagration, but also to repair damage linked to the smoke from a fire, to an explosion, to the implosion of a home appliance and lightning. And if the intervention of the emergency services causes collateral damage, these are also taken into account. However, each contract can include subtleties that should be examined.
Fire and cigarette burns
Unless you have taken out a guarantee against "household risks", the fire guarantee does not cover damage "caused by the sole action of heat or by direct and immediate contact with fire or an incandescent substance if it does not "there was no fire or outbreak of fire likely to escalate into a real fire". Clearly, if you let your pan burn or if you damage the top of your buffet with a badly extinguished butt, you will not be compensated. Some other damages are not taken into account, such as broken glass due to excess heat or the burning of an object accidentally dropped into the chimney. Please read your contract carefully because perhaps other damage is excluded from your fire guarantee. Also, make sure that you are not required, for a full refund, to have your chimney swept every year, for example, or to have installed a smoke detector (which will be mandatory from March 2015).
Fire: what goods are covered by insurance?
Your contract provides ceiling amounts for which your accommodation as well as furniture and objects are covered. If the decorative elements (carpets, paintings, etc.) are damaged, their repair must be reimbursed. If you completely lose your house, you will be compensated according to the cost of its reconstruction to the extent that you agree to rebuild or repair it. Please note, if your accommodation was poorly maintained (chimney in poor condition, for example, which caused the fire), you will suffer a reduction. Likewise, the insurer will take into account the obsolescence of certain goods, such as the fitted kitchen, for example, if it is already a certain age.
Fire: what about the garden?
Conventional contracts do not take into account the fire in the garden, unless you specifically request it, which can be a good idea in hot and dry regions. Also be careful if you live in a risky region. You may be required to clear the ground, otherwise you may be penalized in the event of a fire.
Fire: the steps to take
Contact the Insurance Department of your insurer within 5 working days of the fire. Specify the date and the circumstances of the accident and make an initial statement of damage. Do not undertake any repair or action without prior agreement. You will have to list all the lost goods, indicating their value and providing supporting documents. In the absence of invoices, photos and / or videos of your interior and the interior of your cupboards constitute valid evidence. Keep the charred effects. They will serve as proof to the expert who will be appointed by the insurer. This expert will travel to identify and assess the damaged goods. If the damage is significant, you can be assisted by your own expert, or ask for a second opinion. This is your responsibility, unless you have taken out the "expert fees" guarantee in addition to your fire guarantee. To know more :
French Federation of Insurance Companies www.ffsa.fr