Can a homeowners insurance company deny a fire claim with an unsubstantiated accusation of arson against the homeowner?

A fire somehow started on my boat and spread to my house. It destroyed both but the claim was denied; they accused me of arson. I was home but I didn’t start the fire.

Asked on August 26, 2019 under Insurance Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Unless and until you sue the insurer for breach of contract (see below) and win, they can deny a claim if they believe that under the terms of the policy, they do not have to pay--and arson is an exception to payment (people may not profit by their own arson).
The insurance policy is a contract. If you believe they are violating the terms of the policy by not paying when they should, you could sue the insurer for "breach of contract." If you prove in court that under the facts of the case as well as the terms of the policy that they should pay, the court will order them to do so. They can attempt to defend by presenting their evidence as to why the believe this was arson and so excluded.


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