if a roommate causes a fire am I covered?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Mar 25, 2014

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Insurance Question from Haven, KS

Asked on 03/25/2014

if a roommate causes a fire am I covered? I have a roommate who smokes. if they cause a fire will my homeowners ins cover damages to my house and My property?

Answer given on March 31, 2014

If there is a fire in your home, no matter who accidentally caused it, you would have coverage for the damage to your home and its contents. The insurance company would investigate to be sure there was no criminal act involved in the fire (such as arson) but they would then pay for the damages, less your deductible. Negligence or carelessness are not an exclusion for the fire damage.You should discuss the smoking issue with your roommate and see if you can work out an agreement that they not smoke in the home, if you so desire. Obviously smoking in the house, especially in bed, does greatly increase the changes of a fire in the home. It also can affect the quality of life for you and it does discolor the home and cause smells in the home that are quite noticeable to visitors.

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