My next door neighbor’s vacant house was set on fire. It damaged my home. I want to file a claim against his homeowner’s insurance. How do I file?

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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: Nov 6, 2014

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Insurance Question from Indianapolis, IN

Asked on 11/06/2014

My next door neighbor’s vacant house was set on fire. It damaged my home. I want to file a claim against his homeowner’s insurance. How do I file? Fire intentionally set. We have the same insurance company. I filed a claim under my homeowners insurance and I want to withdraw and file under his claim. What am I to do?

Answer given on November 11, 2014

Even though the neighbor’s home was set on fire, the neighbor must be considered legally liable for the cause of the fire in order for you to claim they are responsible for the fire.A vacant home can be an attractive nuisance and thus encourage vandalism and or arson, but it does not automatically make the property owner responsible for such damages if they attempt to keep the home in good shape and clean.The fire damage to your home will not affect your insurance or rates since the fire was not any fault of your own. The difference between claiming under your insurance or the neighbor’s will be the deductible on your policy that will apply if you file a claim on your policy. It is possible the insurance company will waive the deductible since they insure both homes and you were a victim of the damages from the other property. Talk to your adjuster to see if they will waive the deductible. If they refuse you can try to file a claim against your neighbor, but the insurance company could decline and make you file under your policy.

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